On Lunch Break

We decided to rehearse another one of our five stations today and we decided on our “Lunch” station. Just eating and drinking for an hour was actually more difficult than we thought as concentrating on saving enough soup and water to last for an hour turned out to be quite hard. However, we have managed to get all the materials we needed for this station and are using hold-up camping tables for portability so it’ll be easier to get it to our site and set up when we’re there.

Our general thoughts consisted of our potential problems consisted of making sure it lasted an hour as well as packing it up to transition to the next station. We got around this by using the washing the plates bowl and putting the glasses and plates in there and that way we also set up for the next station potentially without going back to the alcove at out site.

We got around the problem of it lasting by decided that it would be our “break” in the performance and decided to act more naturistically than the repetition of other stations and this would get around this problem, whilst also varying our stations and making the performance more interesting to watch.

Rehearsing Lunch Station Rehearsing Lunch Station

Hanging About

Testing out performances is clearly important for any piece of theatre but for our site specific piece, I don’t think we realised just how crucial it would be until we actually tried it in the site. We decided to have a trial run of one of our five stations (as the five stations would represent what we use water for and our reliance on structures such as the water tower), and the station we chose was washing clothes. For our performance we are doing a piece of repetitive, performative theatre so for this station, Jamie will be washing the clothes in a particular way and I will be getting them dirty again in a series of repetitive actions i.e. putting the shirt on right arm first each time then running to the hill, getting into the lying down position before rolling down the hill and repeating this three times before taking the shirt off and starting again and this will last an hour. After

“No repetition is exactly the same as the action as it copies – if only by the fact of it being a repetition rather than an initial act, or of being the third repetition rather than the second.” (Howell, 1999)

The human element of repetition and incosistancies is something I find particularly interesting and will be inevitably apparant in my performance. Even the repetitive actions we do every day (dirtying clothes and then cleaning them again) has a ritualistic element towards it. The inconcistancies occur each time we perform the action but the basic action remains the same. With our theme of water, we will explore and perform a repetitive, performative piece that hopefully an audience will find interesting to watch.

Rehearsing Site Specific

Howell, A. 1999. The Analysis of Performance Art: A Guide to Its Theory and Practice. Routledge. p.79

Crowe, S. 2015. Rehearsing Site Specific Performance. Wickham Gardens. Lincoln. England.


Endurance “Rehearsal” & Challenges

Earlier this month, I attempted a “rehearsal” of our performance. I use the term “rehearsal” loosely, as we are still finalising parts of our performance, so this might not be a completely accurate representation of what this part of our performance will look like. As a group we are looking to complete a ‘routine’ of actions so to speak, for us to follow as we perform these day to day water based activities. Our next step is getting these ‘routines’ polished and completed, which we are working on daily.

I have uploaded a sped up version of this “rehearsal” that I attempted to YouTube, despite the fact that I was unable to complete the one hour duration that I had planned on doing it for. Unfortunately, I only managed to complete about 20-25 minutes of it. I wasn’t able to finish it because I had an allergic reaction to the soap that I was using, causing my face to turn red and swell slightly. The reason for uploading this video is that I believe it doesn’t hurt to document both the positives and negatives of creating a piece of performance. All performance can be a struggle at times, and there will be challenges you have to face along the way. The video can be found here (Jamie Dunn, 2015).

The next step from here as a group for us is to find a way around this obstacle. We already have an idea of how to do this, and will be visiting our site in the next couple of days for another attempt at this “rehearsal”. As a group of two, we are hoping that we can both actually manage to do this without any allergic reactions this time. With any luck we should be able to film it, or at least have a friend of ours take pictures so we can document the process and hopefully put it online.

We are also working on the marketing of our performance piece, and are hoping to have a Facebook event up by no later than the 20th of April. As Tehching Hsieh has been our main influence for this piece, we’re hoping to recreate his poster for his Time Clock Performance, as seen here (Hsieh, 1980, cited in colaboratorioartandspace.wordpress.com, undated) in our own style. We plan on finishing these posters up after our next rehearsal on the 17th of April.

Although this “rehearsal” of mine didn’t go smoothly, I would encourage anybody interested in performing to give endurance pieces a try. It’s an interesting thing, attempting to do something that we do every day for longer than normal. Since I started working on my performance, I’ve been thinking about everything that we do in our day to day lives that we consider mundane, and how the meaning of doing it changes when we pinpoint that specific action or activity, and I wonder how our opinion of it would change if we focused on doing nothing but that one routine for an elongated piece of time. Thanks to the this module, I have found myself becoming more and more interested in performing endurance pieces, and would consider trying out variations of this style of performance in the future.


Jamie Dunn (2015) Endurance Performance “Rehearsal” [online video] Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xErlJtAjc4s [Accessed 16th April 2015].

Hsieh, T. (1980) One Year Performance. [online] New York, USA: Tehching Hsieh. Available from https://colaboratorioartandspace.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/tehching-hsieh-art-live-in-action/ [Accessed 15th April 2015].

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].