date: 24 Sept 2011 (10am – 4pm)
place: hall of a primary school
aim: To experiment and to document the result as film so that it can be edited as a show-reel
documentation method: film, voice recording, photo
Following 2 Skype conference calls since the previous workshop, this workshop was an attempt to convert the narratives into a performance. For each of the narratives, there were short discussion. general content of discussion:
1. reminding ourselves of the Skype conversation
2. adding new idea to it, if there were any
3. communication of individual thoughts and its development through discussion
4. agreeing what to do as an experiment
The experiments were quick, using whatever was available in the hall of a primary school. Here are the actual content of the experiment:
NARRATIVE 1: Thin Cities
material: nylon string, paper tape, tape,
props: chair, music stand, playground cones, hanging bar for stage lighting, curtain, stage
tools: knife, sound (guitar, amp, mic), stage lights,
experiment: A single string was suspended from the bar and was tensioned by the weight of the chairs placed on the stage and on the floor. From this string, secondary strings were attached and suspended by being tied to chairs, music stands, curtains or taped to the wall. Playground cones was hang on these strings. The hole in the cones sometimes became joints to connect together two strings. Paper tape was used instead of strings, which became the weak point in the system. All the force within the system was on the initial string and held by the weight of the chairs. As Eugine started playing the guitar, Katie started to interaction with the tension of the system. The set collapsed when to much object was hang from the string and the chairs slipped down to the floor.
reflections: The idea of the movement of the body interacting/interfering with the tension system is simple but effective. The music set the definitive atmosphere and strengthen the condition for movement to happen. The set must be more controlled to reflect the body movement more and enriches the type of movement created. I think there is more opportunity to collect sound from the set. Also it was a shame that we didn’t have helium balloons!
NARRATIVE 2: Mole Man (122 Mortimer Street)
props: stage, curtain
tools: sound (amp, computer), stage lights
experiment: A filmic experiment. Eugene set up the music and concentrated on filming. Darkness was created on the stage by closing all the curtains on the stage. Stage light was turned on. By opening up the curtain at certain point, the stage was partially lit. As she moved I tried to interact with her movement by moving the curtains. The movement of Katie was caught by a video camera, only when she was in the lit space, creating a fragmented documentation of the movement.
reflections: The actual experience of being in a very dark place was interesting. How your eyes start adjusting, how the day light blinds you when you come out. It makes it easier to go into the narrative. The heavy black velvet curtains has an interesting materiality which I can associate with the quietness of the underground and how it consoled Mole Man of his struggles above ground. As a stage set up, more is needed if the narrative(the dance/what develops as performance) purely comes from the physical condition of the set.
NARRATIVE 3: Southbank Telescope
props: table, stage,
tools: sound (guitar, amp)
experiment: The first paragraph of the narrative was experimented, following a rather lengthy discussion. The actions written in the narrative was acted by each of us. It was documented by both a stationary video camera and hand held video camera.
TAKE 1: performer-Yuko, guitar-Eugene, handicam-Katie
TAKE 2: performer-Katie, guitar-Eugene, handicam-Yuko
TAKE 3: performer-Eugene, guitar-Katie, handicam-Yuko
reflections: The idea of this experiment, the expression of subjectivity and objectivity that exist in a reading of a very personal narrative and stability of an iconic location(Southbank) was simply but effectively translated as a performance. In terms of technique, more of this idea needs to be clarified. I think the two viewpoint created by the two cameras (still and handheld) is an interesting one. It documents two different level of detail. One is a mechanical documentation whilst other is a personal one.
overall reflection: The role each of us play while doing these experiment needs to be more carefully thought out: how we take turns documenting, who performs, what would be automated (eg. music/video recording), etc. I think this is an important issue which defines what we mean by collaboration. Is it just about throwing each other ideas? Or would we all be performing, literally making the performance together? And then what happens to our expertise and skills? Or does this change at different stage of the creative process?