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Barbican Open Lab & HOME 2018 [Application]

Open Lab is an opportunity for artists to experiment across disciplines without expectations of a finished piece of art.

The residency includes a week at HOME in Manchester and a week in the Pit Theatre at the Barbican.

Myself (a sound artist), Anna Nykyri (a visual artist) and Louiseanne Wong (a dancer & choreographer) have applied for this incredible opportunity with an initial idea of researching and exploring various aspects of choreographic environments as installations built through moving image, sound and movement.

We are basing our idea on Sophia Lycouris’ research of interdisciplinary choreographic environments (Lycouris, 2012):

“I suggest that choreographic environment is an appropriate term for installative or performative work which requires physically active viewers, whether the work is interactive or not, and whether it is presented in art spaces such as theatres and galleries, or in non-art related sites.” (Lycouris, 2012, 378)

“Interdisciplinary choreography may include the application of choreographic techniques on materials other than the dancing body, for example, images and sounds that can assume performative presence. This does not exclude human bodies from being part of a wider, yet heterogeneous, pool of choreographic components; in fact human bodies become fully present in these meta-systems…” (ibid., 370)

We are proposing to playfully re-invent and research the idea by devising sketches of installations and trying them out in practice during the residency.

Physical computing would be embedded into the collaborative process; studying the possibilities of sound design within the choreographic environment as well as the many ways of interfacing with our surroundings. Our time at HOME and The Pit will be used to innovate and experiment with ways in which contemporary technologies can be used to create and manipulate sound, and interact with other constructive elements within the performative environment.

“It is becoming possible to manipulate and structure the entire sonic space of a theatre in a targeted fashion. Just like the progression of actions, the musical level is no longer structured in a linear fashion but rather, for instance through simultaneous superimposition of sonic worlds.” (Lehmann, 2006, 185-186)

“The technology available to sound designers had changed dramatically over the course of past decades. We have been provided with countless possibilities of manipulating material in real-time, as opposed to playing back recordings from start to finish as they are. […] These changes have made a new relationship possible between sound designer and performer.” (Soidinsalo, 2014, 38, translation by author)

The HOME rehearsal space would create the possibility for researching ideas in a safe, open workshop-like environment, embracing the potential of interdisciplinary collaboration: the combination of molecules, such as bodies, gestures, sounds, videos, spaces and objects, that form unexpected arrangements. The Pit Theatre would provide us with further possibilities and resources to experiment with our findings.

Text co-authored by Anna Nykyri.