Friday 20 February 2009

How Gravity Works

In our new short film Technology, I have trouble explaining the phenomena of lightclocks and gravity. After the screening at NRLA last week, after much more successfully explaining lightclocks (I think), I also claimed to "know how gravity works".

An email from Pete Harrison, an artist working on The Lightswitch Project, pointed out to me that this is quite a claim. He's right of course - *how* gravity actually works is disputed, or rather, not known, and there are several theories about it. What I meant to say was that I have done my homework since we shot the film and now think I understand the Newtonian Theory of Gravity (the gravity between two objects is directly proportional to their combined mass and inversely proportional to the distance that separates them). Very different to knowing "how" it "works".

Pete goes on to say that:

A disputed phenonema such as this, in which science has agreed to stop looking into what it is, and to focus instead on what it does, is called a black box.
From Wikipedia: In physics a black box is a system whose internal structure is unknown, or need not be considered for a particular purpose. Sometimes black box is used as a synonym for black body.

He also points out that there is a certain poetry to this for those of us working in performance, (as we refer to certain theatre spaces as black boxes).

Even though it was the point of the film, the making of Technology has amazed me at how much I don't know.

Wednesday 18 February 2009

"a rhythm that was all their own"

I've written earlier about the two-part nature of 9 Billion Miles From Home, and the front-of-house issues that entails (a task-based performance running for up to 50 minutes before the advertised start time).

At the National Review of Live Art, given that it is a festival with lots of other things going on, that durational performance/ritual/set up time was billed separately on the programme as "Process", immediately followed by "Performance". We found that having it billed like this, and opening up the entire circle-making ritual to the audience, meant that it was treated more as a durational performance by some audience members who came and went during the work. Other people though were in for the start of the 50 minute process and stayed right through both "halves".

Mark Fisher's response to these two halves of the piece has provoked an interesting discussion on the Guardian Theatre Blog.

Monday 16 February 2009

"something of an obsession"

There's a nice review of Class of '76 at Sheffield Theatres' Intim8 Festival from the Sheffield Telegraph here. Next dates are Leeds Met Studio on 24 and 25 February.

Monday 2 February 2009

Candles, Kits and Collaborations

The screening at The Showroom Cinema last Friday was a combination of work by Third Angel, Christopher Hall & Alexander Kelly, and a couple of Chris' other collaborations.  The running order was:

Christopher Hall & Alexander Kelly, music by Akira Rabelais

Third Angel
Inspired by a section from Parts For Machines That Do Things.

Christopher Hall & Alexander Kelly
Commissioned by Lumen for Composure.

Scott Allbright and Christopher Hall

Christopher Hall & Alexander Kelly, music by Akira Rabelais

Third Angel
A remix of Assembly, built out of some test footage from the early R&D of Parts For Machines That Do Things.

Benchers (work in progress)
Third Angel and Teatro Praga
A digital short inspired by documentation of Off The White.

Travels: Feet
Christopher Hall & Alexander Kelly

From Sharrow To Soweto
Christopher Hall
Commissioned by Football Unites, Racism Divides.

Drinking in New York

An Acquired Taste, a documentary/live art short I made with Chris Hall, is being screened at the monthly Iron Mule Comedy Film Festival in New York this Saturday, 7 February at 8pm, at 92Y Tribeca.  Full details here.

It's been very popular at festivals and screenings in the UK over the last few years, so I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes down in New York.  We won't be popping over to see for ourselves, sadly.