Constants, a future perfect,

SP Jones

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


Original text and co-direction of multi-media theatre performance, funded by Arts Council of England and East Midlands Arts, accompanying catalogue, Nottingham, 2000, ISBN 0-905488-60-1, artist pages in Performance Research: On Memory, 5.3, Winter 2000, ISBN 0-415-24104-9; and video available. Role: Simon Jones, co-director, writer. Chief Collaborators: co-director, choreographer - Sara Giddens (Nottingham Trent University), sound artist - Darren Bourne (Nottingham Trent University), media artist - Caroline Rye (Napier University). Other Collaborators: performers - Patricia Breatnach, Sheila Gilbert. Installation & Performance Venues: Arnolfini Gallery (Bristol), Bonington Gallery (Nottingham). Dates: July & October 1998, 2 days & 5 performances. Other Outcomes: catalogue including performance text, photographs, critical essays by Andrew Quick (Lancaster University) and Guy Undrill (Bristol Area Health Authority), Nottingham, 2000, large format, 0-905488-60-1; re-edited version in Performance Research: on memory, 5.3, Winter 2000, 4pp., 0-415-24104-9; and multi-camera video. Documentation: photographs, script, video tape. Funding: Arts Council of England, East Midlands Arts, NOW98 Festival (Nottingham), Arnolfini Live, Bonington Gallery. Constants, Bodies in Flight Theatre's ninth work, extended our central research concerns (see statement on Do the Wild Thing!) into two specifically related, new areas: a) the use of digital audio and video technologies in performance; and b) the relationship between memory and the body. Consequently, we collaborated with two new media artists and a performer in her seventies, to explore the mutually inter-acting co-presence of an ageing body and new technologies, the differences between digitized, recorded "memory" and embodied memory. In order both to provide sufficient critical, reflective time upon the integration of these new elements, and to explore audience participatory strategies, the project was realized first as installation (open access and circulation, 2-day showing, 25 minutes of material repeating) and then as performance (specific time and fixed seating event, one hour duration). In addition to the different audience engagements, this allowed different spatial configurations to be tested, specifically enabling and obliging individual audience members to select from a range of audio, choreographic, verbal and visual text-events their own particular "memory trace" through each performance. For example, the seating in relation to the monitors was so arranged that audience members were obliged to choose between watching the performer directly or through live-relay images on the screens. Also, sound and video grabs were made during the performance and then "fed back" into the event, problematizing the apparent naturalness of experiential, embodied time. In this way, both the body's inevitable decay, the failure of its memory, and the epistemological undecideability of the embodied act of remembering were intensified for the audience-participants. The project was performed at key national venues and festivals, thus contributing directly to the current debates within Live Art around embodied memory. It was further disseminated through large-format catalogue and video, and artists' pages in Performance Research: on Memory
Translated title of the contributionConstants, a future perfect,
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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