Archive for September, 2012

A day to play

During the Fringe I attended a Playroom led by the Bellrock co with 8 artists, mainly performers.   The methods were designed to work with the whole person and we quickly felt comfortable together.  One of the first exercises was a quick fire drawing one, and we knew there were no wrongs.

The permission to play for a day was to remind us of the fun we had and can have; the reason we got involved in the arts.  Sandy’s enthusiasm was contagious and along with her energy and diverse interests, we didn’t know what to expect.  But the morning was surprisingly calm.  Working with an actress I started to explore the relationship between breathing techniques and drawing – the impact of one on the other.  I experienced the sounds of drawing and rhythm of drawing as relaxing and was reminded of the physicality of the activity.

The afternoon with Jen and Mark Traynor was much more mischievous.  We climbed trees, got told off for littering and phoned strangers following instructions on a found post-it note.  We talked about the tipping point when games go too far………..then we did.

The idea of permission seems to keep popping up at the moment, see Playable Spaces, Tourist in Residence and Zoe Beloff and now I’ll add to it responsibility.  How do we give/offer permission to experience spaces differently, even just talking in a gallery.  Once permisison is given what responsibilites do we assume?



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Let Loose

As a way to develop the work from Let Loose  I am looking into text based art practise.

During the project, we experienced new dance at Dancebase as it was developing.  We were surprise by the amount of spoken word used in dance and this was inaccessible to the group.  Practical solutions were found and this has opened an exciting area for exploration.

In the next project, we plan to explore collaborative ways of working with participants with hearing loss.  Text will be integrated throughout the development of a performance, not added at the end as captions.  The resulting work will be developed through accessible collaboration.  Participation, not access, will be the experience for all involved.

To develop the project idea, we are planning a series of creative labs.  How could we communicate within the labs?  The instruction-based performances of this years Forest Fringe and the work of Abigail Conway are perhaps a starting point .  See also Nothing About Us Without Us, a public art event using obsolete technology to hurl language across the River Clyde

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Opening Lines

[Draft] project idea

Explore one site from a range of perspectives to develop different ways to experience and understand the space.  This could involve a frequent visitor, a security guard, an architect, an artist in residence, an audio describer.

The project will also explore how these observations could be combined in one event – paying attention to physical movement through the space and the information this provides for visually impaired participants.

This proposal developed from a series of events in 2011/12 exploring site specific art with visually impaired participants.  Initialy tours were led and described from particiular expert positions; a poet, architect, ceramicist and a cleaner.  These tours gave fascintaing and unexpected insights, it was interesting to think about how this knowledge developed in different ways; through academic study, observation, action.

The cleaner of a historic house described to us how she moved through some rooms in her stocking soles, having to first remove her shoes and the varying frequency for dusting different book cases.  This led to our suppositions on the value of the objects in the rooms and imagine the ones she is never allowed to dust.

Following this there were events to find out more about particular artists practise, the Bellrock co and Martin Parker.  The discussion with sandy from Bellrock was really enjoyable to meet a writer and director interested to work with visually impaired audiences and think about how verbal description could be incorporated into the voices of a play.
The final events were led by Anthony Schrag focussing on walking.  Anthony combined stories, myths and geology drawing on array of sources (including participants).  Physically walking through spaces connected ideas in different ways, similarly a museum display may be read differently depending on the order of encounters.  The curator can encorage this, or attempt to control it.

Presumably these connections and interpretations can also be left open in a promenade performance.  So there are still areas to research and consider to form a structure for the initial visits and final tour.  Who to involve, which artists might be intersted, what skills and observations will they bring?  Also thanks and more queries to be sent to Beverley at NLS and Rita Simpson for the initial suggestion.

A performance of Beats by Kieran Hurley with very visceral descriptions has also inspired the project idea.  The project should consider ways to explore and describe space with the group members, not for them.

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pacing the night

During  a seminar about Haptic Experiments, David Feeney gave an interesting comparison between artists walking practises which aim to disrupt our usual experience of the environment, sometimes useing tactics to purposefully get lost or disorientate, including walking while blind folded and the walking experiences of individuals with a visual impaiment.

In his presentation: ” An account of the importance of order and route-learning in the pedestrian experiences of individuals with visual impairments is posited between what Robin Jarvis refers to as the stroller’s ‘freedom to resist the imperative of destination’ .

Feeney argues that tactics such as blind folds and night walking, privilage the visual and suggests artist apprenticed with visually impaired individuals as a way to reach new understandings (find out more about this ideas).  This suggestion draws on James Winchester’s idea that “To understand each other across cultural divides, we must leave our comfort zone and become students of the many worlds out of which each artwork arises.”

research mentioned to find out more about:

Kevin Hetherington

David Bolt

Nina Morris “the uncritical way in which visibility is incorporated into many post-phenomenological accounts of landscape”

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The Eavesdropper

Aaron Williamson is currently artist in residence at the Walker Art Gallery and is using his time to ‘eavesdrop’ upon the paintings in the collection.

This ‘eavesdropping’ will result in performance-based interventions taking place in the gallery on 15, 16, 17 November.

“As a deaf person, it seems to me that the Walker’s Victorian art collection is vibrantly alive with whispers and questions, taunts and sayings: the mutterings against the silence of tight-lipped Victorian society. I want to listen to the collection, imaginatively, and use this research as the source of an entirely fictitious new interpretation of the paintings.” – Aaron Williamson

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The Hearing Test

The Hearing Test is a developing online residency between the composer and writer Ailís Ní Ríain and the creative technologist and artist Andrea Pazos. Both artists are hearing impaired and have been using their personal experience of hearing loss to develop this new web-based art project which asks users to take an online hearing test with a difference while questioning their perception of hearing impairment and deafness in contemporary life.

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