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Response 21 - Accumulation


Dear Alan,

Thanks for setting this task to rehearse or workshop a theme from my ‘section’ of a possible joint performance. It became a really enjoyable task to do after a day or two of having no clue how to begin resolving it! Your task specified no theme or practice or content to work from—only the frame around it. I spend some time searching keywords such as ‘yoga’, ‘time’, ‘Lisa’ and ‘material thinking’ on the project website to see if I could find a pattern of responses or tasks. I was interested in extracting something that felt like an essential building block to the project and in seeing what would come out of putting that at the centre of an investigation. I was captivated by the  collage you reproduce at the top of Response 20 (‘Take the Bus’). I could see your layers of thinking and making. Perhaps there was something about layers? How could the layers themselves be what I workshopped?

The pioneering dance piece Accumulation (1971) by American choreographer Trisha Brown (1936-2017) came to mind. This postmodern solo performance is choreographed with pedestrian or quotidian movements where one gesture added to the next accumulatively becomes the choreography. This build-up and accumulative aspect of the choreography reminded me of the iterative or ‘layered’ aspect of the Parameters & Practice project: one task leading to a response, leading to a new task and so on. The mesmerising choreography of Accumulation– when performed with elegance and precision by Trisha Brown – gives the viewer a distinct sense of each added gesture, while in the end of the five-minute piece, it is simply a long seamless sequence of movements.

What I am rehearsing or workshopping in the video is a reenactment of Accumulation, repeated four times. I juxtaposed the four iterations (at first just to see if over the course of the rehearsals I gained any precision with the choreography) but when looking back at the video I got interested in the random overlapping of movements and the choreographic potential of it. I really enjoyed talking while moving as this changed my relationship with the choreography and my intention (and attention!) and curiously the body generated ideas while in movement. From the recordings I isolated the four audio tracks and layered them on top of each other (with a little intervention) to create a soundscape. Words and sentences interweaved and overlapped in the video allowing the listener to hear fragments of my reflections making their own connection between movements and meaning.

Where is this rehearsal heading? I am not entirely sure. I am not wedded to the specific choreography and gestures of Accumulation; I am interested though in developing the concept of layering movements and of generating ideas through speaking at the same time.

See here for next task.