Watershed

pervasive media studio

Showcase - Thursday 9 June 2011

Guerilla Dance Project

On Thursday 9th June we held a showcase to present the findings of our two artist groups. The Guerilla Dance Project and Sharon Clark & Tom Burton were there to guide us through their research and development process.

The event took place in Watershed’s Cinema 3, and the whole event is still available to watch on DShed: http://www.dshed.net/content/south-west-artist-residencies-2011-showcase-event

The evening began with an introduction from Victoria Tillotson, iShed Producer, who put the artist residency scheme in context, and outlined precisely why time and space for research and development is so important.

The two project films were then screened (watch them online here). Made by freelance film-maker Geoff Taylor (Wide Eyed Productions), the films sum up the scope of the projects and why iShed commissioned the artists to work on their ideas.

Following this screening Clare Reddington, iShed and Pervasive Media Studio Director, chaired a panel discussion with all five artists: Robin Ray (Experience Designer), Tim Bamber (Composer), Laura Kriefman (Choreographer), Tom Burton (Creative Technologist) and Sharon Clark (Playwright).

They discussed collaboration and the fact the two projects would have been impossible without the co-producing artists bringing together their disciplines. For each group it was incredibly valuable to learn the language of another potentially intimidating practise. Tom noted that the whole process had altered his discomfort level: he can now go further and push things whilst still feeling comfortable.

Gaming was a dividing point between the groups. The Guerilla Dance Project found that creating pervasive dance/music games is the natural next-step in their current public-engagement work, whilst Sharon and Tom have actively resisted the gamification of theatre, keeping narrative and audience response (rather than reward) at the forefront.

The invitation to become involved was an interesting part of the discussion. How can the two groups engage their audience to interact with the piece? Robin Ray was adamant that you cannot play a game without your knowledge, an important lesson not to trick your audience into taking part.

The residency provided both groups time to think outside their own deadlines, their own comfort zones and their own practise without fear of failure. Laura Kriefman mentioned self-financing her projects: the residency has increased the likelihood of self-sufficiency.

 Project demos followed the discussion. Guests were invited to dance or interact with the Guerilla Dance Project’s proto-types – Wii controllers which had been inserted into everyday objects. Sharon and Tom had set up a fantastic montage on the wall – one giant mood board of brainstorms, inspiration images, Angela Carter’s texts and working illustrations of the Stick House‘s design.

The South West Artists Residencies were supported by Arts Council England, Sound and Music, St George’s Bristol and Charles Hazlewood

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