Wednesday, 5 December 2007

starting the group project- first attempt at a domestic diorama



ok- so not necessarily to do with my own specialism but to bring out two of my obsessions into our PAPER/CHOICE group project- 1950s and no-domain little paper puppet sets- this is a back blog am in-golly-need-to-catch-up-quick-blog-mode having just come back from SUNNY (missing it already-the sun that is, the lack of culture-no) sydney

here's the original idea which i first put into the pot when we were talking about PAPER and CHOICE and hot (distinct lack of choice, conflict, friction) and cold (many choices, calm,) areas, mixed with laura's real life doll dress up idea; i then made the above set for our first walk through on 22nd november with rebecca and andrew, combined with lena's ideas, who renamed it a domestic diorama and made an argos catalogue one for participants to play with and us to watch and learn....

Participants 'controlling' performers in simulated spaces which 'control' us....

Participants would be given a paper prop in their paper bag upon upon entry to the entire group show. Upon finding this CONTROL performance introduce into the model box type 'set' of a space, and integrate with theirs or others' CHOICE of a selection of cut out background, props, unclothed figure, and clothes with tabs on them, within it. They will then be asked to experiment with creating scenes getting little paper cutouts to play out actions in front of a video camera. There will be a live performer 'dictator' either trying to get the participants to make the set based actions 'behave' (to rules and regulations or social etiquette or sterotypes) or 'misbehave' in their chosen scenes.
The sets would be projected live (front or back- needs considering- space issues) onto performers who would have real props, clothes,etc same as the cut out ones on the set, and act out the actions controlled by the actions in the set projections. (I liked laura's idea here of the 'rebel' performer that confronts the 'dictator' performer)

Looking at issues of conformity in spaces- public and private- so spaces should be generic, and taken from mass produced sources, such as;
1. a living room with fixtures and fittings, furnishing, appliances, etc etc taken from argos catalogue, with kids or adults in them posing out on the garden chair etc

2. a family holiday in disney world, with souvenirs, sunglasses, holiday maker/tourist outfits

3. an era in which family roles were clearly defined

Is there a script or is there to be a performance living out this action in the scene? or is it just all live?

Is this projected into another 'world' later on when walking round the group show-eg a screen within a gilt frame above a mantlepiece in a steroetyped familty lounge??


this then became two ideas - family portrait and diorama- more to follow



julie rrap- body double at MCA, sydney





from this site- MCA, Sydney; This major exhibition of the work of Julie Rrap, one of Australia’s most prominent artists, brings together photography, video, sculpture and installation from the past twenty-five years of the artist's practice. Curated by Victoria Lynn, the exhibition explores the persona of the ‘trickster’ in Rrap’s work, the theme of the ‘body double’, and considers the ways in which the artist oversteps the margins of bodily representation.

i loved and hated this exhibition alternately; loved the body double video work where a projected body moves between 2 rubber casts of it as though asleep, the virtual and the cast being fused temporarily as the body appears to roll onto it creating a 'skin' and then just as teasingly rolls off again(top photo), and also the fragmented photography installation showing photograph of self as document, object, subject, photography as process, manipulated- torn, burnt, colour and black and white, photo in a photo....all defying the surface of the image and its illusion of 3D space and as artifact of truth..the camera does lie...(see next blog for images)

hated bit- my absolute hate is morphing bodies for pure non-sensicle effect, her body dips into a flashpool and pulls the body in and then she pulls herself out- why? and also body casts which didn't seem to present anything to think about-although i did like the head casts which had been then used as a mark making tool on walls. also nice use of flat screens in a line with film loops of tiny shoes in a pool, horse tail/ her with horse tail between her legs..

the other intriguing bit which i would welcome more at individual artists shows- a section of rrap's influences picked by her- cindy sherman included. julia bardsley also sprung to mind...more photos to follow

julie rrap- body double at MCA, sydney- images


Wednesday, 28 November 2007

in the blink of an eye- playback theatre sydney


ok- so having been to playback south in london, which was great to see how performance can come entirely from material (in this form of theatre- stories) offered by the audience and improvised back on the spot, have now been to playback theatre in sydney . this form of theatre uses metaphors focusing on feelings of the storytellers, relaying stories, moments, tragedies, dreams...and physically embodying objects and actions, it is a method used in psychodrama as a form of therapy- its therefore interesting to consider the type of audience member you get, why they are there.
there were many common elements shaping the evening but overall the sydney experience was much more cohesive and intimate- with a theme set for the evening to the stories- 'in the blink of an eye' and music accompanyment throughout to direct the mood, 8 rather than 4 performers,(audience of 50 in a tiered auditorium)but i guess that such an event can be shaped by those who offer their stories and how engaging these are to the audience- in this performance the stories were incredibly explicit of their situation-told to a room of strangers- and full of personal insight- the day i got my diagnosis with MS aged 18 to the day dad left aged 9 and then 15 yrs later my parents got back together and supported each other through cancer.the tellers sit on a couch at the front of the stage with the conductor who asks questions and once story had been told and theres a definite star middle and end defined, the teller picks characters, the conductor picks the style- eg chorus, and then watches it played back, asking the teller at the end how they felt about it. the story about the MS diagnosis used performers as the diagnosis envelope and as the disease attacking her legs simulating pins and needles as well as someone playing her...the playback was clever, real, emotionally charged and the teller was pretty choked saying, yes that was how it felt, it was good to visualise it. finding a new way of relating to or perspective on a difficult experience in your life?

in london playback my friend told her story of a geeky trainspotter on the eurostar train home to paris who she found fascinating, however she was a bit annoyed with the playback as it was centering on the emotions of reuniting with her family in paris rather than the oddities on the trainspotter- maybe this was because the playback seems to centre on the tellers emotions rather more than the actions- she knew what actions the trainspotter was doing through seeing him but didn't not know why??

overall- i would like to look more at methods employed to improvise and the experience of an audience member through participating, and the relationship between the original event, the telling and the retelling-playback

ps not sure about this photo- seems a bit too carry-on......;)

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Improvising along the crack.....




using lena's action theatre improvisation techniques, neil, lena and i explored the crack at the tate, not my usual means of drawing/doodling/rambling notes in a sketchbook, but through our bodies- we moved in silence following each other's lead, crawling, sliding, tiptoeing along....mimicking the patterns in the edges at times, crossing the crack, positioning self parallel to it.....trying not to lose grip of each other...was a very liberating experience, ignoring those photographing and asking us questions til we reached the other end.....i looked up half way through and saw doug taking photos, he had spotted us from another level whilst on the phone and come down to watch us...it would have been good maybe if we'd encouraged participants to extend our line, but then we'd have come out of our zone.... afterwards a couple of school students came and asked us what we were doing which was a very wierd feeling, half the time i have spent in the tate has been as a teacher and here i was on the other side..great feeling to hold onto! i asked them why they did the rubbings of the crack, to which they replied..dunno, miss told us too. this made me think about our peformnace, it was a direct engaging one physically experincing the art installation, the path it ruptured through the floor, how it meandered and grew along the entire length of the turbine hall...i thoroughly enjoyed this physicality and didn't need to feel it was crucial to have drawn/photographed what i was actually doing, and in fact the photos doug showed me showed things i hadn't really noticed- that we drew a crowd and people were photographing us...recording experinces in memory is ok in itself, but a little visual prompt is ok too but it shows it from the outside not whats it was like inside so is subjective...have just borrowed the catalogue of the 'live art on camera' exhibition just finished in southampton- which looks at the relationship between documentary photos of performances and the usual line of photographic work of the photographers that took them- shame to have missed the actual exhitibion- think i need to start looking at photo style, recording and subjective nature of documentation- whats left in and out of the frame? WHAT'S THE STORY THAT'S ARTICULATED???? when not to document?

i started to think about whether this was a unique happening, and the master youtube speaks otherwise

thanks lena and neil for a great experinence!

Friday, 16 November 2007

Critical studies- notes from Tutorial

this tutorial was really helpful going through my critical research draft outline of ideas with sean- gave clarity to my wooly thoughts...

just to note a few things about areas for performance research;

research areas;the rubric-
1- a viewer/participant who offers their subjectivity (object, rayograph,story etc) as material for the work
2. an artist/performer who articulates this subjectivity
3.an object, artwork, outcome is created, OR the participant sense that their experience has been objectified

artists-
  • tino sehgal- a GREAT one for me as has no documentation no material work (sharp intake of breath...it'll be good for me ;)
  • allan kaprow and happenings, michal kirby and non-matrixed theatre
  • aernout mix- recent show at camden arts centre
i think i felt happier as it went through my outline of research and re-presented common ideas in a more succint and developed fashion. lots to go away and find out more about :)


Thursday, 15 November 2007

Critical studies Tutorial preparation (pre tutorial)

Ok- so here it goes- CRITICAL STUDIES RESEARCH IDEAS

My research proposal is to investigate storytelling through time based media within performance, shifting my photographic practice to a physically and virtually interactive level where it becomes subject/performer/action and less decorative object/illustrative backdrop.

The questions I aim to explore include;

• What is storytelling? How has it been used in theatre and visual arts practice?
Explore history and use of stories in culture, what makes a good story? What makes a bad story? Story telling methods, arenas, urban myths, fables and fairy tales, legends, personal stories told from the heart, the embellished, the old wives tale, the deceitful, the extract, the ear-wigged or overheard, the out of context, fictional, factual, manipulated, rehearsed, spontaneous, etc. How do we pull in the listeners intimately or unwittingly, and also leave them teetering on the edge of a cliff hanger....
Contextual references- Investigating use of stories in historical and contemporary performance using these ideas-
Bobby Baker, Uses stories to play out everyday life happenings.
Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film stills, invented characters in stereotyped stories within photographs
Will Adamsdale, Human Computer BAC, November 2007- “Cardboard cabaret stories.”
Caroline Smith- Spank, September 2007,real and virtual performer storytelling bringing together the autobiographical and the historical, using objects to tell stories
Stand up comedy+ Cabaret- hyped up/embellished storytelling
Playback theatre- storytelling as therapy, using participants in an audience and playing out their stories
Shadow puppets telling mythical stories, adopted through Paper Cinema, tales of Edward Allen Poe in Masque of the Red Death, Punch Drunk.

• How can time based media become performative, entirely consumed within the performance and less about pure documentation?

Looking at using real or invented autobiographical objects as aid memoire, props evoking stories, or as pinhole or hidden surveillance cameras, participants or self using these to ‘capture stories’ in the everyday to playback in a performance. Possibly a nostalgic object that poses just as that but secretly records, through video hidden inside, accounts given of reactions to it- what does it remind you of?
Contextual references-
Julia Bardsley-Trans-Acts, April 2007, “Trans-Acts forges an intimate dialogue between the audience & the performer, the artist & the creative process, live presence & the visual art object.” Exploring using pinhole photography in different ways and live presence and video thorough dialogue.
Peter Richards-History of Performance art- Group Pinhole photograph, dissolving boundaries between photography and performance, image as artifact that is made during performance and which survives it. “The giant cardboard obscura [is]site (as the stage in theatre) and source (the text - the actors) of the work.’ Sofaer
Curious- Camera as Participant, videos a performer performing to camera, a possible mechanism for storytelling
Sigmar Polke/Scott McMahon- experimental photographs abusing photographic processing norms
Zach Liberman+Theodore Watson- technique in Computer Processing-Virtual interaction with projected media

Practical context- Work underway
• Stories from participants objects that they couldn’t bear to throw away
Looking at the process of creating an image in a darkroom and exploiting the photographic ‘correct way to do things’ within an auditorium as a darkroom, photogram technique exploring objects and video projection of participants sharing their stories to camera will be employed to reveal and then destroy the photographic photogram image and at end encourage people to surrender their objects to charity or dustbin- the death of an object through the death of its shadowed image.

Reading- needs developing- Camera Lucida, Barthes, Joshua Sofaer, Conflict of Interest, Performance as a Spectator Sport.





Monday, 12 November 2007

Learning Agreement- re-thought: STORYTELLING

OK- so too much is filling up my sketchbook/ head and not enough in this blog, hmmm......

here goes next attempt to try to help me make a sense of the chaos i am feeling and so have come back to the learning agreement; am very excited about the storytelling idea as a way of exploring photography, my practice needs cementing and to become less tangential;)

so, back to the dreaded learning agreement....
1 Aims ( outline the purpose, scope, visions and ambition of your plan of work)

Overall aim at this stage-
To examine the relationship through the theme of storytelling, between photography and participatory performance.

  • To explore what photography is to me and can become- photography existing entirely as process, and also as a process in which a created photograph, as documentary evidence, survives the live action, existing as an aid memoire or evidence it took place. To communicate ideas through experiences utilising photography, through adding visual interplay.
  • To examine the relationship between traditional and digital photography, when to select which or a combination of methods according to concept, for example in exploring the experience of the process of forming a photographic image as a performative event in a staged darkroom.
  • Exploring the role of time based media in the collapsing of audience-performer boundaries through audience participation in the telling and re-telling of stories.
  • To take my visuals for performance screen based work to a much more interactive and less illustrative level within performance, where photography can become more about subject, performer, action, and less backdrop, decorative tradtional 'vj' object.
  • To test the water at this exploratory stage by creating a series of experiments around storytelling and other narrative means, both individually and in collaboration with others.
  • Developing greater knowledge and expertise about performance theory and ideas to make more purposeful connections with my photographic and moving image practice.
2. Objectives (The expected objectives leading towards the learning outcomes of the unit)
Carrying out a series of experiments. To look at what’s possible in photo-performance relationships and work with other’s whose practice has perhaps been more live art/theatre based to this point so that project work is mutually beneficial.

Part 1.STORIES
  • Explore history and use of stories in culture, what makes a good story? What makes a bad story? Story telling methods, arenas, urban myths, fables and fairy tales, legends, personal stories told from the heart, the embellished, the old wives tale, the deceitful, the extract, the ear-wigged or overheard, the out of context, fictional, factual, manipulated, rehearsed, spontaneous, etc. Use of stories in historical and contemporary performance. How do we pull in the listeners intimately or unwittingly, and also leave them tetering on the edge of a cliff hanger..... Contextual references- Bobby Baker, Cindy Sherman, Julia Bardsley, Caroline Smith, Stand up comedy.
Part 2. PHOTOGRAPHY AS PROCESS AS PERFORMANCE.
WORKING PHOTOGRAPHIC METHODS TO EXPLORE:
  • Developing darkroom processes into performance- using footprints created by the audience stepping in moisturising cream, through process of traditional darkroom based special effect- photo-batik, as well as torches for light trails, photograms. Use objects and participants in the process that tell and re-tell stories.Contextual references- Julia Bardsley, Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy, Sigmar Polke, Adam Fuss, Scott McMahon.
  • Exploring using time based media as a device where high and low technology (traditional and digital photography/video) and performer/spectator interact directly. Build into staged darkoom work using objects and participants.Contextual references- OFF 2006+7, Zach Lieberman, Golan Levin, Theodore Watson, Caroline Smith, Curious (re)actor2- performers, No-Domain, Paper Cinema, Plan B (Berlin)
  • Exploring pinhole cameras as hidden surveillance cameras- e.g. objects with a non-camera identity, eg suitcase camera and an (invisible) performance as a storytelling (or photo-story capturing) prompt - telling story whilst doing the act of recording using pinhole - or tool hidden in an everyday happening, re-told later. Try this in the old school butchers in Morden Hall road? Or radiators as cameras?? When is the camera a participant- telling stories to camera either explicitly or secretly, camera is implicated within the story. Contextual references-Barabara Ess, Adam Fuss, Stephen Pippin, Justin Quinnell, Scott McMahon, 'What the Butler saw'.
  • Sourcing stories- Exploring hidden camera in camcorder headset linked to portable multi media player, and camera phone- looking like texting for example, maybe as research or as a starting point for later re-telling. Try this in Laura’s Tube performance. Look at online performance possibilities. Contextual references- Surveillance manuals, Merry Alpern, ?? others?
  • Photography within Participation project- how do others behave and react to cameras, process of making work as the work itself, removal of author, collapsing of audience-performer boundaries, democratising performance? How can the work be created.Contextual refs- Marysa Dowling, French and Mottershead, Spencer Tunik, Ann-Marie Lequesne, Gillian Wearing.
MORE CONTEXTUAL
Read and gain more knowledge about theory of performance work, go to shows exploring site-specific / technological/storytelling approaches- Masque of Red Death, Water, A Disappearing Number, Matthew Barney, Playback theatre.
Books- e.g. Camera Lucida by Barthes, Ways of seeing, Berger, Participation by Whitechapel Gallery. Responsive Environments: Architecture, Art and Design (V&A Contemporaries) by Lucy Bullivant.

3. The Plan of Work describing the principal stages and timescale of the work
1. PHOTOGRAPHY AS PROCESS
Devise series of workshops, developing around the theme of storytelling. Testing ideas on members of the VLP group, using the Observatory space in December.
Utilise methods explored in Participation project with French Mottershead, working technniques to get audiences participating in the work


blahblahblah the planning bit always stumps me...the how to do it, tbc














































Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Learning Agreement- first attempt :)

Ok- so here goes;

1 Aims ( outline the purpose, scope, visions and ambition of your plan of work)
What’s the relationship between photography and performance?
As process, maybe outcome and as documentation? How can the many forms of photography be manipulated in the performance context to add visual interplay, narrative, collage to performative events?

What’s the relationship between traditional and digital photography, when to select what? the collapsing of audience-performer boundaries through perhaps joint participation, social engagement out on the street where both are sharing and creatively engaged towards outcome. Or the auditorium based approach exploring the experience of the process of forming a photographic image as a performative event in a staged darkroom.

Taking my visuals for performance screen based work to a much more interactive and less illustrative level within performance, where photography can become more about subject, performer, action, and less backdrop, decorative object.

Exploring through collaborations what performance can mean to photography and vice versa so neither is an ‘add on’ after thought.- moving away from the idea of vj

Testing the water at this exploratory stage by creating a series of experiments around these themes both individually and in collaboration with others.

Developing greater knowledge and expertise about performance theory and ideas to make more purposeful connections with my photographic and moving image practice.

2 Objectives (The expected objectives leading towards the learning outcomes of the unit)

Carrying out a series of experiments. To look at what’s possible in photo-performance relationships and work with other’s whose practice has perhaps been more live art/theatre based to this point so that project work is mutually beneficial.

1. PHOTOGRAPHY AS PROCESS
a) Developing extracts of Laura Smiths (VLP student) 'Anonymity' previous performance-using footprints created by the audience stepping in paint through process of traditional darkroom based special effect- photo-batik. This may be where the audience steps into moisturising cream and leaves footprints on photographic paper developed as photographic prints in an auditorium as darkroom environment.
Contextual references- Julia Bardsley, Man Ray, ?? others?

b) Exploring Processing using photographic imagery as a device where technology and performer/spectator interact directly. Possibly making work using simple techniques towards the group show in December.
Contextual references- OFF 2006+7, Zach Lieberman, Golan Levin, Theodore Watson (open source software developed for artists), Yahoo Hackday Nigel Crawley, Casey Reas, Ben Fry, (re)actor2- performers

2. PHOTOGRAPHY AS DOCUMENTATION OF EVENT. Review the status of my cameras through developing experiments- action man doll, DSLR, holga, pinhole, camera phone. Explore the idea of surveillance through photography- high and low tech.
a) Exploring pinhole cameras as hidden cameras- e.g. suitcase camera and an invisible performance in an everyday happening. Try this in the old school butchers in Morden Hall road? Or radiators as cameras?? Contextual references-Barabara Ess, Adam Fuss, Stephen Pippin, Justin Quinnell
b) Exploring hidden camera in camcorder headset linked to portable multi media player, and camera phone- looking like texting for example. Try this in Laura’s Tube performance. Look at online performance possibilities. Contextual references- Surveillance manuals, Merry Alpern, ?? others?
c) Photography within Participation project- how do others behave and react to cameras, process of making work as the work itself, removal of author, collapsing of audience-performer boundaries, democratising performance? How can the work be created Contextual refs- Marysa Dowling, French and Mottershead, Spencer Tunik, Ann-Marie Lequesne, Gillian Wearing??

3. Read and gain more knowledge about theory of performance work, go to shows exploring site-specific / technological approaches- Masque of Red Death, Water, A Disappearing Number, Matthew Barney.

Books- e.g. Camera Lucida by Barthes, Ways of seeing, Berger, Participation by Whitechapel Gallery, Processing A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists book, Casey Reas, Ben Fry. Responsive Environments: Architecture, Art and Design (V&A Contemporaries) by Lucy Bullivant.

3 The Plan of Work describing the principal stages and timescale of the work

1. PHOTOGRAPHY AS PROCESS
a) Devise series of workshops sharing photo-batik process with Laura, trying out processes over period 22-10-07 to 9-11-07. Testing ideas on member of the VLP group, using the Observatory space?

b) Read and begin to learn processing language and devices- review Michel Gondry piece, Drawing piece, make contact with Zach/Theodore? How can the ideas in processing develop more theatre based performative practice? Maybe test out existing pieces? Find others working in similar practice if possible in London- contact Nigel Crawley again? Over period until Xmas.

2. PHOTOGRAPHY AS DOCUMENTATION OF EVENT
a) Making objects into cameras-devising performances in relation to the nature of the object over period 22-10-07 to 16-11-07.

b Co-ordinate with Laura and others over this. Monday or Tuesdays?

c) Every Thursday til Xmas

3. Read in relation to supporting performances explored.














































Friday, 2 November 2007

Contextual reference- about Plan B performances

Taken entirely from this site; artists that work with toys, cameras, stories- something to come back to. i have highlighted bits of immediate interest.

Some things we have been thinking about lately…
questions we ask ourselves
Q: What is plan b?
A: Plan b can stand for Balham, Brighton, Bristol, and now Berlin and it can stand for all those who want to start again try another way.
We often talk of things not being ‘the Plan b way' we use this to make the other feel bad if they are mean, unkind, thoughtless, cruel, bitchy. I thought about an unwritten manifesto once in bed it went a bit like...
Plan b will not shout in performances, they will endeavour to make you comfortable, they will have open hearts and be honest at all times, Plan b is about you and me - you are free to come and go as you please.
And now if Plan b were to be visible it would just be traces of places that have affected us or stopped us in our tracks - obsessions with clouds, writing in sand, scary fish, airports, shop displays, a winter wonderland and a ghostly house.
I would like to say that Plan b could also stand for ‘being here’ (in a kind of dreadfully punning way, but seriously). What is it to really be in the moment, at this very location? Sitting in our studio, side by side, while I type this and Soph types some other notes for a proposal… The very things that are purposefully edited out of touring theatre work so that it can go anywhere, pretending that the black walls of studio theatres are all the same. Our work strives to respond to where we are now. That’s why we spend our summers sweating inside a building making 1:100 scale models of the art institution we were in. In that piece Me the City we wanted to shrink the world around us in order to try and understand it and examine it. Research and stories that sprung from that place were then projected large again alongside our live manipulation of the model and miniatures – a world that from the digital images stuck on model buildings was nearly believable. From our 3 camera angles we tried to create a film that used the low tech aesthetic to make what we hoped would be urban voodoo: by playing on our carpet with our model could we in fact make it snow outside? Could we entice strangers to meet and kiss outside the registry office?
Q: And as a ‘duo’ who inevitably work with dialogue why do we say that we work with ‘Spontaneous text’ instead of Improvised text?
A: Because Improvisation has all the wrong connotations and nuances from a completely different world, we’re artists, for god sake and these things are important to us. Improvisation is a tool actor’s use and it stays as a workshop technique within the framework of narrative theatre tradition. Spontaneous text as we mean it is something quite different – it usually involves the very careful defining of context and concept way before a word is spoken. It hates rehearsal and repetition. It is the utterances of people trying to be in the moment and in the context and here and now with as much of themselves as they can manage. It tries to answer the hardest question an audience member can ask of contemporary performance practice – why have you asked us here?
But to answer this question straight away is also a mistake and perhaps the mistake of dogmatic, narrative theatre making.
The art, as it were, is not to answer the question right away but to stay with the uncomfortable-ness and impossibility of the question because that is where the interesting territories are to be found.
Spontaneous text is a way of challenging The Text or previously constructed/crafted dramaturgy - rather one that responds to a 'nowness' of performing.
Q: How do you set up situations for Spontaneous Text?
A: we began with How do you keep on talking even though you have said everything you thought possible? In that piece we became the Girl and Clown from the infamous television test card F, which began in 1967 and has been shown more than any other program over 70,000 hours. We wanted to use this iconic, nostalgic and with the increase of viewing hours increasingly rare image as a way to talk about people stuck together. It was at times Kafkaesque and Beckettian and other times funny, banal, ridiculous and sad. We asked each other questions like; what is fluff? Do you think we are no longer needed? Are you real? What else could we do for a job? Do you think anyone is watching? And were interrupted by the muzak of test cards reminding us to retake our original position of being in an eternal game of nougats and crosses.
In a way Bed full of songs was also a spontaneous text but of song. In bed we set ourselves the task of singing all the songs we could remember and writing them down on a duvet till it was full. In both these pieces the audience were made comfortable as if in a domestic space with carpet, cushions, inflatable chairs – anything that would be a contrast to the hardness of a theatre seat, which required you to stay. As they were both long pieces, between 4 – 5 hours, the audience was free to come and go as they pleased.
As a task The Last Hour wanted to limit this endless time experienced in these works and put pressure on our ‘spontaneous text’. We were to say to each other truthfully what we would want to say to each other in the last hour – our confessions, affirmations and anger timed by a chess clock. As the statement was finished the other was forced to respond or move on, really listening was imperative and inescapable. Dressed as if this were a conference and directing the text to the audience and the listeners who were receiving the piece live on radio it was an intense experience for all. The end of the hour was not a clear state; was it the end of us, of the world or just the performance?
Q: What is the difference between the spontaneous text pieces and the more set pieces such as Me the City or your recent work in progress Wonderworld?
The more set pieces have always had a desire to continue the spontaneous text yet in making the works they have necessitated a framework, which gets nearer a ‘show’. Therefore a structure is put in place and a rough outline is made but no lines are learnt and an openness is still required. Because both pieces are about trying to condense experiences in the world; one is the scale of buildings such as in Me the City and in Wonderworld it was about trying to condense a 133 km journey. On our tandem we set off for a castle where we had a residency and made the journey to the venue the focal point. The arduous task of working together on this joint venture of physical stamina and co-operation made the end point, our destination, foremost in our minds. It quietened us. Yet we thought a lot about human power, inventors, efficiency, and coupledom. We were public and were we choose to position ourselves (front or back) played a large part in how we were viewed as in charge or not – yet our unusual tandem with brakes and gears at the back meant a finer more sophisticated set of negotiations had to be made. The performance took seven stages of this journey as opportunities to represent these experiences in different ways. Added by Kraftwerk’s Tour de France and R. Kelly’s I Believe I can fly we peddled our way through journeys that we take daily, make especially and the one that will end: life.


Wednesday, 31 October 2007

action man camera as tourist in berlin







telling stories, exploring a sense of bewilderment.....


ok, so a few notes, to come back to, from tutorial today;

need a sense of clarity in learning agreement and vision for my practice this term. need to get on with trialing ideas, making stuff. define through a theme? drawing into the pinhole/hidden camera

i enjoy telling stories, sharing stories through objects, especially recounting the tale of my invisible performance piece, recounting the experience and then showing the little visual pop up of me in the changing rooms. make me think about whats the give me a new look experience of my work? the event- the shop assistants who thought i was a little bit sad or crazy/ the recounting it/ the pop up/ the projection....etc

drew links to the hyperactive world of lee evans...maybe thriving on the sense of chaos and urgency in me, presenting a series of surprises, shocks, absurd maybe in action man as a camera, pinhole toys....

developing scenarios- maybe looking back at julia bardsley, cindy sherman.

using participation engagement of toy camera in taking 'serious' photos eg at wedding, news worthy event

considering how people behave differently when they see suddenly see a camera- and how differently this is from unthreatening toy camera/disposable (amateur, feel sorry for you can't you afford a digital?) to a DSLR (professional, serious, means business, photo-journalism connotations) at what point do you reveal the camera if at first hidden? do you reveal the camera or juts its images? how public/ integrated is the camera and the process itself in an event? who control the camera- me/participant? how does the camera link to story telling?

anyway...to be continued....

the paper cinema i missed at masque of the red death!!

ok, so laura said these guys were her favourite bit of the whole masque of the red death punchdrunk show at BAC, neither myself of lena on our separate visits went into this room...damn!! the issues of such a large scale promenade piece allowing people to meander off on their own, no one has the same experiences but the telling of stories of different encounters brings to life a performance that lives beyond the event itself....

they describe their paper puppet screen based practice on their website;

'What happens at the accidental meeting of
inkblots, photocopies, cardboard, angle-poise lamps,
the occasional table, video technology, a laptop and
a banana box?

A cast of hand-drawn marionettes are
magically brought to life by the Paper Cinema.'

Love to see them! sound a more illustrative approach to no-domain, maybe more like my playful feline friends gal and carim from band psapp??

Through googling around, found that paper cinema have a gig!

Don't you wonder sometimes @ The Luminaire
feat. Perico and the Paper Cinema + Lautrec + DJ TooLoose
307 - 311 Kilburn High Road
London NW6 7JR
8pm - 12am £5


Tuesday, 30 October 2007

water at the lyric theatre, hammersmith


hmmm, a fantastic show, seemed a simpler, less layered version of the complicite a disappearing number? it opens with a lecture, use of hotel rooms, OHP, dual narratives, lost child...for starters. it was good that with all the quirky low fi sound effects performed on stage with a mic (eg water dripping through roof into saucepan) that they didn't go for a full visual multi-media effect on top of this- allowed the experience to breathe more on stage (am i writing this, who as my music-collaborator friend kerry once blogged,any tiny excuse and harrys there projecting visuals- i even did this for her wedding speech at wedfest on a farm this year) on this occasion it would have killed it, less is more. i liked the small screen based visual link up with using skype live on stage. my favourite bit was the ending- simulation of being under the sea- with kiddie helium balloons of fish floating around and a huge shower type curtain as a stage curtain, figures on stage in their own worlds locked there.

gave me lots of ideas about visibly showing the process of creating sounds- using voices and mics/ props/ loop pedals/ visuals-OHP on stage/skype and macbooks. nothing seemed to be pre recorded- but i may be wrong.


Monday, 29 October 2007

the rites of spring at RFH- stereoscopic video, dance and orchestra



in exploring the relationship between time based media and visual performance, thought back to this which i saw in june at royal festival hall.

from the south bank website link sent in June 2007 (link no longer live)

'A UK premiere. Digital artist Klaus Obermaier, conductor Marin Alsop and the London Philharmonic Orchestra create a 21st-century realisation of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.

A unique audio-visual experience, the audience wear 3D glasses to experience fascinating distorted visual effects dictated by Stravinsky's innovative score and the movements of dancer Julia Mach. Electronic sensors and cameras pick up changes in the dynamic and tempo of the music, which trigger changes in the virtual interpretation of the work.

Modern masterpieces Arcana by Edgard Varèse and Prelude from Akhnaten by Philip Glass complete the evening. '


most people were speechless afterwards...but was this for the dazzling special effects taking you back to the childhood delights of seeing jaws in 3D? more than any sense of a mutually beneficial audio-visual relationship? this was a live video experience with the screen above the orchestra and figure moving in 3D on it, reaching out and feeling like a whispering distance to your face. the formalities and traditions of the orchestra, lead violin arriving last to applause,conductor then taking his stand seemed in very stark contrast to the seductive state of the art visuals, but maybe that was the point.i have no doubt that the majority of the audience seemed to be there for the latter ear wigging on conversations later in the bar. i have found these views online;

from the independent;

'The pity is that, agape at the visuals, you don't give the music the attention it deserves. The LPO's [london philharmonic orchestra] playing, under the spunky direction of Marin Alsop, was technically and texturally superlative, yet even at its most tumultuous I was only partially aware of its details: proof if any were needed that the sense of sight dominates the other senses whenever it can. Obermaier hopes that his Rite will stimulate questions about "authenticity of experience" in modern life. However, I'm not so sure. But, that doesn't detract from his dazzling achievement.'

i am very struck by this
'sense of sight dominates the other senses whenever it can.' needs further exploration. i did myself find the level of awe and wonderment in engaging with the digital trickery meant, sadly, i stopped listening after a while.

from guardian unlimited;

'The wow factor turns even more intense when the "floor" on which the virtual Mach dances tilts and her body is pitched into space, looming so far towards us that her hands appear to touch us, then retreating so far back she seems a dot in apocalyptic emptiness.

The disappointment, however, is that Obermaier has only a limited interest in following the dramatic logic of the score. He has effects aplenty, making Mach's body dissolve into galaxies of stars, sending a roaring wave of patterned light across Stravinsky's climactic finale. But because there is no developing structure to his choreography or image-making, this Rite ends up being about precocious trickery. Obermaier may be a master of the digital arts, yet when it comes to delivering their emotional or theatrical potential he is still an apprentice.'

the simplicity of movement of the full figure, circling with ribbons on the screen was beautiful, very fluid and worked easily with the music. the problem i had was the doubled ended foot things (no photos i could find on ole google) some loosely dada-derivative, seem to verge on the ridiculous and lost it for me. the 3D grid flowing tossing the figure also hinted more of homogenised computer simulation kelly lebrock in weird science than embodying a tumultuous ride aurally.

none-the-less a tremendous experience of whats happening in contemporary cross-arts practice, and its to be commended that the royal festival hall and the london symphony orchestra took this leap and brought in, i would imagine, quite a new audience.i would say watch this space, i hope that the fusion will continue to develop in more directly beneficial ways and that all the relevant senses are considered.... i will always continue to advocate that the visual effect must be well considered and develop a concept/narrative/collage of significance to the accompanying performance...in a one-click digital artwork culture of neon glow filters (grrr don't get me going now) its always a grave danger that as cheap effects are more and more 'free' and accessable to all (its amazing how many digital artists are popping up with little understanding of the visual image) effects are taking over artistic merit.....don't digital-pop-art-warhol-style-face me now...

shibboleth, participating in the crack at the tate modern....



now full of the world of participation,and other ways of exploring this, enjoyed watching and ear wigging on others interactions and discussions about this crack the whole length of the turbine hall. it seemed to be small children that were most eager to get their foot/head/ toy down inside it and be photographed. Would be good to go back and record this more. Looking at how people had recorded this on youtube, I found this i minute, walk the crack video- its weird but i would have started from entrance to back i.e. as crack opened up



From Tate website;

'Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth is the first work to intervene directly in the fabric of the Turbine Hall. Rather than fill this iconic space with a conventional sculpture or installation, Salcedo has created a subterranean chasm that stretches the length of the Turbine Hall. The concrete walls of the crevice are ruptured by a steel mesh fence, creating a tension between these elements that resist yet depend on one another. By making the floor the principal focus of her project, Salcedo dramatically shifts our perception of the Turbine Hall’s architecture, subtly subverting its claims to monumentality and grandeur. Shibboleth asks questions about the interaction of sculpture and space, about architecture and the values it enshrines, and about the shaky ideological foundations on which Western notions of modernity are built.'

participation in a new way, a public art piece you can get right inside, no red tape.

this link also talks about peoples interactions with what has the nickname doris's crack, saying one old lady fell down it as she thought it was painted on and about other casualties. it is interesting in a health and safety, risk assessment bonkers society that this work is so openly there to inadvertently fall into, a crack this size on a pavement would have huge barriers around it sealing it off, but i guess this also points to that obsession in our culture.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Contextual Connections- Peter Richards- Pinhole performances

ok- so following a cross-course tutorial in which the link between my thoughts on linking photography and performance was questioned (which has meant that, rightly so in retrospect,now i have to really get on with considerations in a much more direct way what this connection means, what is this world in between? and how is there a purposeful link between the act of recording and/or process of image making/ engagement with photograph as a performative act in some way to start to make connected work and try to avoid mis-communication) i have started more looking back at the work of others', exploring one aspect of my proposed learning agreement for traditional photography. i must also get on with camera lucida:) i have been looking at whether anyone else had been exploring this with particular reference to pinhole photography and performance, and so peter richards popped up. i remembered having seen a copy of this work a few years ago. although lengthy the text describing his work on his website shows his whole playful process of staging long pinhole exposures in various locations and various engagements with participants.this work was written in a fantastic account linking with a photo booth art work in joshua sofaers essay, conflict of interest: performance as a spectator sport he writes; 'the camera is the performative sculptural mechanism which facilitates the performance. The giant cardboard obscura ........ [is] site (as the stage in theatre) and source (the text - the actors) of the work.' I need to come back to this text, examining its realtion to camera lucida. i should also consider how this work connects with the ideas explored in our frenchmottershead participaton project.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Klaus Obermaier again......

ok, so here's the article my collaborative project guru (sedna stories) and great friend kerry andrew wrote as a review for spnm (society for promotion oif new music);


June 26th, 2007

Royal Festival Hall, London

RITES

Marin Alsop conductor

Julia Mach dancer

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Tonight's much-hyped concert trumpeted the marrying of old and new: ancient rites and cutting-edge technology in a reinvented version of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. The LPO, under Marin Alsop's masterful eye, delivered a first half of music loosely complementing Stravinsky's pagan rituals: Philip Glass's Prelude from Akhnaten based on an Egyptian sun god, and Edgard Varèse's Arcana, which echoes Stravinsky's thumping rhythms and shrill woodwind, and even quotes the work. It started less with a bang than a repetitive whimper, with Glass's blocks of short see-sawing motifs stacked on top of each other feeling very much like music-by-numbers. The Varèse was more fun, a riotous mish-mash of Captain Scarlet-esque timpani and brass, military marches and chorales. However, even this lacked power; this was my first visit to the newly-revamped RFH, and though looking like a gleaming space-age ski-lodge, I'm not sure the acoustic has improved as much as it should have. The orchestra sounded strangely muted - even with twelve percussionists, the 'lion's roar' in Arcana sounded rather kittenish. I was also unconvinced by the static backdrop on the colossal projection screen - a cloudy blue screen for the former piece and a bright red one for the latter - which added very little visual weight to proceedings.

Still, all of us were there for the second half, made immediately exciting by the distribution of 3-D glasses, which made the auditorium appear to be filled entirely with Joe 90 lookalikes. The orchestra was left to its own devices for the magical opening, and then a solo dancer appeared in a two-sided box to the side of the stage. Her curving hand movements began to create red hieroglyphics onscreen, which eventually took on a life of their own. Mach herself was then projected amidst them and interacted with these abstract, virtual dancers. The novelty of having blood-bright shapes seemingly suspended in the air in front of us was fantastic and this was followed by Mach stretching out of the screen and reaching for us like a personal lap-ballet-dancer. Digital artist and choreographer Klaus Obermaier kept us fascinated, with a series of new ideas encompassing morphing hands, distorting Mach's body into Gollom-esque twisting figures, throwing her up and down on a lurching floor and surrounding her with floating star-clouds. It didn't always bear much relation to the themes of Stravinsky's work and felt like an remote, Final Fantasy version of the piece at times, but for sheer technical impressiveness, it was a night worth remembering.


Wednesday, 24 October 2007

chance video- eating an apple flickr style




exploring the idea of chance i considered what might be a slightly odd image, perhaps, to post on flickr and what 1 minute film might come from that. starting from eating an apple, someone was watching me and typing into tags on flickr what i was doing...and i was interacting with the resultant photos trying to eating an apple like the people in the photos were....

i then posted this video on you tube and continued looking at the chance connections made through tags...so typed in eating an apple and found these gems....this process could continue and continue makign further chance connections through material posted online










Tuesday, 23 October 2007

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part seven- after gillian wearing




ok, so after walking into shops looking for eager participants, i decided to try knocking on doors, er in fact this just turned out to be one door, ran out of time and paper:( andrew kindly agreed to be my bodyguard in case i got whisked inside never to return. i chose this house as there was an interesting screen with 50s pinups on it and an artistic eyeball thing suspended in the net curtain viewed through the downstairs window.the thing is i approached this all wrong, as the door opened i said hello i'm an artist from wimbledon college of art, which then directed the whole sign he then wrote- he did ask me if it was ok to write that his daughter was a student there, i could hardly say it wasn't though:( he was very warm and friendly, lots of time to chat, asked me inside to which i said thanks but i had a colleague waiting, he invited him in too but i politely declined saying he was on his phone...he also wanted to give me his daughters address to involve her in the project but thought this as this wasn't the angle i was looking at i left it.

made me think that people behaved differently out on the street, at work and in their own homes, which is obvious, but i also saw how they behaved differently. and how i behaved differently in each venue?
mentioning wimbledon college to passers by, saying i was a student there, an artist, people reacted in different ways, some how being a student people may have been more willing to help? but what about when i'm practising away from the connections with being a student at wimbledon? my invisible performance give me a new look where no one knew i was an artist, a student, performing or anything, made me think should there be a level of honesty or that that would change the direction of the piece? how public or private do i want to be....would i have got a different reponse if action man camera/ holga/mobile phone camera/ pinhole etc had been my image capturing device rather that the DSLR??? goes back to being (in)visible....

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part six- after gillian wearing


in the afternoon, we started playing around with taking gillian wearing's work off in our own way. i started to think about the idea of framing in a frame, giving a greater sense of context that the person was encountered. first stop was the high street. chain shops were less happy on the whole, wanted me to write to their head office (kinda loses the spontaneity) so i approached this local shop....again like in my give me a new look piece, shop workers passed me around before one sucker says yes....this says' i wish i was rich' the fact that you can't see the sign it calls into question lots of things about photography...the exposure was incorrect i.e. by this i mean his face was in shadow, in gillians work you can clearly see participants faces and the writing in the signs, but now he becomes more anonymous..and his sign which can unfortunately only be seen a bit in the top photo, is representing a message shared by many so this may suit it. he was also wanting me to be really quick as people in the street were stopping and looking at him as well as creating an obstruction for those entering and leaving his shop...

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part five- after gillian wearing

this is my favourite image, which was from the gardener in the park as it made me think about how i communicate and when to move on. he was partially deaf and after writing the message leaning on my back (made me think of the sensory performance with jordan mckenzie am embarking on shortly) he didn't want to hold up his sign and be photographed...had i not explained this bit clearly enough? i wasn't sure of his level of hearing impairment, he did share with me that he was partially deaf voluntarily and was trippign over himself to tell me he wasn't normally here on thursdays, i felt he thought i was checking up on him, maybe from the council? so i decided after first thinking i had failed to make something out of this and photographed it laid on the grass- would have been better perhaps if this had been in the flower bed he had been digging, with his gloves and fork (but then its too staged)but decided once he had said no, needed to move on and respect his wish.

the atmosphere in the park was so chilled in the gorgeous blast of sunshine it was all too easy to sit and relax basking in the sun...funny how the atmosphere here deviated us off on a tangent a bit,talking about other projects, where as the frenzied high street i had felt constant need to keep recording in approaching passers by....

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part four- after gillian wearing

he was quick to point out that he wasn't eating a chocolate bar but a six-pack-builder-bar.....

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part three



ok, so my site was around the entrance to centre court shopping centre, people were coming in and out of the station,tescos, pausing to talk on phones, have a ciggie, take a break, or also sweeping past you late for a train.i made a big mistake with my first victim, he was standing here, lost in thought it appeared...so i approached him he was quite shy and unsure how to take me, and said he hadn't a clue what he wanted to write so asked my opinion, and i said 'what's important to you' thus guiding the response, and not his own independent thought :( doh!

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part three





first up, andrew pouncing on/engaging with eagerly, passers by walking along the footpath by the train track in wimbledon. was interested in recording the process as well, when to get out my dslr, how the people responded in this space- its a quiet route from the centre to wimbledon chase area. responses ranged from how long the path was, to interestingly, some one writing 'theatre' and someone saying they were late (making me think i had assumed this was a longer way to walk, and maybe it was actually a short cut)