I was part of the facilitators’ team for Marina Abramovic in Residence in Sydney – a Kaldor Art Project at Pier 2.
A lot to say about this unique experience. I will update this post.
The last day, Sandy Edwards took photos of our team. Cameras were not allowed in the space while audience there, unless a few authorised documenters.
Fluidata is a project, James Cunningham and I developed over 2 years.
First stage was travelling around Queensland, 7500 kilometres, meeting people, giving workshops, and gathering media, data and stories.
Second stage was researching and making/developing an installation.
Third stage was working in residence at The Block, Queensland University of Technology Creative Industries Precincts in order to present an explorative installation, combined with performances onsite and online with a small team.
This is for me, amongst the most avant-garde performances still today. (this post has been deleted by a hacker, but am reposting for reference!)
Schlemmer was a lecturer at the Bauhaus of the new stage.
I just saw in Prague Quadrennial, some students interprating Triadic Ballet costumes, made with contemporary materials. [from PQ program: RGB Triadic Ballet in the twenty-first century. Almost a century ago Oskar Schlemmer made a Bauhaus ballet with costumes made of wire, cardboard, and paper maché, using primary shapes and colors. Can men be transformed into geometric shapes without losing their humanness? The performance was presented by students of the Theaterschool Amsterdam (Netherlands). The students scenography were monitored by Peter de Kimpe.]
This video is the first ‘camera/tripod’ duet improv that
James Cunningham did.
Visits to artists encouraged me to formulate better and further the concept of VIRTUAL FOUNTAINS and what networked performance means. It also showed me that if the project is based on contribution and collaboration, it needed to be done in stages.
So Scotia and I made an installation performance at Tembi contemporary Gallery, followed by an artist talk and few days later I gave a workshop (next post).
The installation performance was closely connected to the gallery’s two ponds. Beautiful art space! Plastic bags full of water hung over the ponds (people use them here for drinking). Two of them contained a goldfish. There were 2 simultaneous projections on the walls behind the ponds:
– video of village people, grouped by age, drinking, mixed with images of waterfalls (from plenty to scarcity), ending on an image of drought
– animated loop of Scotia and I drinking from plastic bottles, using internet platform Upstage, with participation of Marlena Corcoran as a remote performer in Munich, performing/responding to me in real time. When the water diminished in the other projection, a wall of plastic bottles gradually covered the frame.
A soundtrack built up, consisting of a common ‘choosing’ rhyme (‘I love him, I love him not’ in 3 languages: Bahasa Indonesian, English and French) layered in crescendo and gave rhythm to Scotia for developing a movement variation inspired by water usage and then, piercing the bags (with same idea of plucking petals from a daisy) creating waterfalls from each into the ponds. This continued until only the bags with the fish remained.
At this point, 2 fish appeared on UpStage saying ‘I love the world, I love it not’ and developed a short ‘on-line performance’. Scotia released the fish into the ponds and piled up all plastic bags.
The cartoonesque fish on UpStage then introduced my artist talk about VIRTUAL FOUNTAINS. – photos by Elly Mangunsong –
Since March, am doing some trials on Selfworld with ActiveLayers (with Cherry in London and Liz in Kawerau (NZ) and James and I in Brisbane). Ivan Chabanaud comes sometimes to our meetings to tweak the server and our room, and in some pix, played Gulliver demonstrating how to use the encoder as a moving backdrop….
We are working on theme of water…made few movies, gather some images and songs, and try to find scores that we can do online.
The use of multi-video streams is powerful, opening up a lot of possibilities but it needs a lot of tweaking and patience, above all for the sound. But somehow being able to see each other is a big reward which gives us all the patience needed!
It gives definitely another space to ‘perform’, a space of intimacy, closeness, macro details, computer’s immediate surrounding, but also outdoors, public spaces, landscapes…
In Yogyakarta (Indonesia), we bought a 3G stick, and continued our trials from here, just beside a paddy field.
James went to internet cafes/parlours to have a separate connection. He could not put his own laptop on the network, and had to use the local computer/webcam….which once was pretty fuzzy (because of fungi growing with humidity)… but other time, were quite interesting cause not in-built in the computer, giving freedom to film around and have various angles.
Because we didn’t have access to printers, we start using other devices with mini-screens to show images (iphone & digital camera), sketches, little objects, using also paper that we were tearing on the spot to shapes… great immediacy, interesting aesthetic, fine movements of hands… to be continued!
This robot has been made by Gerald Thompson in the context of the Quartet Project initiated and directed by Margie Medlin. Here performer/choreographer Bianca (from Perth) is meeting the robot in a duet, as she is going to work with the platform later next year.
Few pix of plenary session on the lawn next to The Drill Hall. Beautiful place next to the marina. Bert Bonkers projected on lots of surfaces around The Drill with his speakers in backpack and portable projector in hands, with addition of a device allowing him to change the shape of the frame and fit immediately the projection to the space.
SEAM 2009 – Spatial Phrases
the symposium was varied with keynotes, presentations of papers, performances, screenings and exhibitions – program here.
It triggered personal thoughts about the making process going through seamed or seamless interaction between space, architecture, body and cinema (frame/screen): from articulating personal and collaborative practice to eventually presenting works in various forms including – but not only – academic papers. It left me with questions about the need of description, the practice itself of writing, and creating our own vocabulary/language, generating a code/diagrams.
Listening to some talks, I felt there were like stacks of tags which could be a shortcut to present/remember my notes. In ‘tag’ fashion, my favourite form is the cloud. Below I organise them by :
– family: module, modulation, co-modulate
– un-definition and un-determination: perceptual shift, liminality, intermediality, fluidity, blurr, fracture, in the glitch, slippage
– funny how re-, de-, un- and other suffixes are used: re-explore, dis-ruption, un-predictable, re-signal, re-inject, de-stabilise, de-fragment, un-define, un-do, etc. Is it a way to re-novate the wheel in the digital era (example: organic round photographic grains becoming digital square pixels!) ?
– physical experience : exercising, exorcising, transformative/ transformational
– internet vocabulary: platform, surfing (together as a way of being in the same movement of energy), activation, mapping
– design vocabulary: responsive with speed and scale, participatory models
– poetic license: traversing, spatial autobiographical narrative
Funny to observe, throughout the symposium, recurring quotations from Deleuze and images like Piranese Prisons!
Other questions I am pondering:
– when speaking about dramaturgy: what is the difference and complementarity of dynamic and syntax? Can it be compared with musical composition?
– is it because of a lack of depth that people question the surface? Or maybe it is a fear of the unknown of the depth? Is the surface the skin? what is under the skin? Is the weight/counter-weight of content the interface/form/look?
– Does abstraction lead towards a mysticism? If there is no narrative, is it abstract? What about the impact of analogies?
– Why am I attracted to illusion? to kinaesthetic feel and particularly via the medium of projections? Is tri-dimensionality tricking perception and consequently, something out of control? Why am I interested in using various sources of content simultaneously? Is it because of the slippage? that it will go out of synch, out of phase with time? and how thrilling to see/feel when it is happening? Food for thought…..
‘The Fall’ video by Nikki Heywood and Heidrun Lohr had both strong and clear content and aesthetic, underlining the kinaesthetic feel of the fall. (courtesy to Heidrun Lohr for the 3 last photos in this gallery). I still keep images in mind of the floor/screen moving and blurring at the same time with this impression of giving way under the feet, as well as the screen (later in the piece) being the surface/membrane between the indoor and outdoor worlds. I also liked the screen work R.U.N. shown at the end of the symposium by Paul Gazolla, playing on visual illusion of the body being suspended somehow in time or space with camera taking only 1 or few frames per second, while audiowise we were going through the physical breathe of the run!
2 screens were positioned in a right angle on the second day screening evening. It was used twice: for Sam James’ and Gretel Taylor’s works. Sam uses 2 images side by side in each screen which makes it 4 frames within the space, where performers are jumping from real to 3D sets through editing transitions, which I liked, allowing each frame to rotate and made me think about a Rubik’s cube, like the screen surface hides other facets… I was wondering why the work wasn’t presented for 4 screens? with a possibility for audience to maybe enter a space or walk around it?
After listening to the paper of Physical TV, promising an interesting interaction and use of Second Life (SL=3d world on internet) with real space and dancers, I was disappointed for several reasons. First, to see that SL was just used as a set (projected behind the dancers, like in ancient theater painted flat backdrop but, yes, changing thanks to the animation), second that there wasn’t possibility for audience to be online, third the use of narrative as a need for linking real to virtual (in the tradition of Disney cartoon!). On the other side, I was impressed by the programming of the SL avatars’ gestures, obviously they had a bigger range of movements than usual avatars, mirroring the movements of the real dancers. But I couldn’t stop wondering for which purpose? I will write more about SL in further posts in the Networked Performance section of the blog, as I am interested to see how platforms on internet can be used for active performance.
Maybe I missed a possibility of extending the dialogue/questioning during SEAM about the interests people have in using virtual world(s), mixing real and virtual bodies. What can be the interactions of these bodies as performers but also with proximal and online audience? What is the leap in screendance between 1 screen, multiscreens, screens creating fixed/movable spaces acknowledging depth of the projections? How do content and form(s) interact, grow together or not?