The Water Tower

After having struggled for a while to pin down a certain subject for our site location, we eventually landed on a fairly obvious subject matter that was pretty much staring us in the face the entire time; Water. We use it every day and in many different ways that we don’t think about, until of course we do and it becomes obvious. With our site location being a playground right next to the Water Tower in Lincoln, it seems fitting that our site specific performance is centered around water. But there are more connections between our location and water other than the massive tower itself. The site where we’ll be performing used to host a number of water related environments, including a public swimming pool and a public bath. As a group we’re hoping to link these into our performance in some form.
We are drawing influences from endurance performances, and our main source of inspiration has been Tehching Hsieh, whose performances through the years were primarily year long performance pieces. Of his performance pieces, there was one that stood out and that we have drawn influences from when considering how to base our performance, and this is his year long piece called “Time Clock Piece” (FACT, 2010). The main aspect that we liked when looking at this performance was the seemingly remedial task of repeating a repetitive action for a long period of time. Drawing from this performance, we’ve come to land on wanting to perform our own instance of an endurance piece. Our performance will include hour long rituals that most people will participate in during their every day life, or have participated in at one point in their life. We will repeat the very repetitive actions that we use water for throughout our performance, starting with the task of washing our face and brushing our teeth in the morning. Each of these pieces will last an hour, and to prepare for this performance, I’ll be participating in a “rehearsal” tomorrow morning, where as I would wash my face and brush my teeth in a small period of time, I’ll be doing it as I always do but for an hour. I’m personally hoping this will give me a bit of insight into the struggles of performing endurance pieces. I’ll be doing this standard morning ritual with no outside influences, for example a phone or any kind of electronic device. All my focus will be in simply doing something we do every day but for what I consider a long period of time. I hope to find out just some of the challenges of performing endurance pieces with this “rehearsal”.

FACT (2008) Tehching Hsieh – One Year Performance 1980 – 1981 (Time Clock Piece) [online video] Available from https://vimeo.com/16280427 [Accessed 27 March 2015].

One thought on “The Water Tower

  1. Hi Jamie, welcome to the blog!

    So glad to see some thoughts from you here. I look forward to hearing about the results of your 1-hour test and seeing some more posts from you and Steve around your research and planning for the park.

    Can I recommend this book if you are going to be looking at Hsieh
    https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/out-now

    Also- in light of your task based piece, you should take a look at this
    http://bit.ly/19AjEv7
    perhaps start with page 4-8, it might help clarify some of what you are doing and how it differs from traditional theatre. There is a really great example at the end of page 6/start of page 7 about sweeping that you might find helpful…

    Lastly, here are the links I mentioned when last we met. 2 pieces from Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion. Perhaps they’ll help inspire the choreography for your tasks

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyWwmHrmpxM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqJ-kQwxfFI

    NB. Check that ‘remedial’ means what you think it means. I’m not sure what you mean by “The main aspect that we liked when looking at this performance was the seemingly remedial task of repeating a repetitive action for a long period of time. “

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