Perspectives, The Abyss and Uncertainty

Perspectives change the way people view things. Each person has their own perspective which can be moulded by nature, nurture, situation and maybe just how they were feeling in that moment. A perspective could differ from one person to the other, but on the other hand they could overlap and have interlocking themes but without being the same. For example, someone could look at a tree and see a home for birds and another person could see a place to shade themselves from the sun. Two opposite perspectives are linked through the tree being used as protection.


Using this thought and the instructions I was given, ‘A place where you can stare at an endless horizon’ and ‘An abyss to fall in’, I took this picture. The picture shows a seemingly endless overcast sky. The horizon stretches across buildings and beyond, and once I took this picture I could see an abyss, a vast open space where anyone could easily fall into. I tied in perspectives by taking the photo at an angle, this makes it seem like the buildings were further away than they actually were. By flipping the image,


the idea of an abyss is more prominent than in the original. The black ledge, now at the bottom of the photo, could be viewed as a platform to jump from into the unknown mass of cloud; again it is down to how a person chooses to view the image.

Coming from a ‘straight acting’ background, the idea of site specific performance is daunting and challenging. Overcoming the fear and unease of the unfamiliar will be the major obstacle for myself over the coming months, but by opening my mind to view my surroundings and course with different perspectives will allow me to become more open minded as an actress.

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

Something new every day

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.

Signing on

Signing on

First day!

Site Specific was not something I was looking forward to as I didn’t really understand fully and it just didn’t interest me. However, upon starting this module on Monday with an interesting task – the subtle mob – and talking about things that site performance can include, I found that I was actually quite interested in this module. When we was first given the task, my initial thoughts were “Oh no, this is going to be embarrassing!” Walking around doing things that would draw me out from the crowd really did not appeal to me. However, I gave it a go and to my surprise I really enjoyed being out of my comfort zone, testing my abilities. Further more, I am very excited to explore the possibilities within site specific as we get further into the module.


Space as a whole has more meaning to it.

As this module starts to unravel  itself it has be shown that  a Site Specific  such as the city centre or just the university campus has shown to be more than just a space of work,  but a place of discovery and experimenting to make the site more interesting than a site of education. When I mean ‘a place of discovery’ I mean it is a habitation of testing boundaries with the community as said by Mike Pearson author of Site Specific Performance. For me from what Mike Pearson has written and my understanding of the introduction of Site Specific it “engages intensively with the history and politics of that place, and with the resonance of these in the present” (Pearson, 2010, 10) so to bring the vitality of rediscovering the place and why it’s there and how it came to be. From doing a practice of ‘subtle mob’ as a little experience of site specific, where we as a group was given some instructions, it was a bit scary at first, but it was a great way of bringing us into the world of Site Specific and it was fun to watch a the public reactions with what we were doing and how they were triggered by our actions such as “find a raised point to stand and wait for others to join you.” So when I started that task I stepped on to some sort of cement block and looked at the LPAC sign (on university campus) and people gathered which caused some curiosity. Site Specific seems for me right now,  is based on community involvement and a joining people together with a fresh look of a particular site which triggered the imagination to rediscover the site in a new way and all this based on people’s curiosity.

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Rachel Baynton Group  (2015) Subtle Mob [performance] Lincoln: Lincoln Campus, 28th January.