About J Henderson Public Project 1

Module Assesment.

Bibliography

Dixon, S. (2007) ‘Memory’ in Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance, Performance Art, and Installation. London: Routledge.

Ford, S. (2005) ‘Potlatch, Psychogeography, Dérive, and Détourement’, in The Situationist International: A User’s Guide. London: Black Dog Publishing, pp. 33-37

Gob Squad (2014) Revolution Now! Available at: http://www.gobsquad.com/projects/revolution-now (Accessed: 4th May 2014)

Govan, E., Nicholson, H. and Normington, K. ‘Narratives of Community’ in Making a Performance: Devising Histories and Contemporary Practices. London: Routledge

Westerkamp, H. (1974). Soundwalking. Sound Heritage. 3(4),  pp. 1.

O’Donnell, D. (2006) ‘An Aesthetic of Civic Engagement’ in Social Acupuncture – A guide to Suicide, Performance and Utopia’ Toronto: Coach House Books.

Pearson, M. (2006) ‘Bubbling Tom’, in In Comes I. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, pp. 21-29.

Pearson, M. (2006) In comes I. Performance, Memory and Landscape. Exeter: University of Exeter Press.

Pearson, M. (2010) Site-Specific Performance. Basingstoke:Palgrave Macmillian

Pinder, D. (2005) ‘Arts of Urban Exploration’, Cultural Geographies, 12(4), pp. 383-411

Rendell, J. (2006) ‘Site, Non-Site, Off-Site’ in Rendell, J. Art and Architecture: A Place Between

Tompkins, J. (ed.) (2012) ‘The ‘Place’ and Practice of site-Specific Theatre and Performance’, in Birch, A. (ed.) Performance Site-Specific Theatre: Politics, Place, Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Critical Reflection

In order to critically reflect on my blog I decided to create a short essay about its relationship to the site specific, this is attached to this post.

In terms of other reflections there are significant pitfalls on our behalf. We did not get feedback from any participants, this is something that if I was to repeat the process I would find a way of incorporating into our project.

Noisy Maps essay

Walking Artists

Because of the nature of this project it is important to acknowledge the world of walking artists.

A lot of our inspiration for this final year piece came from previous work that we have done and artists that we have explored such as audio artists and sound walkers. Even though our focus is silent walks I examined some practitioners who focus on using audio to lead their participants around a walk.

Below is a document I found about a culmination of sound walk artists

http://www.andrasound.org/archive/soundwalks_andrasound.pdf

The definition of Sound Walking was the most important to me. Before looking at this document I had an incorrect vision of what a sound walk was. I thought it only involved artificial sound and a guide. However i have since discovered it can also be to do with environmental sound;

This link to our project was incredibly prevalent to our aims and an inspiration for our project;

‘A soundwalk is any excursion whose main purpose is listening to the environment. It is exposing our ears to every sound around us no matter where we are. We may be at home, we may be walking across a downtown street, through a park, along the beach; we may be sitting in a doctor’s office’

Westerkamp, H. (1974). Soundwalking. Sound Heritage. 3(4),  pp. 1.

Live Feed

We had planned to have a live feed of our performance projected on to a screen. This would be so those involved could witness the map being built. We then intended to broadcast and upload the film to spaces such as YouTube. This would ensure a lasting record of the process the participants undertook in making their own maps and adding them to the pre-existing map.

However due to various technical difficulties and the original space being double booked, we were no longer able to make the live feed as planned. However we were able to overcome these obstacles and managed to film the building of the larger map and broadcast it to YouTube. This documentation of performance is inspired by the work of Sophie Calle who creates pieces that are based around documentation of performance; the idea that through documentation, one can leave a legacy ready for interpretation. We also took inspiration from a performance called Gob Squad that utilised Live feed of a TV presenter inviting individuals in and join the revolution. This was a public intervention that focused on inviting people into the space.

Below is the video that we did manage to create.

Non Zero One

Non Zero One are an interactive theatre company that examine the use of space and place through digital media.

I was fortunate enough to experience one of their workshops in which the use of technology was explored, with a large section of it being orchestrated by a voice over. This was an incredibly interesting technique that if I had witnessed before our piece had taken place, I would have suggested it as a way of manipulating our participants and giving them their instructions for the walk. This would enable us to further detach ourselves from the situation and avoid imposing ourselves on a place that is not our own.

I was also lucky enough to partake in a Site-Specific piece of theatre by the company as well. The piece focused on the auditorium as a Site. This means that the piece is transferable to multiple locations. I enjoyed this concept, the idea that even a Site-Specific performance can change location. This made me think about the potential of our own piece, the idea that because it is a walking theatre piece as well as a Site -Specific piece,it could be transferred to other areas of London or even other cities to create a network of sound maps.

Below are some images from previous work by Non Zero One:

http://www.nonzeroone.com/home

This performance and workshop made me consider our own use of technology within our performance, we are intending to use a live feed that will capture the participants placing down the maps that they create from their walk. The video will then be edited and sped up to portray to creation of a larger map by the participants themselves.

This concept reminds me of the theories as presented by Dixon who examines memory, performance and digital media. Through documenting our performance through film and then downloading it on to a blog and YouTube there is an element that transcends the limitations of memory – it is forever stored on the internet as a physical film. This does pose limitations and perhaps invite re-enactments by future artists as opposed to re-interpretations.

Below is a reading that relates to this concept that I have explored previously;

Dixon, S. (2007) ‘Memory’ in Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance, Performance Art, and Installation. London: Routledge.

In this text Dixon explores memory in performance and its importance. He states various person’s views on the application of memory in performance and goes on to evaluate the postmodern concern with the past and nostalgia, directly linking the new concept with the development of technology. Dixon looks at various views on the topic such as the examination of multiple interpretations around the notion of forgetfulness. He places emphasis on the fact the in an age of advancing technology, historical truths are dwindling fast and subsequently being replaced by artificial memories.

Dixon begins to explore the connection between traumatic memory and the Digital age. Through the use of new technologies and digital performance, the recreation of memories is more vivid than ever before. This allows for the often fragmented re-telling of events to take a coherent form as different emotions are stimulated and more is recalled.

Finally Dixon looks at computer memory and its significance in relation to Digital performance, he presents the computer as a source of ever-lasting memory, nothing can be lost of forgotten when recorded on such a technological device. He goes on to talk about the internet and the fact that it is and an endless portal of the non-erasable. However for all the memories that computers can trigger, Dixon also recognises their ability to suggest fabricated accounts of events and questions whether or not they erode human memory.

Project Presentation

Today is the day. We battled our way through the busy underground network with our bulky map and sheltered it from the rain on our way. As we wandered through the streets of Haggerston with our unusual objects, I considered how we were already performing and altering the environment and the space by simply being present. Without even setting up our installation, we were already performing a piece of theatre to the local people going about their everyday business. This is supported by Tompkins who states an intervention is anything that departs from the ordinary and everyday; where individuals who perform ordinary tasks can inadvertently become actors just by observing.

Once we made it to the venue we started putting together our map. This was a slightly stressful process as we felt we were limited by the time we had available. Furthermore, as a result of the nature of the project, we had not had a trial run and none of us had suspended items from the celling before. Despite this we worked well together and completed the task without too much difficulty.

Although we had to move from the centre of the room due to a double booking on the venues behalf, we realised that in the new performance space there was a perfect view of the waterways and the very area that our map represents.

Below are images from the day, with thanks to Loren Wright;

 

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The Night Before

This evening the group met to make the final touches to our map and discuss the different practitioners that influenced our work. We made a list of things that needed doing:

  • 3D train station and bridges had to be built.
  • 3D Independent Gas Works needed to be completed.
  • The distillery, the park and India Rubber Work had to be collaged.
  • The information pack needed to be printed.
  • The maps with today’s photos of the landmarks needed to be created.
  • Complete Sound Map.

These tasks did not take very long and we were able to carry out these tasks quickly and efficiently. I then set about making T-Shirts, once again from the colours most prevalent within our map. The T-Shirts read Noisy Maps, Silent Walks. They are designed to differentiate our group from the others within the gallery and create a sense of continuity between ourselves and the physical project. In retrospect this unity could also be read as exclusion by our participants and give them a sense that we are higher than them, taking a superior role. This was not our intention however, and if we were to develop the project further I would suggest that the participants could transfer their personal maps onto a T-shirt. It could then be worn to create a visual unity within the group. During this session we also created our handouts for participants with images of what our landmarks look like today taken on our walk.

Bellow are the final copies of our paper work;

SS Independent Gas Works Information Pack

SS St. Mary’s Church Information Pack

SS Haggerston Station Information Pack

SS Bridge Information Pack