Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I just wanna say/I haven't been away/I'm still right here/Where I always was

Give it up to Morrissey, sad as he is, for lyrics that made up the title to this entry. They're appropriate because they're to the song "The Loop," which is the topic of our assignment that will run for the next two weeks. Not the Morrissey song, mind, but the concept of a loop. Here's the brief:

This lab is an experiment in intermediality. It encourages participants to work collaboratively so that their processes both speculative and live can be witnessed.

The materials and the spatial conditions are prescribed so that the focus of the experiment becomes on ‘how’ materials are improvised with and structured to create sequential temporal images. Choreography and music have many models that use these techniques as methods for exploring compositional practice.

There will be 4 companies. Each company is asked to prepare 4 minutes of material that have the same start and end point- hence The Loop.

Basically, the 46 of us have been broken up into four groups and given the same space and same materials in order to complete the assignment. The playing space is set up traverse-ly (unsure of the realness of that word), with the audience on either side of a set that is structured as something that can be likened to a hallway. The objects in the space we've been given and are required to use are:
  • One minute of projection
  • 3 one minute sound cues
  • One men's suit jacket
  • Two chairs
  • One bucket of water
  • One newspaper
  • Three screens that can be projected onto and moved
Here's part of the space:

Now, look to the right:
And from the other side...

It looks almost as two playing spaces sat next to each other. I've taken pictures from either side of each "space" to show the different view points of the audience.

We have to use everything, create a piece that is four minutes long, and then repeat the piece with two different performers (hence the loop). Everything has already been set in the space for us, and it is in those original places we must leave everything at the end of each four minute segment (again, we see the loop). The second group of performers also must conduct the same actions that the first group does in their four minutes--again with the loop!

So the challenges are how to use all of these materials (bodies, objects, media) wisely and well, and create a well-rounded piece. Another idea of focus for the performers is to keep in mind how to make repetitive action distinct--is it simply a matter of making a different person/body perform that action, or are there other things that can/should/need to be applied to bring different meaning to the same moment. And can we get some text in there already--I'd like to talk on stage at some point. ("Someday!") Another thing is the relation the performer has to the audience--in a space that very nearly surrounds the actors with "4th walls" how does that change how a body functions in a space? Or need it change anything at all?

Lots of thoughts, lots of thoughts. Below is a video of some of my group members (including myself) moving around the space during a discovery exercise. Basically we were just trying to get a feel for what we could do in the space and what shapes the space could take on by deconstructing and constructing different environments. The sound you'll hear in the background are some of the cues we're meant to use. Enjoy it--I'm out.


Sean said...

I'm not sure what just happened but I know that shiz just totally warped and blew my mind. I feel like I just fell down the rabbit hole.

Caitlin said...

I love that your tag for this one is "grad school is hard sometimes"


Lea Maria said...

But isn't it, Caitlin?