Documenting the Space

After watching Tehching Hsieh create a documentation of his art, my group and i felt inspired and took inspiration from this and decided to create our own documentation of our space. We have started to film time lapses of each of our four main angles on Castle Square; almost as though we are taking on the role of the CCTV camera. We are interested in documenting as much as we can so that we can discover different behaviours and attitudes from people at different times of the day, we will eventually pick out a diverse range of time lapses and present them back to an audience.

Hsieh mentions “Life is passing time, life is free thinking” (Das Platforms, 2014) I believe this quote relates to our piece nicely, as we are filming our videos over a period of time and when we present them back to an audience it could also create awareness of how fast time is moving and how most of the people captured in the time lapses are unaware they are on camera and are in a natural state of “free thinking”.

Documenting our space on a regular basis will give us a deeper knowledge and understanding of the activity that regulates it. We have decided to include some of the documentation into our final performance. This will allow us to present the space back to the audience. Making them question what the space would be without them.

We will achieve this by placing four of our group members in our four significant spaces within Castle Square. Each of the four members will be holding an iPad which will be playing back specific time lapse videos from our documentations, creating another layer to the performance. It will be similar to us presenting CCTV footage back to the public. For this performance we will require an accidental audience.

Das Platforms (2014) Tehching Hsieh: One Year Performance 1980-1981. [online video] Available from: [Accessed 7 April 2015].

Castle Where? Castle Square!

To get familiar with our new space we decided to do a number of tasks and subtlemobs in it. In particular we put into practice Mike Pearson’s Some Exercises Towards Relating Space, following these instructions allowed us to discover interesting and unique pinpoints of the area. We found ourselves particularly attracted to the CCTV camera that hangs over The Magna Carta pub. We spent a whole rehearsal analysing it and following its every move. We started to think deeper regarding the CCTV camera. We became intrigued with the way the camera moved and the angles it would record. From this we acknowledged four main points of Castle Square that the camera kept returning too. These were: the road going down steep hill, the area that covers the ground before the cathedral, the area that covers the ground before the entrance of the castle and upper steep hill. As the camera mainly tackled these areas, we believed that they must be significant to the space, therefore we made the decision to include these crucial placements into our performance.


Nothing Happens Here Apart From Us?

“Nothing happens here apart from us” an interesting quote that a group member overheard in Castle Square during our second week of Site Specific; this was something that had stuck in our minds from the beginning.

Developing the quote further we started to think of ideas about how we could present the space back to the audience. We wanted to show the audience how much the space is used by us all and to make them think- what would the space be without us?

The first thing to enable us to emerge further with this idea was to pick a space. After a lot of thought and consideration we believed that choosing a prime location was key. Studying and analysing the areas of Steep Hill enabled us to recognise its busiest locations. Choosing a busy location would allow us to present the space back to a bigger audience.

Castle Square appeared to be the most populated area, as it is central to some of Lincoln’s main attractions. Presenting our piece here will capture a larger audience.

Creepy Faces and Cobwebs

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An original idea that my group and I decided on was to pursue a guided tour around the back of the cathedral. We were fascinated by the mystical sculptures we discovered. We believed that we could create a truly fascinating mythology to incorporate into our piece, taking our audience on an eerie journey around the back end of the cathedral that isn’t so popular as the front.

As we moved further with this idea we began to recognise that most of our mythologies that we had made up were in fact already ‘Lincoln myths’. After this discovery we were left feeling slightly disappointed as we didn’t want to be seen as though we were presenting a generic ghost walk to the public.

Progressing on from our ideas of ‘Creepy Faces and Cobwebs’ we decided to completely move away from mythologies and sway our thoughts in a completely different direction.

Second Hand News..

On Monday 2nd February, we started our second week of site specific. We were taken on a tour all around Steep Hill, Lincoln. After viewing the lovely sights it had to offer I decided to dig deeper and discover some of the history behind Ellis Mill.

Ellis Mill

After doing some background research, I have ascertained that Ellis Mill is the last remaining mill to operate and still produce flour in Lincoln. The mill has continued working after an incredible two hundred years from when it was first built. There is evidence that proves there was a mill around Steep Hill before the Cathedral (the main tourist attraction) had even finished being built.

Looking further into the history of the mill, I have discovered that in 1551, Lincoln suffered an absence of wind for five weeks. As a result of this, the mill was unable to produce flour. This left most of the people in the city deprived of food, as the whole population relied on bread, especially the poor.

History of Ellis Mill:

After investigating the historic past and backgrounds of windmills in Lincoln, it has now enabled me to appreciate how Ellis Mill is a major importance for the industrial history of the city. As Mike Pearson suggests:

“a visitor’s experience of the same place may invoke reactions and associations entirely differently from that of the inhabitants: it is possible to be in a place without realizing its significance for the groups of people who have historically inhabited it.[…] A pile of old stones to walk your dog over then, or the defeated hopes of a nation?” (2010, 24).

When I first visited the mill, I was not particularly captivated or interested by it, as I did not have a great underlying knowledge for it. Having a sense of understanding for this, has allowed myself as a spectator, to admire the layers of history attached to the site, offering more than what meets the eye.

Flickr site:


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