Monday, 21 October 2013

Amphibolous - Occupying the Mainstream

Amphibolous' occupying the mainstream was a commission for If Only's two-week 'occupation' of Gallery 2 at the Bluecoat in Liverpool.

Adam Webster taking a spin on the turntables in Gallery 2
The piece consisted of an a cappella vocal performance by the trio that used streaming technology to create a unique audience perspective, seen from the individual points of view of the performers. To do this we taped mobile phones to our heads, sending the three video streams to a TV in the gallery and the audio to the sound system. The ultimate lo-fi hi-tech action.

The idea was to start as normal: a performance in a gallery. However, the stream allowed us to go exploring - through the rest of the Bluecoat, and out into the streets of Liverpool - while the audience inside the gallery could still watch the performance from the comfort of their seats. This also created a second audience, the people of Liverpool, who caught a primetime showing of a unique happening. Finally, after our adventures around town, we headed back to the Bluecoat for the grand finale.

The project offered a number of ideas to play with. Firstly, because the audience could see from each of our perspectives, we didn't have to always be together. We could split up, combine in different configurations, and come back together, creating a range of dynamics to be explored.

The piece was part improvisation, part composition. In order to exploit the different combinations, 'textures' and dynamics of the journey, we decided not to plan an exact route, but rather set meeting points along the way. We also came up with a number of strategies to create larger scale forms in the piece: when it would be more appropriate to start splitting up; when we should come together; points where we should run to increase the pace of the action.

The resulting piece was a lot of fun. It is always fascinating to see the response to public interventions like this. Well, you can see for yourself. Here's the video...

Amphibolous are: Adam Webster, Ash Steel, Simon Jones.

No comments:

Post a Comment