Archive for the ‘research’ Category


visualisation of turbulent flow

May 13, 2007

Turbulence can be found everywhere: in the sun and in a cup of coffee, in a turbine engine and in biology. How turbulence works is one of the long-standing unsolved problems for scientists and engineers. Read the rest of this entry ?


edgar allan poe The Maelstrom

May 1, 2007

The Maelstrom
Edgar Allan Poe
The ways of God in Nature, as in Providence, are not as our ways; nor are the models that we frame any way commensurate to the vastness, profundity, and unsearchableness of His works, which have a depth in them greater than the well of Democritus.
Joseph Glanville.
WE had now reached the summit of the loftiest crag. For some minutes the old man seemed too much exhausted to speak.
“Not long ago,” said he at length, “and I could have guided you on this route as well as the youngest of my sons; but, about three years past, there happened to me an event such as never happened before to mortal man –or at least such as no man ever survived to tell of –and the six hours of deadly terror which I then endured have broken me up body and soul. You suppose me a very old man –but I am not. It took less than a single day to change these hairs from a jetty black to white, to weaken my limbs, and to unstring my nerves, so that I tremble at the least exertion, and am frightened at a shadow. Do you know I can scarcely look over this little cliff without getting giddy?” Read the rest of this entry ?


IOU Waylaid

April 12, 2007

iou waylaid

Jack and I saw the IOU show ‘Waylaid’ tonight. It took place in a dome-like space; (yet another igloo-shaped structure – this must be a visual metaphor for us at the moment!). There was a sense of being in the far north, somewhere up near the arctic circle in my mind. The show involved each member of the audience wearing head phones to listen to a live music and spoken word sound track. I loved the emotional layering of words and sounds that this produced. It did create an audience who all seemed to be in their individual bubbles. I felt a little out of my depth responding to visual theatre as it is a new language for me. The piece explored a limbo land, a space between life and death, between being conscious and unconscious. There were strands of fairy tale elements, such as being kissed awake or trying on a glass slipper that doesn’t fit, but also surreal, almost science fiction stuff as well. Read the rest of this entry ?



April 9, 2007

-or The Gate to the Wold of Man’s Creative Imagination
interactive exhibition in the Czech Republic
designed by visual artist Petr Nikl

The Czech Music Museum’s monumental vestibule and transepts have been filled with numerous musical instruments that stimulate creative abilities and imagination in visitors. “The interactive exhibition prompts the visitors to play and create with the help of artistic objects and instruments that produce various sounds and light effects,” says Jiří Wald, the initiator of the project. Read the rest of this entry ?


odd enjinears

April 2, 2007

shadow show welding projector
The welding projector

This trick was invented and produced by Harry Kentrotas and Simon Dunckley from Cape Town. We used the trick in several shows during 2002.
You need an arc welder. It’s not only useful to do metal work but can also be used perfectly as a light source to create a shadow puppet story: very bright, and within an actual light source less than a centimetre across.

The distances between the light source, the puppets and the projection surface (a wall, a container, etc.) can influence the size of the projected shadows, but doesn’t effect the sharpness: there’s always a clear-cut shadow. To prevent the audience from looking into a light that is far too bright but to allow them only to enjoy the projected images, we welded it in a small wooden box. In that, we cut out a small window, which defines the frame of the projected surface. Read the rest of this entry ?


het voor woord

March 16, 2007

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 ( 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.



March 16, 2007

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.
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.