Seminar discussion and further research.

During Friday’s seminar, we discussed “framing the performance” and “thresholds”. I found the example of the artwork in a gallery very helpful as I understand that the threshold is the picture and that the elegant frame is what makes the artwork look more presentable.  As a group, we came up with the idea that the headphones could be the threshold before the performance, for example, just like an audience member walking through the doors of the theatre, the headphones are a different form of entrance and are a metaphor for the feeling of an audience member walking through the door. There are many possible frames for our performance and that could be the costumes, Lincoln city itself but mainly, the walk during the performance.

In her essay Against Interpretation, Susan Sontag mentions something that I believe is relevant to our performance development. She suggests that  “it is the defence of art which gives birth to the odd vision by which something we have learned to call “form” is separated off from something we have learned to call “content” and to the well-intentioned move which makes content essential and form accessory”. She argues that, today, interpretation over-powers content and that “developments in many arts may seem to be leading us away from the idea that a work of art is primarily its content” (Sontag, 1961).

The reason I think this text is relevant is because one of the main focuses in a site-specific performance is obviously the site, the form and the way in which the performance connects to the site. However, the content within our site-specific performance is equally as important. Although we have been focussing on how we will be performing our piece and making it relevant to the site, the content in which we will be including takes over the importance of the walk through Lincoln and how we interpret the characters and performance. We will be providing historical information about events and people in the war, and therefore this content will be of more interest to the audience. Also, during the seminar, we discussed “space and place” and that a place is something we have to construct for it to mean something. The walk during our performance may not be completly relevent but the content that we will be including in our performance throughout the walk is interesting and therefore in our case, the space and place of the performance does mean something.

My point is that, if the audience don’t understand the relevance of the walk (the space and place) during the performance, the content will be what they find interesting and the walk is just a form of performance, therefore I mostly agree with what Susan Sontag suggests but in the case of our performance, form and content are equally important.

Sontag, S. (1961) Against Interpretation and Other Essays. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Amy Clarke

Last session before reading week

In our session on Friday we will review the module guide to make sure that everyone understands what is being assessed.

We will look at some more relevant practitioners and revisit some of the others. We will reconsider some of the topics that we have spoken about in regards to place, space, and time with the aim of linking our theoretical processes alongside our practical ones.

We will also look at the actions that you have developed for your site – these should have been developed in/at the site and be relevant to your process. Perhaps you could record these, and upload here? (See a previous post for more details).


Remember to keep joining the dots in your thinking…practice…theory…reconsider…react..reevaluate…

After reading week

In both sessions after reading week we will be in ‘sites’. I would like each group to email me (over reading week) with a meeting point. This should be considered as the starting point of your performance. I will then allocate a time to each group – depending on the distance between your sites – and post the schedule on the blog. Please be aware that I will have several groups to visit + the walking time between, so it is likely that I will only see the group once in each week. However we can also continue our online communication, and if possible I can come and see you at other times.

It is important that we make the most of this time, so, please continue your group work on the project outside of the taught sessions, and use the taught sessions to get feedback on your performances. Don’t be afraid to try things out, I am not judging you – I am giving you feedback, and I can do that more successfully if you really commit to your ideas and present them to me proactively when we meet.

I am really looking forward to seeing you in your sites, and helping you to develop your work.


Hi all

We were talking about palimpsests and the sites in our session today, so this might be of interest.

The article is also on BB in my folder.


end of week 3

Well done all, some good conversations in this week’s sessions.

So, some words for you to explore: phenomenology and ethnography. How might these approaches be useful to your research?

In class we discussed ‘action’ and how it can be interpreted differently depending on circumstance, relation, situation, comparison, repetition etc. Task: Develop an action in and at your site. Be prepared to present this in our session next week, and discuss the context in connection with your practical and theoretical research.

Don’t forget you also need to record a ‘wild’ track at your site, a voice piece and a sound effect for editing in our next Audacity session.