Thursday, 12 March 2009

Proposal for den@Accidental Festival, The Roundhouse, May 2009

so this is what I submitted to The Accidental Festival

Title of piece

Description of the work you would like to bring to The Accidental Festival
den explores the site of a child’s den as one of nostalgia, mischief and secrecy. This is through sharing stories between strangers connecting with our past through one-to-ones explored in narrative and photographic image making.

Provisional score for the work in "Any other relevant information" box.

How does your work respond to/correspond with this year’s theme of 'connection'?
Exchanging stories as a one-to-one performative exchange through human connections to our everyday lives, our past loves, childhood memories. Opening up to stranger maybe like you wouldn't to a close friend. Asking people to write a greetings card to someone who was important in their life and exchanging stories, finding common threads on our life experiences, and maybe giving closure to those who have left us.

Who are your target audience?
Passers by, the usual adult audience of the Accidental Festival/ The Roundhouse. Unsuitable for children due to the subject matter.

Please provide an overview of your technical requirements
This is a durational, intimate performance for one at a time (approximately 15 minutes per encounter) There could be multiple encounters happening simultaneously, which could have one or more dens with multiple exchanges, with more facilitators/performers. Ideally happening on a busy night, in a foyer, bar or open space, people socialising, waiting for a show, or after a show. Could also work on a pre-booked basis with an usher entirely in a given room, I have worked in this way before. A visit would be good to determine this and make the piece more site-responsive, maybe drawing connections with my other work such as shed (see

Set up entirely myself in a couple of hours/ an assistant I would provide if time is short. Creating a staged semi-light tight darkroom providing own equipment being child den type furniture- such as ironing board, chair, bedsheets, curtains, small darkroom (box) tray, photographic developer, photographic paper, safety lights, all materials provided myself.

Access to water nearby and electrical socket very nearby.

If possible I would like to view the space in advance of the event so I can plan for the right materials (eg looking at the ambient light, siting of table and size of den permitted) and any slight adaptations to the event if layout of space etc dictates. The den I have made for a current show is 1.5m x 3.5m and a 1m square table.

Please note- I have a lot of experience in constructing make-shift darkrooms if the above sounds horrendously off putting- and I am able to do it myself. There is no Enlarger or other traditional darkroom equipment, processing troughs etc, but would put down suitable protective sheeting as applicable, there is very minimal liquid and it is self-contained.

Any other relevant information
My live art work explores theories in the work of Roland Barthes and Tino Sehgal, the first for his theories of the ‘mortality’ of the paper based photograph as an ‘impossible’ record of ‘now,’ and the latter for the fleeting materiality of his art works. I work with principles of non-matrixed theatre (using a score with chance elements) and audience participation through the subversion of time/lens based media practices. I experiment with pushing the temporal nature of Boldperformance through marrying with the temporal nature of photography, placing the process of image making intrinsically at the heart of an intimate performative experience.

I often play with sudden temporal suspension jerks arresting the event back into a reality; in this piece all material is lost through erasing of the photographic image (it isn't fixed) and the greetings card is suddenly shredded at the end, aiding a cathartic atmosphere within the sharing of memories of those who have left us.


Proposed score for den:

I’m inside the den. My shoes are outside.

Sign outside says if there are two pairs of shoes outside, “Please wait for someone to leave”, OR I ask via the walkie talkie ( second one on the table outside) if there is anyone there, and to push the side button on the walkie talkie to speak to them.

Once get a reply, ask them if they’d like to come in the den (walkie talkie), and/ or then stick my hand out to show where to get inside.

Once settled, I open and spread out the pack/bag of greetings cards.

Ask the participant to pick and write one to someone who was important in their life.

After writing it, ask them if they’d like to discuss who they chose, and why. Have a conversation responding to each other.

I ask the participant to place the card on the tray, get out photo paper, and photogram it using the torch light.

Bring in the shredder behind me from outside the back of the den and shred the card. Remove the shredder again.

Develop the photogram. Wash, dry and frame the photogram.

Hand the frame to the participant to put on the table outside. Participant leaves den and goes to the table.

Confirms via walkie talkie when then have left the table (if used,) places it back under the table.

Starts again.
Please see and for more information, images, archive, including the recent piece den, which would be adapted for this festival pending site visit. Please also note, use to the private nature of the encounters, I do not document the work: relics installations, comments, the process (blog) logs the work.

No comments: