NORTHERN SPIRIT

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Andy Field

August 16, 2011 in PROJECT BLOG, R&D Process

Image from 'Zilla' - Andy Field

Andy Field is an artist whose work Andrew Wilson has recently introduced us to. He creates ‘interactive encounters for unusual contexts’, is co-director of a company called ‘Forest Fringe’ and writes regularly for The Guardian. Here’s a link to his website. His work’s very interesting and imaginative – immersive, warm, playful – but his thinking and writing about theatre’s equally inspiring. Common sense arguments which achieve a kind of poetry. Here’s two examples - there are many more on his site:

I wish we could feel freer to copy each other
To reincorporate and reuse
Create intricate patterns of reoccurrence
A radical and generous ocean of ideas in constant circulation

Like the idea of oratory
Old stories remembered and re-spoken
Or
Old rhythms and choruses and drum loops
Reused, remixed, reincorporated

Or even like an internet meme
An idea or a behaviour or a performance
Repeated beyond the point of absurdity, becoming something else entirely
Building into impossibly dense, incredible, nuanced patterns
A one-note joke becoming slowly with a near-ridiculous global effort a thing of genuine beauty

An exploration of our complicated relationship to each other
Rather than an attempt to get ahead of the crowd.

(An extract from ‘A Short Talk About Going Round In Circles’.)

 

What do we mean by ‘politics’. The root of the word is polis – the body of people that make up the city state. We are the politics, the network of communities and interactions that constitute our daily lives – the great, shifting ocean of people that make up this country. The way that we choose to bring people together and for what purpose are deeply political decisions. Theatre is a form of community and consequently an important expression of the way we as a society choose to live. As such, theatre is always political, whether it intends to be or not. Indeed, sometimes the politics embedded in how we make theatre can be quite contradictory to that espoused from the stage.

Experimental theatre is very often engaged with these kinds of understandings of what politics in theatre is. It is a politics that does not wear its rosette on its sleeve, but is instead embedded in the form of the event itself. It is implicitly an exploration of how and why we choose to come together – an attentiveness to the political decisions embedded in our everyday actions and interrelations. A theatre that doesn’t just talk about society but embodies it in the structure of the event, in the relationship between the audience and the performers and the surrounding world. It is a theatre that at its very best invites us to experience that world in a different way.

(An extract from ‘We Are All Politics’)

Finally, we found this recent article that Andy wrote for the Guardian, which cheered us up no end! In it he advocates that blog writing, and the manner in which this is done, can embody and be an extension of the work, rather than just as a form of publicity, or an explanation, after the work has been created. We see this is VERY important to our work and how this blog should function and we’re very keen to explore ideas that will enable us to go much further - didn’t realise we were being so cutting edge!

 

The Wilderness Downtown

August 16, 2011 in PROJECT BLOG, R&D Process

Arcade II

 

Have you experienced this yet? Kate alerted us to ‘The Wilderness Downtown’  while we were in Newcastle and, if you havent already, give it a go now. Arcade Fire, together with Google and artist Chris Milk, have created an interactive video set to the band’s track ‘We Used to Wait’ from ‘The Suburbs’ album.  Called ‘The Wilderness Downtown’, the online project makes use of Google Maps and Google Street View to incorporate images into the video. It’s an experience that’s both personalised and deeply personal as it takes you down memory lane through the streets where you grew up.

One of its achievements is that it creates an awareness in the viewer/participants of being both unique and interconnected.  It’s also interesting how they’ve created spaces within the work to be filled by the participant’s experiences. It’s changed my relationship to the song  – a good album track before, now it’s got specific emotional associations for me and now I play it much, much more. Avoid doing what I did though – just allow the different windows to come up on your pc and do their thing. We’re interested to know what you think. Here’s a great ‘behind the scenes’ link.