Friday, 13 June 2008

Two days blog (in a summary)

It's not that I haven't worked any on Thursday and haven't put something online. In fact I did so much that I was too tired to write a blog (naughty me). So today I am probably going to bomb you with all the new information.

Remaking the video with the Playmobils
So as you might remember, when I made the list of things I need for this solo, I realized that I had lost the video with the playmobils. So what I had to do on Thursday was to remake the video with the playmobils. I was really angry that I had to do it again.
Not only that, but what I liked in the first video is the fact that the video recording and the editing were rough, not at all an attempt to be good (just because I did it in very few hours). Any further attempt would not be as raw as the first time.
Indeed, I went to the studio, tried to remember the story, arranged my playmobils in space according to the photos I had taken from "Here is New York" and also from the photos I had taken from the playmobils representing the photos of "Here is New York". In a sense there was something very referential when I shot it again. It was referring more to the video than to the actual photos. But I was quite happy with that because it gave the feeling of aesthetics of failure.
I took then some of the very little segments of the first material I still had (and hadnt erased) and edited them with the new material, to make what is left down:

Looking back to it now, I think that I want to take out the yellow images because I find them too much effort to pass my idea, too literal. They don't allow for some space for ambiguity. What do you think ?

For some reason, I can't remember how we ended up there, Martin told me that he did not know that my piece was 1 hour. I explained to him that my piece, indeed, will not be an hour but approx 45 mins (but still long) and that I had given a detailed letter to the technicians and I had explained him in person. The problem was that my performance was scheduled in between other performances and provided that I have a restricted audience the rest of the audience would have to wait for an hour whilst my lecture.
I certainly understood that "technical" problem, but being told one week before that my performance was supposed to be less, it sort of like gave me a hard feeling. More than that I did not know whether Martin meant that my piece is not strong enough to be an hour. And that would make it a great feedback information. I wanted him to be straightforward and tell me exactly what he meant and why he tells me less than a week before that my piece should have been 15 mins.
Again, he stressed that he said that for techical reasons and that he thinks that my work needs time in order to show the idea of archiving time through the laser. A bit relieving, but in any case the whole discussion just shook me to start considering how interesting/strong or too long/ too prolix might be.
So I decided to reconsider my timing and see what is essential and what not. Can I take out the not so essential elements? If not how can I make them look stronger? How can I keep the performance compact?

Still problems with the text
I decided that I should try and do the whole text in one go. As you remember my idea was to improvising with its structure. But maybe either because I was tired, or maybe because I was very critical, I discovered that some parts of the text were not really needer or did not link to other parts and that generally my text (although I chose how to proceed with arguments) was a bit chaotic. Besides that having an improvisational structure did not really solve the problem of WHEN to show pictures (before or after that specific part of the lecture).
I decided thus to write a lecture. Writing for me is easier to understand the overall line of argumentation, the timing of each element, to be able to take conscious decisions on when to show a photo, to be able to eliminate what is not needed to support the skeleton of the lecture etc.
I don't think that I will read the text that I have written but more or less skim it through with my eyes. But, maybe I should not take decision. I should first try it out and see how it works. I need to be open in interpretation about it.

You can find the text here (just click on it):
First Draft of the Lecture on Regarding the Pain of others

  • Performing the lecturer: In the text as you can see there are some moments where I deliberately "leave" the formal style of a lecture. Like for example the fact that I can't find a photo, or the fact that I introduce a photo at a point when I shouldn't because it goes against my argument etc. I use this as a part of the stylized format of a "performance lecture". If you take a better look on Performance/Lectures they deliberately include moments where they perform the lecturer. The lecturer that cares more about the content than the format of the presentation. The lecturer that has a lot of things to say and a lot of knowledge but will keep them to the minimum for the audience to understand and be able to follow them. In a way they perform the cool and the academic. Take for example the performance/lecture of Xavier Le Roy : Product of circumstances. He deliberately makes some of his papers fall down. He deliberately has put some extra slides in between the ones he wants to explain and skims them through fast saying "oh I could leave that for now, that is very technical" (meaning that is TOO difficult for you who have come to see a dance performance). Since a part of my research is about working with the medium of performance lecture, I would like to make a reference to such elements. Besides my work, by encapsulating the general traits and characteristics of a performance lecture, will be a sort of (maybe superficial maybe not) commentary on the mode of the performance lecture.
  • Anyway... what do you think of them? And what do you think about the text in general? Does it have a coherence? Do I need to say more on my work ?
  • I mean the choreographic work will pop up on four moments where you see the highlighted text. For the time being I am thinking of just showing the work without saying anything about it. But somehow I find that weak... As if i can't apply the theory when "Speaking" about my work, only when doing my work.
  • Where you see a small of a white box saying "image" or "sound only" I willbe showing a photo that relates to the text (or because there is no photo I will only be making some sound). I have not yet decided whether the image will be shown simultaneously with the text or a bit earlier or a bit after. That's something I need to do per case, I think.
Feedback singing
Today, I showed the singing part to receive some feedback from my colleagues. While performing it I felt the following: I was not sure whether I could look at the audience or not. So in the first part I was staring at them and then later on, when I started screaming i needed to be more esoteric and so I abandoned them. I was not feeling very sure with this idea.
After having done it and before getting feedback, I felt that the timing was good, but somehow I had missed to do the following: (a) take some breaks when singing and allow only the machine to sing, (b)missed the higher pitches, (c)was too noisy because I sang too close to the amplifier for a long time.
Here is the video for you to have a look.

And here is the feedback I received from the people.

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