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I/SPY: PERFORMANCE, POLITICITY,  AND THE SURVEILLANCE TURN

               We are in a surveillance-orientated epoch. This has

               nurtured a shift in cultures of visibility, participation,

               and their interrelations. 

 

The setting is London - the world’s most surveillance-ubiquitous city. Cells of participants engage in covert operations in public space. The participants are case-studies.  The site varies between London’s streets, stations, and seeing-sites, namely, Tate Modern, The National Gallery, and Trafalgar Square. The operations are experiential investigations into the tensions between surveillance and immersive performance in public space in a democratic context, within CCTV and surveillance-personnel range. 

 

 

 PRACTICE-AS-RESEARCH IN PERFORMANCES

To date, I have produced three practice as research in performance works-in-progress: Private I, Public EyeConSensus, and I/SPY

 

 

PRIVATE I . PUBLIC EYE . PUBLIC I . PRIVATE EYE  (2012)  was an experiential investigation into the ocular dynamics of surveillance and invisibility in visibility. It was staged subsequent to an experiment in surveillance, sousveillance and counter surveillance in Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery.  

 

ConSensus was devised with a cohort of other actors. It took the form of performance-as-research, and explored participant-spectatorship in relation to the culture of surveillance and its impact upon behaviour, particularly where rules upholding order are imagined but not known. Taking as its metaphor Panopticism, ConSensus explored audience behaviour in relation to the uncertain contractual terms of participation in immersive theatre: What are the rules? Is interactive space a democratic, freedom permitting space? Does it pretend to be? Is the agency inferred by being corporeally active contradicted by the negotiation of invisible, if existing, rules? Why do we obey? What do we think we are obeying

PREVIOUS PaR

A recurring question for me is: If we wish to pose questions, through theatre, regarding cultural practices that (arguably) disenfranchise women living within other socio-political and cultural structures to our own, what are the ethical implications? And how might they impact upon performance methodologies and political incorrectness? I have developed two pieces of work to this end, Sanctity of Hair, and Soul of my Shoe.

SANCTITY OF HAIR (2007)

  “It is revealed, but nevertheless it is veiled . . . This essential         paradoxical accord between death and eroticism . . . an erotic

  experience will commit us to silence.  This is not true of      an experience very close to it, the experience of sanctity."  

                                                                                                                                                               George Bataille

SANCTITY OF HAIR  transferred from the Central School of Speech and Drama’s Embassy Studio to The London Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2007. Sanctity of Hair was the embodiment of a collective contemplation about cultural practices, symbologies and values associated with hair as found in volatile, allegedly pluralist, consumer-driven societies. 

 

SOUL OF MY SHOE (2006) concerned the Chinese culture of footbinding in exploration of the above.

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PERMANENCE TRANSIENCE (2006) was my first attempt at multi-media, performance installation, which attempted, in essence, to theatricalise the cognitive processing of the continuum of conscious framing.  A then compulsion regarding 'tensions between opposites' raised questions as to perceptions of stasis and flux, minimalism and maximalism, in relation to experience and memory temporality.

C O N F E R E N C E 

P A P E R S

2016      Big Data: Public I/ Private Eye

               Performance and New Technologies Working Group

               TaPRA Conference at the University of Bristol 

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2012      Participation: About Turn (Concerning Spect-actorship) 

               'The Tyranny of Participation'

               TaPRA Conference at the University of Kent,

               Award: TaPRA bursary 

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2012      PUBLIC ‘I’: Intermediality, SurVEILance and the Interactive Turn 

               Performing Research: Creative Exchange Conference

               Central School of Speech and Drama

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2011     Intermediality: SurVEILance and the Interactive encounter

              TaPRA Conference, Kingston University

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2010     What Are You Looking At? Participant-Spectatorship and

              Thirdspace Intersubjectivity

              Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

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2006    Appropriating Inappropriateness: Transgression, Discomfort and Conscience

            (emerging a method/ology),

             MA, Central School of Speech and Drama

 

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