Performing Site-Specific Theatre article

ImagePalgrave Macmillan has just released Performing Site-Specific Theatre: Politics, Place, Practice (Anna Birch and Joanne Tompkins, editors) – an anthology of writing investigating the nature of the relationship between ‘site’ and ‘performance’.

Among the collected writings is an article written in collaboration with Bruce Barton (University of Toronto Drama Centre), in which we explore the theory and practical (creative) application of immersive audio technologies in site-specific performance. Entitled Immersive Negotiations: Binaural Perspectives on Site-specific Sound, the article places a large emphasis on my sound design work for site-specific performance collective bluemouth inc (who also feature prominently in an another article in this anthology by Keren Zaiontz). It’s a rather brief article, focusing largely on the confluence of immersive audio design, mobile audiences, and trompe d’ oreille (deception of the ear), in creating heightened sensory experiences.

Here is the publisher’s description of the book:

“Performing Site-Specific Theatre turns a critical eye to the increasingly popular form of site-specific performance. By re-assessing this contemporary practice, the book investigates the nature of the relationship between ‘site’ and ‘performance.’ Site-specific performance operates differently from performance that takes place within a theatre venue because it seeks to match form and content (and place and space) more finely than does theatre that takes place inside conventional venues. Yet the form also encourages an investigation of how we might understand ‘site’ as less fixed or less specifically geographical; it broadens the types of relevant ‘spaces’ we might consider. The form also enables us to address a range of performative issues, from the development of site-specific ‘soundscapes’ to the role of the spectator in site-specific performance. The contributions in the book from leading theorists and practitioners demonstrate how site-specific performance extends theatre’s potential engagement with its geographical and political communities, and cover an exceptional range of innovative performance practices. Students, scholars and practitioners of contemporary theatre and performance, space and place, and site-specific performance will find much to value in this timely interrogation of current trends, practices and implications of performance in which site/landscape is central.”

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In studio this week

Some initial screen captures from experiments in generating MIDI-controlled video feedback using but a handful of Zeal‘s VIZZable VJ (Max4Live) modules. Part of the latest development period for bluemouth inc‘s next immersive theatre project.1 2 3 4 5

It’s not that the island needs more of me…

The Beacon Room, Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts…it’s that I need more of the island in me (and my work).

I’ve been working with Bluemouth Inc these last few weeks on the first breath of a new immersive performance project – so far a kind of hallucinatory take on ‘summer camp’ – through a short residency at the Gibraltar Point Center for the Arts, Toronto Island. I think the last time I worked on an art project here was with electroacoustic composer Darren Copeland (New Adventures in Sound Art). We were making a radio documentary about the history of Toronto’s soundscape, on the island, in the dead of winter, 1999. The island is an insanely beautiful place to come to work to every day. Everything about it – the constant surf crashing against the shore, the expansive blue sky, the wind that rushes through everything – it all insists that you leave what’s past behind you and move forward. Although a lot of the things we experimented with during this residency reminded me (perhaps too much) of many past (and in some cases very early) projects, the island itself  insists that I am only as good as my last work and so would I please mind moving forward and not repeat myself?

‘HABIT@’ — FINGER opens up a cardboard box in order to figure out what makes a house a home.

Still from HABIT@When is a house a home? Or when is it not? And when or how does a structure (like even a cardboard box in an underpass) become a ‘home’ anyway? On the surface, the owner or occupant moulds the house to their needs (through renovations, decorations, routines and rituals), while the house secretly moulds the occupants to its needs. HABIT@ seeks a deeper understanding of this experience. FINGER opens up a cardboard box in order to figure out what makes a house a home.

Ingredients:
1 cardboard box
a handful of sensor technology
several digital recall devices
machines for crunching data
luminence tools
sharp things
small things (including fingers)
…and one cat.

 

Finger performance of ‘Habit@’ (excerpt) from richard windeyer on Vimeo.

An excerpt from ‘HABIT@’, a Finger performance created by Cameron McKittrick, Cameron Davis and Richard Windeyer.

Presented by New Adventures in Sound Art as part of the SoundPlay Festival’s Homescapes performance + screening November 20, 2010 at Theatre Direct’s Christie Studio, Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie #170, Toronto.