Update #4: Performance Spaces, Atmosphere and Arts Funding.
Welcome newcomers, and weekly readers, it's the 4th update. Kapow.
As per usual I'd like to welcome you to my blogs, and to mention they are a work in progress, focusing on topics I want to talk about, and the things I've gotten up to over the past two weeks to help grow my artistic career. I would like to thank those who have given me feedback on my blog structure or helped me discover sources for my article 'WHO IS MORB?'. It is truly appreciated. Furthermore, there will be a change in the format of posts, hopefully so they are a little more structured and easy to follow. Reasons being if I ever relate back to a post, hopefully it should be a little easier to find. For now, lets go.
Firstly, the official virtual graduation ceremony for my Degree in Drama and Theatre from the University of Chester was on the 6th! I missed it. However I heard it was alright, for me personally big ceremonies such as that always felt a little too over the top for me, but nevertheless, I'm sure it will be posted somewhere if I'm ever curious. (Edit: it's here)
I also have began looking into arts funding. Although unlikely that I will be granted any due to how new I am to the industry, I am hopeful that I will be noticed and taken on as a gamble and example to bank on young creatives. I am confident, and with the funding I can provide the time, love and care I truly want for my work and to a quality that it deserves.
In help of this, I also took the plunge and invested in a MacBook. Although my PC does the job, I felt like a dedicated work laptop would be more beneficial due to its portability, integrated hardware, and applications that are MacOS optimized. These being Logic Pro X, Final Cut Pro and iMovie. It will also grant me the use of Qlabs, a sound cue system for performances, and using Isadora for Smart lights, sounds and other performance technology with portability from theatre to theatre. I began my relearning by creating the first entry into Case Study: Forests. A new 4 video piece entry, shortly looking into a forest, one for each season. The intention is every entry to become a higher quality production, in tandem of the seasons displayed. I will be using the forest and video as a physical representation of my skills emerging through winter, sprouting in spring, then flourishing in summer.
This updates stenciling studies for WHO IS MORB has been minimal I will admit, I wanted to look into stenciling more as I was not entirely satisfied with last weeks work.
This week I Enrolled into MIT's Free Minds and Machines Course which from glace, questions AI, the body and consciousness. This is a topic in which I am interested in exploring, and are looking forward to beginning studies on this course.
I also got in contact with a new creator recently, who has some upcoming projects. From this interaction I realized I have no performance monologues on record as of yet, this is something I will be paying attention to and working on to provide other creatives an example of my work. Some of the monologues I will be interested in recording are; multiple scenes from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Chaplin's final speech in 'The Great Dictator' and Sea Curse from A24's 'The Lighthouse'. These and a few others will help create a variety of performance styles in which to show my performance and skills as an actor.
I planted a pineapple plant too. I'll let you know how that one goes in 6 months. Or if it dies, never.
I decided today to talk about performance spaces in itself, as a location, creative tool, and performance aspect. Furthermore, with careful tuning, how it affects the atmosphere in and energy of performance. I will also be relating to performances from Franko B, Yoko Ono and Myself and other performances which I saw personally through University. These performances pay heavy homage into respecting and considering the atmosphere created through space, and focusing on the relationship it has with the performance and performer.
Space in itself is an interesting concept. It's a word in itself that is to describe a limitless place in which objects, can exist within the universe. Whilst can also mean in itself a lack of anything when inside of it. For something as elusive and persistent it is in our daily lives, we pay no attention to the power it has that we take for granted, and the subtle influence it has on our lives. Studies suggest that a cleaner room and house can affect your mental health positively. The impact of such is created in the realm of space, and can affect how we think and feel subliminally. This is one of the methods many Live Performers use in Live Art and theatrical performances. For example of this: when you go to a theatre, say Manchester Palace Theatre. You have paid for your ticket and sat down, with a scandalously priced G and T and a pack of Revels you snuck in your pocket from the Tesco Express nearby. You know what you are watching, and are sat in a large sea of other people also watching the same performance, knowing you are to watch a professional performance in which is held in high regard by critics and audience alike. In a venue with intricate, lavish designs and technical prowess. This is commercial art, and will be sold as such to provide comfort and ease and a enjoyable audience experience in hope to have them return to see other performances in the venue. The subtleties of the space take part in that experience. If the seating banks are cold, or there is a obnoxious audience member behind you, anything can affect the space and experience of the customer, and change their opinions and behavior accordingly. The same is for the audience with pre-expectations. If they are going to a pantomime, they know the norms and values of a audience member is changed, and the 4th wall broken, opening and welcoming audience interaction. I mention this as the space will feel completely different to if you saw a flashmob in the middle of a ASDA, and change the audiences perception and opinion vastly than compared to watching it at a theatre. One of the reasons for flashmobs is to break the realm of reality in which performance aren't usually found, generating further excitement and interest for the piece due to the unusual performance space.
The space dictates how a audience should act and react subliminally. This is tied to the norms and values we develop as people, we pick up on cultures of space and follow them. For example; galleries we are often quiet, cinemas too, whilst in America, it is treated differently where audible audience interaction is more accepted. This is used and played with by performance artists to test boundaries and societal norms and values of their own.
Using Franko B's performance 'I Miss You' (2003)(BLOOD WARNING) The performance space is set out like a catwalk, in which catwalks are commonly filled with loud sleek music, attractive people in designer, high priced clothing, strutting with photographers, critics and designers in the seating banks either side of the catwalk. (Example: Versace fashion show 2020) Franko B plays with the idea of testing them norms and values, by keeping the performance space silent, with only the noise of the occasional camera shutter. In a current world where we are people are subjected to heavy amounts of stimulus, noise, lights, movement, all of which that can be connected with fashion shows, is removed. Through this, the focus is fixated on the space filled by the performer Franko B, naked and painted in white, matching the rest of the room and catwalk. He walks, with small tubes attached into his forearms, in which are slowly siphoning blood out of him and onto the pure white canvas walkway below him. The space in which is a pure white, without sound excluding occasional camera shutters echoing through the space, provides to myself personally a sense of unease. It also however, through the minimal design, colour and stimulus, provides a 'less is more' punch the the audience. The only colour from the performance space is the increasing small specks and drips of blood peppering the canvas below the actor, although minute in size, colossal in contrast to the room and space. Further testing and clashing with audience space expectations. It can be argued that the some audience are prepared with knowing they are watching Franko B, and the style of performance he creates. This can help with the implicit bias in which most audiences will have when it comes to a performance space. Personally, Franko B's performance of 'I Miss You' is a simple, minimalist, yet guttural and visceral piece. Which plays with the idea of perception of performance, the body as a object of art, and personal sacrifice for their work. Also, with a stunning use of minute colour in contrast to the vastness of the white room, amplifies the focus hugely, and further compliments Franko B in masterfully controlling and manipulating space for his performance.
Whilst Franko B abused the pre-expectations and elicit bias of catwalks, Yoko Ono similarly tested the audiences idea of space, interaction and controversy in performance art. In which the space is changed from the usual method of the no interaction between audience and performer. This piece invited the audience to cut pieces of clothing off Yoko Ono. This created a much more intimate relationship between the performer and audience. An article written by Britta B Wheeler 'The Performance of Distance and the Art of Catharsis: Performance Art, Artists, and Audience Response ' mentions:
"Performance art is art making that uses the body as medium, makes
ambiguous the difference between life and art, and often deals with explicit,
identity-based, political content that crosses boundaries between audience and
artist. When using body-based techniques, the artist inserts his or her body
into the work as sculptural or painterly concerns might dictate. The body
becomes part of the work, not only as a body but as symbol and form."
This quote talks about the body in the space as a piece, a medium as a part of the work in addition of the space. A personal example of this, through my piece 'Spearo' I used the idea of manipulating the space in my performance to create what was a big empty room, into a space in which I could share a personal, intimate experience between myself and the audience member in the piece. (For more information on my piece, do check out my past projects section) Through that piece, I learnt for myself how crucial it is to create a space in which compliments your intention of your piece.
To conclude; I like to take extra steps to amplify and tune my performance spaces and atmosphere within them in parallel with my body and performance in the space. That in which I feel that for performance art, is one of the crucial methods to perfect and challenge against the norm. This break in the natural format and norms of the space performing in creates a captivating performance, bringing the audience out of the usual, becoming a catalyst for further thinking for the audience.
Graffiti tests and Stenciling
Here is this weeks stenciling and graffiti tests. I will be exploring every week with free hand and stencil designs. I believe this is a long work-in-progress when it comes to creating something of notoriety, but it is interesting to look at how my skill and testing changes per session, this week I took a further look into contrasting, shadowing and light, to give the work more depth and flavour to them.
This collection of prints, composed of black, red and white on a beige background. Visually stunning and eye catching renditions of themes such as nature, occult and spiritual nature amongst the pieces. With unique style and inspiration into folklore, spiritualism and mysticism of ancient civilizations, it captures and presents in a visually appealing way. I would strongly recommend checking out his other work as well.
An 8 minute Journey through a pre, during and after of celebrating the madness of the moon. Throwing into itself a variety of rhythm, beats and moods. Accompanied with spoken word, rap and harmonies creating a flurry of silky smooth sounds. The rhythm and the way in which this piece has movement/ journey within itself throughout is why its SOTW.
That will do for this update, if there is a topic of interest you would like me to focus on, discuss or hear my opinion on, feel free to leave me a message on the forum. Peace.
- SC 16/11/2020