Archive for March, 2007

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forkbeard experiments

March 18, 2007

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Experimenting with projected mobiles at forkbeard fantasy’s summerschool

Their summer school was an excellent experience. A week working at their studios in somerset.
They are a theatre company who work with animation film and puppetry to create stage magic.
The week was a mixture of workshops and the opportunity to collaborate with others and create your own work.
After the summer school I worked with Forkbeard on their touring show Shooting Shakespeare.
Where I set up and operated projectors and props on stage.
Here is a forkbeard animation………

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Spring Holds its breath

March 18, 2007

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Spring Holds its breathSee the movie here

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compost mentis skyscraper

March 18, 2007

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this image was created for a skyscraper that rises up out of the Whalley Range Allstars compost heap in Compost Mentis

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IOU / Dean Clough Mills

March 17, 2007

Here is alittle background info on where we will be creating Speech Bubble over the next few months.

IOU Theatre is based in Dean Clough Mills in Halifax, West Yorkshire
101981p00001.jpg Read the rest of this entry ?

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het voor woord

March 16, 2007

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We visited The Hague yesterday to attend a Dutch Literature Festival called Het Voorwoord (The Forward). It is a pre-curser to a much larger international festival called Crossing the Border (www.crossingborder.nl) that takes place in November 2007 in the same space. This one, however was predominately in Dutch with some music performed in English. The space was great. A big theatre and other anti-rooms that were used as smaller performance venues. A good bar and a set up so that writers could act as DJs as the evening progressed. I managed to talk to people from the publicity department including Eline Driest who had invited us to attend, and the director of the festival, Louis Behre. I also chatted to about 6 or 7 members of the audience including people from a theatre, background, a musician/song writer, a couple of visual artists and a man who won the tickets to attend in a competition. The theatre people talked about how the Dutch arts council are supporting well established companies, but that there isn’t much funding for new innovative work. This shift has happened fairly recently in Holland. I think the lottery funding has helped individual artists back in the UK, and there is more of an emphasis on supporting them than before. The audience members also talk about Dutch immigration issues as being very topical, and how the arts at least, transgress these boundaries and help cultural communication. I felt that impulse when I went over to Canada last year on a writing programme. There were lots of Cuban musicians working alongside Canadians at The Banff Centre and when they performed together each brought a richness to the other’s musical tradition and rhythms. Sorry. This blog is not dealing with Dutch poetry! I think I need to come back and go to the international festival, or hear some work in translation, to get a feel for current concerns and styles. Still. It was good to see the space, and experience how the festival was put together. Good production values on the whole, with the odd presenter waving around her notes on a bit of paper (Familiar to me, as a regular attendee of literature events back home. Suddenly got a bit homesick.) . I think there are contacts here that Sources can follow up at a later date.

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BABOK

March 16, 2007

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Carina and Guido live in an interesting, artisan area of Amsterdam with lots of small scale art shops, modern furniture stores and book-lined cafes. It feels less touristy here, away from the main centre. They talk to us about the process of developing a new piece of work. They don’t spend ages developing a philosophical angle to this process, but use a strong visual image as a staring point. For one show, it was an igloo/shelter, and for their next one, the image of a water tower in France as provided a starting point. They talk about using a sense of playfulness, and a set of possibilities for developing a performance, rather than a narrative line. We discuss animation in its broadest sense. Animating objects, spaces, bits of the human body. I think we share with them the belief in exploring new ways of looking at ordinary life in an extraordinary way.
Their piece, Iglo, explores issues such as reaction to a stranger, communication across cultural borders, and their next piece explores climatic change. This work therefore is very contemporary, political but not ‘in your face’ in an issue-based way. The work comes across as surreal, playful and full of irony.
There is much discussion about how to engage audiences in unusual ways. Babok often perform away from the main area of street festivals, and in community spaces.
Within their Iglo show, they invite the audience into the shelter they have created and give them the choice of a drink. If they choose a strong, clear liquor, the audience member gets a spoon that also turns out to be a key to the igloo. What a wonderful image of trust! And friendship. I am blown away.
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Later in the day, we catch a ferry with Babok to the Northern, industrial part of the city to visit their workshop space. It exists in a warehouse/docklands area alongside other theatre makers. The area is just about to become developed, but at the moment there is a rusty ship, half a boat, a statue feeling her tits, and an indoor skateboard park within their complex. It’s fantastic. ndsm.JPG

babok-works-2.jpg Guido and Carina are building a miniature world inside a water tower, that will explore features of climate and weather conditions.I am now very cold as I have only bought a linen coat with me and it’s getting dark. We catch a ferry back over to the centre of Amsterdam watching the lights come on all over the city. After a takeaway we’re off back to the hotel. Heads buzzing with new ideas.

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bodies

March 16, 2007

450bodies_facemuscles.jpgToday we are due to meet Guido and Carina from Babok, but have a morning free to explore Amsterdam and talk about our project together. We need to also find out how to get to the Hague, so wander through Amsterdam in the general direction of The Central Station. On the way, we pass a sign for The Bodies Exhibition that I know was on in London a while ago. Both of us are disturbed by the idea of going to see it. So we do! The exhibition is made up of real bodies that have had their skin removed and treated with a rubber/polymer process to preserve muscles, and other internal organs. The audience are as interesting as the exhibits. It’s packed out. People are poking their fingers into spaces between organs in the bodies on display and peering into guts, wombs and bladders! A room exhibiting the blood system looks like a room full of coral. I find a section exploring the development of the foetus most disturbing. Think of my sister pregnant with twins. And seeing these alien-like creatures in jars feels voyeuristic,