I am a director and designer creating immersive theatrical events and installations. The work I produce establishes performance situations in which spectators become enveloped within the scenographic structures. The performances I design explore the active part physical boundaries can play in performance and I look for ways that allow these spatial limitations to perform in ways that are dramaturgical, scenographically and choreographically interesting. A major focus here is directed towards how scenographic structure can be used to instigate and conceptually frame a range of shifting encounters between different audience members, performer and audience and audience and space.
The kinetic contraptions I design, manipulate the architectural geometry of space. This happens not simply to frame and shape stage space but should function as a physical manifestation that forms an active and inseparable aspect of a performance. I have a background in dance, and this has influenced my thinking in relation to movement and dynamics in set design. My interest in choreography also informs my compositional thinking in relation to the geometrical transformation of performance space.
I am intrigued by the scenographic function of ‘contraptions’ or systems of objects that function as space makers or as Frederick John Kiesler puts it as ‘…objects that expand to such a degree that they become their own environments.’
Of particular interest to me are setups that are kinetic, and which are utilised to initiate changes within the expanse, shape and or atmosphere of the performance environment. My research looks at how the movement of objects can be utilised to directly affect and work on the spectator through the way in which these define and segregate performance space and how the shifting of physical boundaries affect the perception of an audience of that environment
The notion of Heterotopias as discussed by Foucault is of interest here. Foucault speaks about theatre ‘being capable of juxtaposing in a single real place several spaces, several sites that are in themselves incompatible. Foucault uses this example in relation to a traditional stage space referring to the ‘rectangle of the stage’ onto which the theatre brings ‘one after the other, a whole series of places that are foreign to one another;’ When such layering of places occurs in the context of a shared space environment the embodied aspect of an audience’s experience is moved into the foreground.
In the context of an event in which an audience experience is accommodated within a series of places that established within the same local the way that one setup transitions to the next becomes an inseparable part of an audience’s experience and is as such of particular interest. Whilst the performance we create can be classified as being part of an environmental or immersive theatre tradition our working methodology is clearly distinguished through the way in which architectural design and spatial transformation play such major directive influences within our work.
Blue Pages Article: LIVING STRUCTURES Performance Of Spatial Transformation