Day 4: Text, Signs, Maps and Misguided Tour Specific Performance?

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In Today’s Site Specific Lesson, we were concentrating on letting our creativity loose, as we were told to create a text, invent a unique map and lead our group on a misguided tour, all to I think explore our site’s pre perceived perceptions.  The first activity we had to do to explore this idea was pick one subject from a range of subjects read out and create a short text from that subject.  For example George and I chose the subject of Ownership, when we first heard the word Ownership, we both were looking straight at the castle.  That got us thinking who actually owns the castle now, is it the council? a local business? or the public? With support from the quote, ‘Walking in our own city we’d often employ a deliberate confusion about what we were trying to solve or understand – was it the latest show or the city itself?’ (Etchells, 1999, 76-80) We thought of the idea to base our text around the word/statement ‘Mine?’ with the tagline ‘You think you own it but do you?’ This is supported by the quote as Tim Etchells is trying to say that when walking through a city you don’t what to understand, as a city is a vibrant mix of different culture,e specially Lincoln, that’s why our question of ownership as so poignant because in a historical city like Lincoln who does own it now.

The second activity we engaged in was to explore different and unique signs in order to see if we could unlock hidden meanings behind ordinary working day signs.  During our travels, there were lots of signs we documented see  For example behind signs such as ‘We are listening’ and ‘Vicars Court Private’, we thought that Lincoln Locals could hear us and we were constantly being watched and all vicars were very private human beings in Lincoln.  With this quote, ‘The neon signs, the old advertising slogans, the fragments of graffiti – all of these things made it into our shows.’ (Etchells, 1999, 76-80) we thought this grabbed our idea with these signs beautifully because any other time of the day they’re normal working signs but when we explore them, they can mean so much more.

The last activities we had to engage with was creating our own unique maps of our site and also create a misguided tour of a specific area of our site, to see what our site looked like with different interpretations.  For our Map, George and I decided to create a texture map by rubbing textures of different parts of our site, all the way from the Cathedral to the Water tower, in order to see how these buildings and objects feel different but yet have our site in common.  ‘To see the city from one’s bed, from one’s bath, from one’s rooftop – how perfect to live in a city.’ (Etchells, 1999, 76-80) This quote sums up what our map was trying to do, as we all see and feel the city if Lincoln in different surroundings but with our texture map, you can start to see that these buildings do have some things in common like the texture of the bricks and objects found around these historical buildings.

The last activity we did, was make a misguided tour in a specific place of our site, near a Roman well.  We could use our imaginations and interpret our tour with whatever story we liked and through anybody’s eyes.  We decided to be a pair of historical researchers, researching into a story of a Nineteenth century killer who hid in the well, by using the Nineteenth century memorials, we believed we had the right evidence to back our misguided tour up.  ‘Playing always to the different histories written in urban space – the official historical, the personal, the mythical and the imaginary.’ (Etchells, 1999, 76-80)  This quote perfectly sums up what we did in our misguided tour as we knew our tour was untruthful, but because we used certain facts, we heightened up the legitimacy of our grizzly, gruesome tour.  Overall I feel this session really helped me understand the interpretation of this site, which gave me a good start to understand how to create a imaginative performance within relation to the historic value of our site.

Works Cited

Etchells, T. (1999) Certain Fragments. London: Routledge.




Day 3: First Time Drifting

The first time properly exploring our site was truly inspiring, to look at the massive diversity of the area we’re working was very interesting, as I was constantly trying to find unusual and unique parts of our site to generate performance ideas from.  With constantly taking pictures see,  and using my senses to capture the spirit of our site, I think I found a good starting point today when it comes to my site specific performance.  When I stated I used my senses to capture the spirit, I was referencing one specific example, as when we were drifting in a route devised by Rachel, I walked past an elderly man who quite simply said to me in passing, ‘Nothing happens here, apart from us’.

With inspiration from the quote, ‘The Interpretive instinct of the visitor is not denied, and meaning is not monopolized.  In Comes 1: Performance, Memory and Landscape (Pearson, 2006a) is structured as a number of excursions in my home region: guiding the reader, be they in an armchair or in the field, through a sequence of locales, pausing at each other for personal and critical reflection on themes related to, or evoked by, that place: mixing themes biographical, familial, topographical, archaeological.  A choreographic approach to the visitation of individuated places.’ (Pearson, 2010) I could understand especially reading that quote, that these historic places mean different meanings to everyone, from tourists to locals.  After today’s first visit, if I can explore the inner and outer beauty of the buildings we’re using for our site specific performance and try to create a fresh new meaning with regards to these old buildings, then I have achieved what I want to achieve.

Works Cited

Pearson, M. (2010) Site Specific Performance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Day 2: Blast Theory?

After our Seminar last Wednesday, exploring different performance art practioners, we were set a research based activity about one of the performers we were shown and to delve into their work more to analyze their work into more depth.  For this activity I chose Blast Theory, as when we first looked at their work in class, I was amazed at how simple but effective their technology based art was.  For example they made ordinary members of the public believe they were actually in a heist, by using 3 or 4 very simple parts of technology.  ‘Drawing on popular culture and games, the work often blurs the boundaries between the real and the fictional.’ (Blast Theory, 2015)  With evidence from the quote, I am interested in how companies like Blast theory can blur the real and fictional.  Thats the main inspiration I got from this activity, as I am interested with my site specific performance to really test the audience.  I have had ideas to imitate a real life worker in our site, and being so real that the audience believe I am actually employed.  Therefore I am always testing them to decide what is real and what is fictional within the realm of performance.

Works Cited

Blast Theory, (2015) Our History & Approach. (online) Blast Theory. Available from (Accessed 4 February 2015).

Day 1: Space Specific Performance?

Our first seminar for sit specific performance was used as an introduction to help us understand and explain the complex nature and details of site specific performance, however the seminar made me even more positively curious.  I use the word positively as after Day 1, I feel myself engaging with the whole notion of using a specific site and finding interesting ways of using the most basic elements of a chosen site and putting these elements in context with performance.  ‘Current Perceptions of site have moved ‘from a physical location – grounded, fixed, actual – to a discursive vector – ungrounded, fluid, virtual’ (ibid., pp. 29-30), effectively relocating meaning from the art object to the contingencies of context.  Kwon adds: it can be literal, like a street corner, or virtual like a theoretical concept’ (ibid., p. 3). (Pearson, 2010. p.12)  With Pearson stating that an object in a site used for performance can physical or virtual, that got me thinking about the exercise we did in our first session.  To summarize the exercise called a subtle mob, we were each given a sheet of the same instructions to do in a chosen site, today it was outside the Lpac in the university campus, certain instructions include find a place where you can stare in the abyss, also find an object relating to that chosen site.  This exercise along with the Mike Pearson reading got me thinking about how unsuspecting objects found in normal everyday areas can mean something completely different.  For example I fount an old ketchup sachet and also a burnt circle engraved in the ground, whilst contemplating these two discoveries I was thinking how I could adapt them to a performance and give everyday objects back stories and context in relations to performance.  This is what I mainly got out of today’s session a feeling that with site, you can use your imagination to create an engaging piece of performance, using unsuspecting items that the public take for granted.  I am excited to process this thinking process to our actual site in the upcoming weeks.

M.Pearson (2010). Site-Specific Performance, Palgrave Macmillan, p.12