About Arch

... An exploration of participation, art and architecture in the city to inform a concept for engagement with the local community via artistic intervention... offering to our client a point of departure for the continuation of these ideas in their future work.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Group Meeting #2

9:30am in Studio

Present: Tilly/ Jen/ Tori/ Pol/ Kris/ Jonny/ Hayley/ Julie

Individual Perspectives (postcards, concepts and conversations)

- Each group member ran through their own pursuits since Friday’s meeting and discussed what their own interpretation of the project was or may become.

- The postcards which captured these themes were shown and commented on by the group, each person’s ideas are to be entered onto the blog by themselves in full, but a brief summary of each (and the discussions generated by them) is provided below for reference;

Tilly – Research into the futurist movement and further exploration of the idea of the umbrella as a representation of a transportable shelter/container and expression of personal space, but also as a device which heightens awareness of context and others. Notions of how we may classify certain activities as being valid in certain situations (sitting quietly in a bus shelter etc) and how the project may reverse or challenge these conventions. The idea of weather as being an influence on activity.

Tori – Observations on the impact of interruptions on tranquillity of a space. Presented the idea of a changing stage which becomes malleable as interaction occurs. Precedents of buildings which capture and suggest fluidity, movement and journey, particularly where these may also express the connections between people. Potential capabilities of architecture to generate and inspire movement.

Hayley – Visual tracings of movement, memory and change and how we may engage through our feelings, emotions and perceptions. Reflections on our personal circumstances of an open client, providing us with a high degree of creative freedom, making it vital that we ensure we control the projects direction in order to provide a tangible end result. The importance of developing a theoretical thread for the project or research question to structure and define our pursuits. Need to document meetings, possibly film to create a database and catalogue of ideas. The end presentation may embrace performance and creativity more so than conventional presentations. Necessity for maintaining a comprehensive timetable and also providing time for self reflection and individual analysis.

Julie – Identified abundance of 2dimensional media and suggested a more haptic, sensory led approach. Suggested the idea of introducing installations to affect people’s movements and challenge preconceptions of thresholds and boundaries. How we can explore textures and objects of the everyday and make them interesting, manipulating and reversing perceptions of texture, surface, scale or temperature. Notion of ‘defamiliarising the familiar’ to generate awareness of the mundane and allow audience to reconsider their relationship with themselves and their context. (Possibly with specific relevance to defamiliarising Sheffield). The use of controversy to provoke opinion and introduce frustration in our environments.

Kris – With reference to residue and the focus upon the empty room, how can we translate the ordinary into an object which directly challenges our interpretation of a space. Particular interest in the use of shadow and silhouette as a form of projection – becomes a real time depiction of the movement and establishes a dynamic relationship between audience, performer, shadow and canvas. The shadows becomes a visual by-product which may or may not reveal the full picture. Precedents of environments which respond to human interaction and allow user to shape their space.

Jen – Examination of personal responses and self awareness, spontaneity and the unpredictability of human nature. Association of spaces and their assigned comfort levels. Addressing how architecture may provide both voluntary and involuntary engagement and of the importance of subtleties of environment on influencing behaviour. (Berlin Holocaust Memorial cited as example of forced engagement at an uncomfortable level). Introduced precedent of the Street Piano, distinct relevance to Sharrow and provides vehicle to unite society and bind community. This presented the concept of an installation which may involve ‘removal’ of an installation rather than insertion of one.

Pól – Using the umbrella as a canvas for performance. Dance as a general expression of weightlessness, contrasted in some cultures by an affiliation with the ground and a deliberate heaviness. Extended thoughts on the idea of the silhouette and the ability of rain to provide instances of spontaneous shelter. Suggested idea of using the blog as a means of cataloguing and collecting raw ideas and as a ‘scribble wall’ for group members to jot thoughts down on.

Jonny – Extending on thoughts about confrontation with the negative (litter, graffiti etc), started to explore translations of concept into project specific terms. We usually shy away from the negative, what if we were to embrace it? The static becomes as relevant as the mobile, movement artists provided with restraints – dynamism is instead generated from what is usually the background. Small movements become exaggerated and celebrated. Notion of exploring disruption to rhythm of routine and of disproportionate obstacles.

Afternoon session

- We brainstormed the thoughts, themes and ideas that were generated by the mornings discussions and allocated each one under either an ‘impulse’, ‘method’, or ‘action’ category.

- The general prevailing theoretical thread that emerged was concerned with ‘reimagining the ordinary’. We talked about the potential for creating a performance where there were no performers, just ordinary people going about their normal business but connected through an installation (eg an umbrella we distribute).

- We wanted to challenge the use of a particular space, specifically one which has a profound relevance to the community, such as a bus stop. Explore the potential of such an existing urban feature to become a more playful fulcrum within the community.

- The idea developed for analysing a bus stop within Sharrow (time lapse recordings) and then reimagining how this place may become reinterpreted as a performance space. Not in the conventional sense of performance, but where everyday life is the focus.

- Intervention could be an extension to the bus stop, which is given its own distinct identity, these could populate numerous locations within the community and become a centre for interaction, discussion and collaboration, providing a fluid and more transient interpretation of the community forum.

- The result would be for us to establish a network of these hubs which are interconnected through transport movement and pedestrian flow. Each one may exhibit a stronger or lighter concentration of ideas and each could be analysed throughout the course of our involvement to see how things change.

- Could the bus stop be re-envisaged as something other than merely a place to wait?

Our next steps

- Produce (10x) montages of how we may reinterpret a Sharrow Bus Stop.

- Analyse existing use of bus stop, record and document behavioural patterns.

- Research Sharrow and community, funding and a/v equipment hire.

- Continue process of reflection and comment via the blog (including uploading postcards and addition of precedents)

­Other Information

Dance performance – Uprising/ in your rooms Tuesday 7th October 7.30pm at the Lyceum Theatre. £7.50 Get your money to Julie if you haven’t done so already.

Next Meeting - 9.30am Wednesday 8th October (?)

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