We are back to opening with meditation. We realized last time around that going right into moving without meditation doesn’t create in us the same kind of attention, and attention is one of the things we are most working to build.
The ritual we are building is taking our time to meditate and cultivate a sense of awareness in the space. Then we open our awareness to concentrate on the space, in coordination with thinking about the self as space. How does this change the way we feel and the way we find ourselves in the room and in relationship to one another?
Without speaking, we transfer into walking or moving, still focusing on space and self-as-space. We investigate proximity, distance, and general spatial relationship.
From here, with one camera running, we transitioned into an improvisation considering our vision, not as cameras as we did in week 2, but as films. The real distinguishing factor here is the difference in direction of information. If your vision is the camera, then your eyes are doing the grabbing, it’s an action of reaching out, of seeking. If your vision is a film, then something is being played for you: anything you see already exists, it is headed your direction.
This difference does two things for me. First, it is simply exhausting to be grabbing information actively with your eyeballs for a long duration, which doesn’t leave as much room in our brains for making other choices: having the information come to us is more passive, giving us more space. Second, I’m really interested in the way thinking about our vision as film changes the way I think about composition- I’m doing less seeking and more noticing.
While part of this project is the attempt to create space where we are making purposeful decisions with the camera frame about composition and capturing, I am also very interested in feminist creative process and democratizing space, both of which seem to lean more toward noticing. These are complex and sometimes opposing ideas that I’m attempting to have exist in this process all at once, but the push and pull is good fodder.
We talked more about tech in the space and our approaches toward working with it philosophically and compositionally.
In our final few improvisations, we set up cameras A-Rod, Beatrice, and (introduced) Cecilia. A and C were on tripods, first on the edges of the space and then within it. B was available for handheld experimentation.
A big question that came up for me, for working with next time was:
What are the physical limitations that come along with maneuvering the camera?
Is there a way that we can consider these physical limitations as we would consider any other physical limitation?
Is there a way that we can consider these physical limitations as we would any other purposeful limitation of an improvisation score?
How do we maintain the identity of composer and performer at the same time? How can we break down the walls of these identities so that they are not mutually exclusive? Are there steps for this?
How do we avoid the paradox of “in” and “out”?
How can you hold a camera and be composing and still be part of the composition? Is part of this answer in the way the other participants view the person who is holding the camera?
Our main focuses are geometry, space, shape, time, and frame.
We are directors. We are DPs. We are dancers.
In Rehearsal Reflections
-How can you remain “in” while holding the camera? (KNL)
-Can we focus on these qualities of motion when we are not holding the camera? (KNL)
-This is a virtual space in a way because of how technology is involved- it is capturing the final product and we are composing for the frame of the camera so in a way, this space is already tech-fied. (KNL)
-I felt sometimes like the person holding a camera was an outsider. I would forget that they are someone to improvise with and not just for. (BRJ)
-The awkwardness of being watched didn’t seem to be there. (BRJ)
-Geometry within these relationships feels more primary than space as a whole. Maybe that has to do with proximity… (BRJ)
-Seeing was softer today, allowing focus to shift, slowing down. (CM)
-Didn’t know what to do when I had the ceiling and was actually holding Bea. What that looks like to me and what I capture on camera aren’t the same. (CM)
-The pockets and frames that come from our limbs at unexpected moments satisfy me. (CM)
-New sense of contact and touch related to the geometry (CM)
-A way of looking that is empathetic but not in an expected way (CM)