When first hearing about site specific performance, I have to say it was somewhat daunting. Not in the public performances, as embarrassment isn’t something that comes naturally to me but re-thinking what a site can mean, do or how it can influence a performance challenged my preconceptions. To me before this module, a site was just a relevant background to pre-established texts i.e. Macbeth in a gloomy castle. However, whilst reading Mike Pearson’s Site-Specific Performance, I found many ideas and alternative ways of looking at things that opened my eyes to new ideas and the ambiguous characteristics that sites can have. “Not only does the use of non-theatre venues contribute to ‘an inquiry into what theatre is and might be’ it also incorporates ‘a set of productive spacial metaphors'” (Pearson, 2010. p.9). In the seminar we were also introduced to the idea of subtle mobs, a riposte to the more familiar flash-mob in which the performers would be encouraged to perform in public places but have the accidental audience pay little to no attention to them (unless it was wanted). We had our own go at a subtle mob (in the form of a list of instructions) and I have to say it was somewhat eerie at first but once we got into it I feel like the performance took hold and we started becoming bolder in the actions we’d do. Some actions were less obvious like sitting on benches whilst others may be considered more traditional performances such as the group poses on elevated objects. All in all I’m very excited for this module and looking forward to what happens next.
M.Pearson (2010). Site-Specific Performance, Palgrave Macmillan, p.9
Rachel Baynton Group (2015) Subtle Mob [performance] Lincoln: Lincoln Campus, 28th January.