As the end of the residency draws near, my focus has also shifted to the presentation of the research. I have generated choreographic material through the GPS location process as well as the filmed improvisations, but a straight forward presentation of these does not feel appropriate. My thinking has gone beyond just the making of dance material and physical investigation. I have also been thinking a lot about how different modes and the ‘framing’ of performance can affect the performer-audience relationship and how it is experienced as a consequence.
The dances that I have created require further physical investigation and development in the studio; time that I do not have in this particular residency. However, I wanted to find a way that I could share my physical research, and how I arrived at this point, whilst also touching on my wider interests in the art form of dance and performance. Could I do both? Perhaps I could set the whole showing or artist talk up as a performance, trying to operate on both levels? Once this thought insinuated itself, I realised I could no longer un-think it.
In the reality television industry, I read recently that they refer to their work and genre as ‘structured reality’. Performances can be a form of this. I am attempting to frame the upcoming event in a particular way and I’m aware that the choices I make regarding the of wording around what it is/what it will be will be very important. Presentation? Showing? Demonstration? Performance? Lecture? The most approximate description I have is that it will simultaneously be a presentation of my process and research, and a performance called insituation (working title), with both being a pretext for the other.
I am not very interested in the “what is performance?” type questions or assertions like “everything is a performance”, but I am interested in the shifts between the poles of what might be seen as performative vs non-performative or authentic vs non-authentic, the grey areas, and how these are experienced by myself as a performer and by the audience. Can these shifts occur within the unfolding of the work? Can it operate on multiple levels at once? To quote the choreographer Xavier Le Roy “I am not so interested in what it is, but what it does”, and this has really underpinned a lot of my thoughts.
I was unsure how much around these ideas I should disclose, not wanting to affect any readers of this blog and their experience, should they choose to come on Thursday. I realised however, that there will probably already be different audiences present: blog readers, people who I have sought advice from, people who have seen parts of the work in progress etc, and I am more interested in how these different groups come into contact with this situation. It will be a collage of thoughts, murky and unclear. I am not really sure how it will go, but I am looking forward to experiencing it together with the audience.
This week, I am rehearsing and choreographing more GPS dances that I described in my previous blog, from locations further afield. Although not a primary objective, I have found that the task is conducive to generating a large amount of raw material in a short space of time. I have become interested in how I make decisions when faced with different movement options. The numbers that I use in the GPS task dictate a direction, but not ‘what’ (a limb? Head? pelvis?) or ‘how’. Sometimes I choose one movement over another simply because it feels good, or feels right. These are the moments when I have to trust that I have gained an accumulated physical knowledge that cannot always be articulated in words; perhaps this is an apt definition for dance?
I have largely abandoned the idea of analysing footage of my improvisations from last week. I was intending to extract different parts from the footage to create a solo. I may still have some use for them, but I have realised that it was the very doing of them that was useful in this process, not the outcomes I had planned for them. The time spent improvising will have influenced my decision-making in the GPS process, and I think that may be enough. (If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m also averse to trawling through 5hrs+ of footage of myself in the studio..)
Dancers often get asked how they remember all the choreography. I think each dancer would have a different answer to this. I know that I rely heavily on external spacial relationships to orient myself in a space. In the GPS tasks, the number sequences for locations become a text, like a musical score, that act as triggers for my kinaesthetic memory. Conversely, when I dance these, I am able to recite large sequences of numbers at the same time. It is an interesting exercise in memory. As I continue to rehearse the material, this mutual relationship will begin to fade and I will likely be able to perform or recite these two things independently. I don’t necessarily want this to happen. I want to try and retain the task within the dance, because this allows for a different, more unfamiliar relationship to the material and creates a particular performance quality.
In my video blog I mentioned the idea that our bodies retain traces of every movement that we have ever done. This is probably the same with places we have been at different points in our lives. I think in this project I am making some sort of connection between choreography and ‘place’, or choreographies being distinct places.
As I walk into the space, I’m reminded of the words by the performers in Tino Sehgal’s This Situation (2007). “Welcome to this situation!” they intoned in unison. It is a situation indeed, and I really have no idea where to start or how to start. How did I get myself into this? Julia?!
I’m acutely aware how out of practice I am in making. Of course, I consider the act of dancing a form of making as well, but this for me happens within the context of someone else's practice. I have not had to express or explore my own choreographic concerns for a long time, and for clarity, I have consciously put much of this enquiry on hold whilst I work with Dance Exchange. Working in the studio feels a little like trying to coerce an animal out of its cage.
Move. Just start.
I decided prior to coming that I would commit to an hour of improvising every day. The decision to improvise was made precisely because of my aversion to it. I don’t mind playing around in the studio, but improvising is a little like the practice of meditation; I’m not disciplined enough to persist when my mind begins to wonder. I flit about from one somewhat familiar movement to another, overthinking what I am doing, and eventually get bored. This is especially the case when I’m the only one in the space. Still, this seemed like a useful place to start; a way of uncovering my movement habits and maybe finding glimpses of something interesting. I have filmed all of these improvisations, and will attempt to break them down into different themes that I can identify. I am not sure yet what criteria I will employ to do so, but I’m hoping I’ll recognise them when I see them. These will then form the building blocks for solo material that I will explore next week.
The remainder of the time in the studio is spent on a choreographic process similar to Trisha Brown’s Locus (1975). Where Brown assigned the alphabet to points in space, I have assigned numbers to the sides and corners of the room. This allows me to create dances from any string of numbers. I have chosen to use the numbers that make up specific GPS locations of places I frequent whilst here in Christchurch. Perhaps it’s an attempt to ground this material (and myself?) in a specific place. This place. The process feels paradoxically clinical and intimate at the same time.
MOVEMENT LAB with Val, Alys, Natalie, Sarah, Joanne, Clare, Rachel, Kelly and Rosa
Relational Hideaways ( W h a r e )
Relational Sacs ( W a i k a h u )
Relational Face Purge (T o u t o u )
Relational Dew Play ( H a u r a h i )
GROWTH / DEPTH / FOCUS IN A LIGHT SPACE OF PLAY
I am really enjoying the experience of the focus closing in, going deeper into one or two things as
the research organically emerges from a spiralling investigation. It is becoming apparent to me
how powerful it is to not have the pressures of making a razzle-dazzle show coming down on the
sense of play that is flourishing. It feels as though the making space is expansive and wide and
that the research can go wherever the fuck it wants to in the time that it wants to take.
In chats with Alys Longley I have been reminded of the idea that your tools become your work and
your work becomes your tools. I’m experiencing a desire to get really clear about the things that I
am working with, to be continuously questioning my relationship to those things, why it is that I
make the choice to bring certain things into the making space and to be refining those materials
more and more as the research calls for them to serve purpose deeply and clearly. I am also
working on my capacity to totally ditch something if it sux.
I get excited about the ever-growing mind map in this regard, a tool that I’m developing from a
realisation that my journal was doing nothing for my non-linear thought patterns. The journal has
got to be the most prescribed tool for a researching artist. Every artist I know writes their ideas in a
journal, it’s a totally embedded assumption that the journal should be the first landing point for
ideas. It is written into course outline assessments across all arts institutions in New Zealand and I
am questioning how damaging it might be for those whose thoughts tend to splatter, fragment,
refract, reflect, weave, spiral, float, collide, wind, re-wind, re-visit, re-present.
In response to last week’s challenge of finding it difficult to work creatively in the space, I have
been thinking about ways to close space down, create intimacy and give more darkness. I made a
few shapes and configurations with confetti, in an attempt to define space, close in, become
smaller. It was pretty but didn’t really work for me and I ended up avoiding it all day! I’m definitely
interested in the confetti as a material though, because it’s fun and is a signifier for partying and
celebration, and therefore may have the potential to take the heaviness and seriousness out of
I also attempted to make a hut out of chairs and the yellow fabric that I found in my car, in the hope that I would feel more comfortable while recording my “speaking in Sacredspace” at the end of the day. I’m thinking about how to create space that feels intimate and safe. It was an epic fail though, a super lame attempt, totally uncomfortable, the colour was far too light and there just wasn’t enough fabric to work with. Still really keen on hut-making though, so will continue to refine this task.
Water is becoming endlessly interesting as the lens closes in to a micro-focus. It has a presence at both philosophical and methodological levels. It is a metaphor to be inspired by (a philosophy unto itself), as well as a material to play with. My friend Emily came into the studio today and before we got working we had a lengthy discussion about her personal history with water rituals and how it is that this history might interface with the work. Due to her Catholic upbringing, Emily had much to offer in this regard, and we had much discussion around the idea of water being able to remember and hold the energy of that which it comes into contact with. She brought my attention to transubstantiation and various water rituals such as Palm Sunday and the washing of the feet.
We decided to have a play with the idea of TOUTOU, a Māori term referring to the frequent dipping of something into water or liquid. I filled up a large bucket of water and asked Emily to submerge her head into the bucket repeatedly and evenly for a time. My interest in this was twofold and tied into the idea of relationality as opposed to judging the task or measuring its validity as a watchable performance:
What might this experience be like for Emily as she builds a relationship with the water over time?
What might this be like to witness as I build my relationship with Emily and her experience of completing this task over time?
As I observed Emily go through the experience of repetitive head-dunking and tried to connect with her as a friend and not a tool without life force, the most powerful thing emerging for me was watching her adjust to the task as her relationship with the water settled. I was watching her conquer something. Initially her breathing was uneven, her body energy was cautious and her face had this beautiful expression of uncertainty as it coped with the sensations of the water. I loved this state of uncertainty so much and found such beauty in seeing Emily in this vulnerable open state. As time progressed her breathing settled into a consistent rhythmic pattern and her energy felt strong and empowered, in turn resulting in the witnessing experience becoming calming and meditative. The bubbling sound of the water made as Emily breathed out was also a really great point of interest.
After completing the task, I asked Emily to speak as freely as possible about the experience:
To begin with it was uncomfortable as my face went in for the first time, losing my senses, sight going, and water filling my ears.
It was disorienting and gave me a sense of nothingness.
Then it started to take me back to memories of water, I thought about summer and swimming.
There’s an image of my competitive swimming days of cap and goggles.
Also lots of memories about having to tape my ear up every time I bathed and swam as a child due to a hole in my ear drum.
Relaxation, focusing on breath, relaxing ritualistically.
Don’t panic, don’t stress.
Finding when to breathe.
Isolated, a feeling of being alone, which is to do with the loss of senses.
Feeling cleansed, re-set, re-awaken.
Before Emily had to leave we tried a HAURAHI exercise, or DEW. I asked her to lie down comfortably on the floor with a towel over her eyes so that she couldn't see as I sprayed light mists of water onto her skin. While I did so, I asked her to speak freely about the sensation of the spritzing. As time moved on the exercise somehow became the starting point for a much deeper conversation around art-making and practice for Emily, and where her thoughts and emotions are currently sitting with the idea of making public work. I found her sharing to be a really interesting insight into how some recent dance graduates and emerging artists may be feeling about the industry they are expected to engage with.
In this instance, the sensation of dew had become an opening for voicing a concern and I’m now interested in exploring more deeply the relationship between sensation and conversation. The dew had become the talking stick and essentially Emily was now speaking in Sacredspace. How might I work with the senses more to encourage freely-moving dialogue….
GENERAL NOTES OF REFLECTION:
Sitting in the vulnerability of the research being transparent and exposed to community at the earliest stages of investigation is becoming empowering and fruitful both for personal growth and for the growth of the work. I have nothing to prove.
Tasks are becoming more and more interesting for their capacity to offer an experience for the doer. I am training myself into how to observe a task as an experience rather than for its potentiality as a performance.
The holistic relationships between all things in the making space, the spiritual and material space between things, continues to be of interest. Connection is at the core of this work.
I spent today getting back into things. I’m in no rush. My Phd supervisor Alys Longley has suggested that there might be some strength in slowing down. I agree with her. So I’m slowing down, unfolding rather than making, thinking about HOW we practice and not WHAT.
Recently I have had the experience of travelling alongside my family through a series of liminal life passages within the greater liminal occurrence of the passing of my father. He had been ill for some time and asked to pass away without the administration of any kind of medicine or pain relief. For a week my father moved back and forth between the physical and spiritual realms as the sickness of his body took over his mauri. Under the guidance of my Aunty we cloaked the space in a protective layer of aroha, caring for him and the sacred space he occupied until he was no longer returning back to the material world.
I have become really inspired by the journey my father took in his last week with us, his bravery in facing his passing head on and the gift he gave us of being able to be part of the experience in its purest and most gentle form without the clouding of drugs. We felt the profundity of what true sacred space can be as he moved in and out of the spiritual and material world. A very real and deep experience of what WAIRUA (Wai = Water / Rua = Two : The two waters of physical and spiritual) can be. My experience of his passing was golden and warm. A giving. A widening of space and planes. A sense of an ultimate knowing.
The days after continued to unfold as a spiralling experience of ritualistic liminality. Embalming and dressing his body, choosing a photo of him to go on the wall of the wharenui through which he will be forever remembered by his descendants, the 10 car convoy as we returned his body home to the Hokianga and to our wharenui (the body of our tupuna whaea Mahuri), sitting/laying/sleeping with his body for 3 days, receiving the flow of manuhiri as they grieved with us, sharing in sacred discussion with whanau, learning ritual within the sanctity of our family’s grandmother-circle, receiving the grave-diggers at dawn on the morning of his burial, dressing in black, burying him, uwhi/cleansing with water, the gravediggers bathing in the falls, getting drunk and singing, journeying home, more blessing/cleansing with water of his house and belongings, allocating kaitiaki for his taonga, closing his bedroom and house down, all with karakia and all amidst the continual and unpredictable nature of grief.
These experiences have become the eyes of the taniwha that guard and guide me. I can now go deeper into the art practice and enter it through a door I had forgotten existed.
CIRCLES HAVE BECOME IMPORTANT
In my first blog, I listed a number of one-worded provocations that might be addressed in this research as ways into ceremony or ritual, one of those things being circles. Circles, spirals and spheres are beginning to have a place in every aspect as the inquiry emerges. “The sphere is an ultimate expression of unity, completeness, and integrity. There is no point of view given greater or lesser importance, and all points on the surface are equally accessible and regarded by the centre from which all originate.” (geometrycode.com).
At an ontological level, thinking is spiralling in circular form, out and around the initial
seed that was sewn. The linearity of the journal book no longer serves the pattern of thought. In order for thinking to be paged in a non-linear patterning whereby the initial seed remains in sight and is constantly returned to, the journal has been replaced by a horizontal plane of consistency ie. the mind map. It’s harder to transport, more precious and delicate than the book, needing to be constantly mended. Which is totally metaphorical for me, and in effect it’s slowly becoming a taonga. This is one spiral-cluster of the map, I can’t open the whole thing out in my lounge:
I am re-reading an incredible book that has become my bible. It’s called Wayfinding Leadership: Groundbreaking Wisdom for Developing Leaders by Chellie Spiller, Hoturoa Barclay Kerr and John Panoho. It’s on the same level as Linda Tuhiwai-Smith’s Decolonising Methodologies in terms of the potential it has to simply affirm what is innately in you as a conscious boss-bitch. In a nutshell it examines the art of Polynesian Navigation and Wayfinding (life on the waka) as an exemplar to live and lead others by. It’s mind-blowing in the most simple way. It speaks of what they call sphere intelligence: “The sphere belongs to a multi-dimensional world - a world of interiority as well as exteriority. While two-dimensional ‘square intelligence’ dominates much of conventional leadership, wayfinding offers an expanded sphere intelligence approach that transforms the conventional approach. Inhabitants in the sphere’s world have a far greater ability to see the whole and obtain a well-rounded perspective. The characteristics of sphere intelligence for wayfinding and leading include: recognition of multiple ways of knowing; roundedness and holism; appreciation of a process of unfolding and a cyclic approach, not just the linear; capacity to be with uncertainty, mystery and the unknown; attention to process; and understanding the relationships between things. The sphere is like a jewel with many facets and refractions of possibility, and an effective way finder will tap into multiple sources of knowledge and information.”
Sacred Geometric Circles
Sacred geometry based on the structure of the circle and the notion of symmetrical beauty is becoming interesting in terms of activating a wairua-space and/or perhaps how the patterning might be translated choreographically to reveal the sacred planes of the body. I’m looking forward to trying some patterning out with some others when they enter the space next week. I’m fantasising about a resting body laying down on a table while others experiment with complex geometric patterning over that body with their hands.
Circular formations as social configurations continue to anchor relationships into the creative space. I’m thinking about various architectural structures outside of western walls that better allow for circular socialisation between people. I’m wondering how to encourage circularity within a creative studio space at a spatial, architectural level, with materials or a substance that can be easily and quickly removed. Perhaps something that can be sprinkled on the floor in a circle. Sand, dirt, salt, confetti….
First Nations Tipi
The role of water within ceremony and the importance it plays in the opening and closing of sacred space is of interest. Recent scientific research shows that water can store memory (!) and at the level of molecular structure change occurs within water in response to energies and substances that it comes into contact with. The water that comes out of our tap is holding onto the memory of the violent journey it has taken through angular metallic piping after being endlessly abused with chemicals. We are 70-90 percent water, and so too the water within me holds memory of experiences and materials. This is something that indigenous cultures have known forever.
A provocation I am interested in at this moment is the idea that when we enter into ritual, karakia, incantations, chants, waiata, sacred movement, or any heightened consciousness, the water within us is cleansed. Here are some circular images at a molecular level of water that has come into contact with different people.
“Water has memory” video link:
1. Continually and repeatedly dip and immerse the head frequently in a bucket of warm water
What is it like as an experience?
What is it like to watch?
(Film the sequence, slow it down, speed it up)
2. Spray the entire body with warm water
What is it like as an experience?
What is it like to watch?
What is it like as a static image?
(Take close-up stills of water on skin)
3. Soak the hands and feet in bowls of water
What is it like as an experience?
What is it like to watch?
What is it like as a static image?
4. Smash the 3 together (repeated head immersion, spraying the body, hands and feet soaking) What is it like as an experience?
What is it like to watch?
As a performance, does it become an unusual water ritual?
Is it overwhelming enough to be interesting?
Does it become comedy?
(Film the sequence, slow it down, speed it up)
5. Try to do as much of the above as you can whilst moving in different ways
I returned to the talking stick again at the end of the day, putting words to feeling in the hope that a deeper bodily knowledge might be revealed. The practice of this voicing is a way of circling and returning back to the starting point. I’m actually getting quite excited about what this vulnerable space might end up revealing about art practice and its surrounding politics.
There’s a natural desire that when you show your work which is still in progress, that even though it’s unfinished, the work will actually deliver like it is finished. It’s so odd to have to present works to an audience while they’re (you’re) still raw and somewhat vulnerable. On Friday I presented a Research Performance. I thought of it more as Work in Progress. It calmed me to think of it as an Open Studio. I think it was actually a Show and Tell. I wish it had been an Experience.
After presenting, I can’t help but wonder if there were a better way of doing it. The original plan was to let the audience wander through rooms viewing my works. But I was flummoxed by the fact that I had inadvertently let one of my friends jump on one of my works and broken it the minute before I was ready to let the audience through, which meant that there wasn’t really enough of the works working to let the audience through to see on their own whim without guidance, which meant that I led them through and talking - head - chomped my way through explanations of what I have been dreaming about for each work.
A few of my ideas were around having big ropes swinging in the enormous rooms. One swinging vertically, one swinging horizontally. They would swing so big and so wide that to enter the room, you would have to jump one, and negotiate the circle of the other to enter inside it. When I set out, I didn't realise it would be so hard to get a rope to swing in a circle using motors. So on Friday when the audience came in, one (the one mentioned in the previous paragraph) is completely undone, while the other is swinging in an large, noninclusive S shape.
A phone starts ringing while I’m talking to my audience about ‘natural frequencies’ (they’re the reason why my ropes aren’t swinging in circles). It rings very loudly and annoyingly. I stop talking. Everyone looks at the phone. A guy picks it up. He tries to turn it off, he can’t. It stops ringing. He puts it down. So I begin to talk again. It rings again. I ask if he could just answer it. He can’t! The particular swipe you’ve got to make on that phone to unlock it is very cryptic. It is barely unlockable. It keeps ringing. Somone else tries to answer it. They abandon it. It rings, every tries to ignore it. I keep talking, hiding my inner disappointment. Won’t this distraction help stop me from talking? That call was organised - I had Naomi on the other end calling, she was going to ask the person who answered what their experience of the work was like. My intention is tousled again, thwarted because of the nature of the very machine I am working with.
However! I realised that these very discoveries - the act of putting people and things together, the ‘what would happen if’ sum…. this is the part of creating work that I thrive on, and which I’m inherently putting back into my finished works. I love playing with machines or figuring out how things work, and so I want to invite the audience in to charge or change or react to a call to action that I offer them, and this has the potential to result in chaos. I prefer the sum of these two parts to be successful - in that the audience reacts to the work in a way I had more or less accounted for but which is totally new and enjoyable for them. However, while a work is in progress, this is less likely, and so I just have to learn from the lessons that come out of the chaos.
So, my favourite moments of the day were:
a) Julia (who was helping) and I up 6 metres on the elevator scissor lift, she defying death and vertigo by straddling the sides while screwing in a shaft coupler to a motor above us
b) Sam (who was audience) jumping on the rope and breaking its force. The rope spins sickly, shortly followed by a motor spaz out and flying shaft couplers
c) Realising, while trying not to show it, that the phone call, although succeeding in completely diverting the audiences attention for a while, was not going to mean that someone else would speak for me
& so, this Research Performance was really a brilliant opportunity to get some ideas built and hear people’s feedback about them.
& I must say that these days of research have given me valuable time to think through, plan out and evaluate my personal art making methods and the objectives inherent within. I’ve come out with a wealth of ideas about how to work, ideas about what to work on, and a few works in progress. Thank you to all involved, and most of all to Julia, who has been a constant source of support and suggestion.
In the last two weeks I’ve jumped from concentrating on how I was going to make work into actually making it. Following the path I outlined in the last blog below, there’s a big jump around e) to g). It’s so nice to take time to investigate objects but things jump to a whole new level when you want to animate them.
figuring out through constant mistakes about how centrifugal forces work by tying a ropes in various lengths and weights to various motors attached to a beam in the garage.
not taking Physics at school.
slashed a guy in Mitre Ten with my new LED light ribbon when he said to me, as I walked into the timber area, ‘Sorry ma’m the craft aisle’s back inside’.
in love with:
builder’s line - the string saturated in fine blue chalk.
bemoan the fact that:
PIR sensors have a 4 second delay.
have hours of joy:
patching code in the interactive software Isadora. It’s when I feel a real sense of flow, in the zone of problem solving, piecing things together, making.
6 wonderful people took part in the workshop on Saturday. We basically went through a condensed version of the process below. I realised that it’s very very hard to explore an object and not be mostly influenced by it’s visual aesthetic, and almost wish I could conduct exercise A) in blindfold, in the hope that we could really try to understand these objects in a very new way. A few interesting moments came up, especially when we were experimenting with how to lead the audience into and through a work. How do we know when a piece is finished, when there’s no blackout and clapping? How do we lead people in when there’s no usher and seat numbers? We realise we are very dependant on certain protocols to feel safe. We realise that even in very subtle changes in a set-up or introduction can result in a wide variety of emotions in the audiences approach.
Sometimes you bring two things together in the hope that, because you like them both, they will complement each other and lead you on to another level. Cinnamon & banana. National radio & the 45 minute drive into town. This week I had a few hours of dilemma when the theatre excercises I had thought would be helpful, providing methods for leading and guiding one another/ audience, did not help in creating an experiential, interactive ground for play. I had thought an old path would assist me in a new navigation. It did not. Perhaps it was just the choice of exercise, but a string around my finger didn’t lead me anywhere useful. Actually, that’s not entirely true - where it led me was to realise that a new path needed be forged.
Success is the result of failure. Onwards, concentrating on the exploration of the Call to Actions around us. This is my new exercise:
a) Put some things in a room. Go to each object. Ask it these questions. Ask them with your body. Poke and prod, displace and explore. Listen.
What have you been made to do?
What do you ask me to do?
Where are you, why are you here?
How do you work, what are you made of?
How do you want me to treat you?
How can I notice you more?
How can I look at you in a different way?
What else can you do, that is not your main function or objective?
b) Then, ask yourself:
How can I give this one character?
How can I accentuate or negate it’s functions?
Can I team it with some other objects to bring out new features?
When I place it in such a way, or pair it in such a way, or move it in a such a way - what is it's Call to Action, what does it ask us to do?
c) Then, ask yourself:
What would this experience of the Call to Action be like for the audience?
How is the CTA interactive?
Can I team the object with some of the other objects to invite an interaction?
d) Then, ask yourself:
Is this at all interesting?
e) If it is not interesting, leave it. If it is interesting, then concentrate on how the CTA experience involves the audience in these four steps:
f) Then, invite audience to experience the CTA. Notice:
Do they respond to the CTA? If not, why not?
If so, how?
g) Then, refine the CTA around those four steps again
e) If the CTA of the object would be improved with assistance:
imagine what the objects could do
figure out how to make them do that
pull things apart,
mash them together,
attach sensors to them,
These exercises have resulted in my exploration of the CTAs in skipping ropes, fan heaters, architectural chalk lines, automatic insect spray dispensers, and mobile phones. I’m also soldering up some motors and reprogramming a spotlight.
I’m quite fascinated by our mobile phones and how disruptive they are in our lives. My mentor comes to visit me in the studio. Before she comes, I leave my phone with it’s alarm on, in the far corner of one of the dark empty studios. It rings, it’s sound echoing throughout the hallways. The mentor arrives, and in the midst of our greeting, she is fumbling about in her bag. “My phone’s ringing, I’m not sure why”, she says. I suggest that it might not be her phone, and invite her to follow the sound. Hearing it bleating makes both of us feel anxious, urgent and strange, and relieved to turn it off. Such a violent Call to Action, the ringing of our phones!
Later, to end the session, I want to use the phone again, this time to create a more pleasing experience. With us both in the same room, I call my mentor, and by talking and suggesting routes, I guide her out of the room to find a key, unlock a door, and explore dimly lit spaces. I guide her back to me. We both enjoy the degree of separation and collaboration, and adventure. We are both autonomous, and physically distant, but hearing and speaking together - navigating, participating, conversing, collaborating.
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