Exercise no.3

This was the fourth exercise of the series within which I was experimenting with one of my ideas for the exhibition, a video installation with 3 videos, involving one group of people. In preparation for this exercise I had notated three pieces - one for one person, one for two people, and one for there people. As the videos progress one more person is added, the routine accommodates the presence of another. The videos progress from individual interpretation to collective interpretation.

I chose the location of a basketball court because I thought, like the garden and the grassy outside areas, that this would provide a relaxed environment where the participants may not feel so much that they are performing. However, the court actually evokes more of a discipline because although it is an area for play, it is also an area associated with education. There is a strange tension due to the combination of the freedom of the open space with the restriction of the lines which run along the ground. Although the court provides a large space for exaggerated movement, the guidelines of it cannot completely be ignored.

My predictions for the exercise :

So the first person works alone, builds up a language by themselves

Then the second person joins. A relationship is developed between these two people. A language is developed between these two people. A decision has to be made as to whether the language of the first person is completely disregarded or whether the ideas of the first have to be combined with the ideas of the second. OR whether the ideas of the second completely direct the first - as the first person has already had an opportunity to implement their ideas.

Then the third person joins. The relationship which already existed between the first two participants has to be extended to include another person. The language created by these two people will then probably be passed on to the third. Although the third person will have freedom to contribute, their contributions will almost certainly be completely overshadowed by the already established rules. I also predict that the first person would feel inclined to simply accept the ideas of others for the sake of speed and ease.

Evaluation of the exercise :

Number one - Issy performing alone :

Quite static

Definitely not making the most of the space

Understanding that these are meant to be full body movements but rarely utilising the full body

Straight lines

Pointed and extended movements

Very decisive

A real confidence which has most likely arisen from the simplicity of movement

Number two - Issy and Robyn together :

Emphasis on straight lines and clear angles - both seem to find comfort in these. This is a technique which has fed in from the first

Default position for bottom half still seems to be feet together facing forward

Motif of separating and then coming back together

At most points doing exactly the same thing

Not moving back or forward. Only slightly to the right or the left

Number three - Issy, Robyn and Caitlin together :

Third is a lot more interesting

They don’t just synchronise with each other. Different people are doing different things but simultaneously - although there are still several moments of unison

Certain points I like - when two people revolve around 1 person

The routine is more complicated because they are responding to each other

The straight edged movements still remain but there is definitely a lot more going on, and this isn’t just because there are more people now. The third person has most certainly changed the dynamic.

The simplicity allows for coordination and memorisation

Not just staying in a line - using the circle also. Which is also a very basic guideline but does evoke more of a mobile energy


I don’t think I will use this series on all three screens, but I may use one component of it, specifically the group of 3 routine. This is partly because I think that the work is only really successful when multiple people are involved, and this is what the work is about - the contribution of three perceptions.I have already made work about individual notation. This decision is also partly due to the fact that I really would have hoped for the group to have taken more advantage of the space. The group used so little room that I felt like I had to contribute at points even though in general, this is completely against the rules (my own rules). The guidance I did give was telling them to accentuate movements, telling them to spread out more, telling them to slow down. The decision whether or not to intervene was a difficult decision to make, because although I want pure and unadulterated interpretation, clarity of movement is really important for me, as I want to be dissecting each and every one of these movements at a later point.

As anticipated, the progression of the exercises was extremely apparent, and I believe that because there was one person who started learning the language initially, in turn she acted as the driving force for all three routines. That is not to say that she was not influenced by others : a certain evolution was clear as we reached the third activity, but her staple had already been made and remained present.

This group were the quickest to memorise their routines and this is owed to the decision they made at the beginning to keep the routines reduced, the notation in its purest three dimensional form. The groups took the shapes within the notation very literally, adding little to it of their own - and in some cases, completely disregarding elements of it. This therefore was quite an extreme case of notation interpretation, which responded to the notation by actually reducing and simplifying it.

I was not present for the decision making - I left the room for this whole process, completely leaving the group to their own devices. I did this so that the filming experience would be a complete surprise to me, and so that I could not make comments about how they were deciding to construct the routine. So although I did try to have a mild influence during the filming, I was completely isolated from the most essential part.

This exercise marked another example of people having to come together in order to facilitate the completion of a task, and resultantly, relationships being made. I say this because one of the participants was a complete stranger to the other two participants, and this is impossible to tell in the final videos. As I have been carrying out these activities, the infiltration of language has become synonymous with the formation of relationships.