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

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