A THEME as A tool for Research

Presence in Spaces

I created the workshop “Moving in Extended Spaces” for few reasons:

  1. I would like to understand better the usage of digital technology and pervasive technology. Here it was specifically the usage of projections and the way they deliver presence in different ways.
  2. Find tools or a technique that will help creators in their devising process when they choose to create with projections on stage, particularly projections of another space.
  3. Find boundaries and possibilities that projections of another space bring into performance that perhaps don’t exist in other ways.

The workshop was structured in a way that will encourage sharing thoughts and points of interests of the participants. I have allocated time that gives the participants the stage. During this time I didn’t disturb or directed. It was their time to lead and to give of direction and feedback that will help me facilitating the exploration. I have done this in two ways – (1) structured discussions that I only listened to, and (2) giving them time to share an exercise that they think will help us in the research.

I found this very successful and useful for me to have a broad overview and perspectives that I didn’t consider. Off course, as every time limit some of the ideas were taken forward and some were left in the background. In this post I would like to share something that was brought up in the feedback session but was left in the background and could have definitely take forward few things that I was (we were) stuck with. First I will share the general methodological structure of the research and then I will explain what could have helped it to be taken forward.

The workshop was built under this structure:

  1. Base line – finding a common methodological language
  2. Finding a common point of exploration following the interests of the participants
  3. Using the tools and the inspirations coming up in order to further explore.

Using skype and communicating with another space

We have started with familiarizing ourselves with the different spaces we operate in (our bodies and the room). Then we started to find connection points and means of communication among the connection points and the bodies. Before we introduced the virtual space we had a feedback discussion. The aim of this discussion is take things that we found useful in the physical space that might help us when combining in the virtual space. Different themes were raised. For this post I would like to point only one. The question that was raised is : what are we communicating? What is it that we are making?

The question as it is phrased here seems to be questioning the whole workshop. But sometimes when we know what is communicated we will find the right tools for it. The workshop goal was to find general tools that will help in the different productions. However, because so many things can be considered it was too broad. As this feedback and discussion developed I introduced my main investigation when using digital technology and we followed this. We started exploring the physical presence of the body and how can it be “transmitted” using digital technology.

Playing with extending the space

The second day opened with the participants exercises. We explored space, the connection  and the communication among the people and the spaces. We found interesting things and I believe that it was an interesting process. HOWEVER, there was a point that we I felt stuck and didn’t know how to move on to “another level”. Our exploration was technical life “feeling” the space, and exploring the reflections of the screen and the physical bodies with the bodies on screen. Every time I tried to introduce an audience and another layer of communication I(we) got stuck.

I understand that because we missed the dramatic world or the story that we would like to tell. Because we didn’t know WHAT WE ARE COMMUNICATING it stayed on playing with the technological communication and playfulness.

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