Babel

Performance dates and times

All performances will take place in The University of Lincoln Library

University of Lincoln Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS

Taking the Library Outside
Wednesday 1st May, 11am – 1pm and 4pm – 6pm
Friday 2nd May, 11am – 1pm and 4pm – 6pm

Do not read this
Wednesday 1st May, 9am – 5pm
Thursday 2nd May, 9am – 5pm
Friday 3rd May, 9am – 5pm

BABEL: Lost Words
Friday 3rd May, whole 24hours

Les dames des livres
Friday 3rd May, 9am – all day on the second floor

Shelved
Thursday 2nd May, from 12 noon until 8pm on the Friday 3rd May.

The Grain Escape
Friday 3rd May 5-9pm in the Free Zone

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Friday 3rd May

Posted: April 18th, 2013
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24 hours

How does lack of sleep affect you? What about being in the same building for a long period of time? How do you deal with stress?

 

Being awake for 24 hours is hard enough, but performing for that amount of time is out of this world. When doing this we knew that it was going to be very important to look after ourselves. This being the reason why we created our rotation system, were we swapped places every hour, meaning we were typing for and hour, walking for an hour and then on a break for the last hour. On our breaks it was very important that we made sure we had something to eat and drink, but not foods that would give us a high and then a massive fall. So we didn’t have energy drinks or two many sweets (or other foods that contain lots of sugars).

 

I personally tried to not sleep, as I felt that afterwards I would become more tired and would lose my energy. However I did have a 10 to 15 minute nap at 10 o’clock, this did help to give me that bit of energy that I was lacking. Keeping that in mind I didn’t sleep longer than 20 minutes as then I knew I would become too tired and would have found it difficult to wake up.

 

The 24 hours is hard, but with the right people it is doable. It was an experience that I will take with me forever.

Posted: May 13th, 2013
Categories: Babel: Lost Words
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Final performance

Performing a 24 hour piece was a difficult task and challenge. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment. However with the right people and support it isn’t impossible. I found that we had a fantastic mix that aided me through the process and was able to come out on top after all the hard work put into this performance.

Initially I didn’t think I was going to be able to get through the whole performance, but as time passed I become engorged in what was going on in the library that day. As there were other performance taking place so the atmosphere was wonderful. I felt that the whole library had been transformed for the day and we were lucky enough to be able to document it. I feel that this is what got me through the day, as well as my dedicated groups members and support stuff.

 

Documenting a day was very interesting as when it was at its busiest there was so much to take down. You could say there was too much to write about and we were unable to get everything down with the speed it was coming at us. Therefore you could say that the documented day in the library is partly what we wanted to hear and write down. As when I had lots of information being feed though to myself I was writing what I could remember. Which naturally were the most interesting things, mainly involving other people’s gossip.

 

When the library wasn’t so busy we had to keep documenting what was going on. This is how we involved the books into our piece. When there wasn’t anyone speaking we would think of the first thing to come to mind, go to a computer and type that word into the library catalogue. Then afterwards you would choose the first book that came up, go and find it and find and interesting quote. This was a way of us expressing how we were feeling at that time but through the books. When doing this we were also documenting that we ourselves are in the library, thinking and feeling different things. I felt this was important as we were one of the biggest things going on within the library that day. We are looking at what everyone is doing and making sure we get down as much of it as we can, but then we’re essentially ignoring our own presence. Which defeats the object of what we are doing; as we’re not documenting ourselves, we’re neglecting our contribution to the library on that particular day.

 

When it came down to our final performance we weren’t able to our projection or sound. However I didn’t feel that this affected the performance, as our task in hand was to document a day in the library, and that is what we did. The projection and sound would have been a beautiful element to the performance, but I did not feel that the impact of what we were doing was lost with these two attachments. We still gave the library life just by being there, doing what we were doing and having everyone involved in one thing. Also thinking back on it I would have shown what we were doing to outside, but we were concentrating on the inside of the building. So not having the projection or sound to me made the whole experience more intimate.

 

I’m glad that I took part in this project; it was worth the hard work. Documenting a day wasn’t anything that I ever thought I would do. Site specific has opened my eyes and mind to a very different art form. That it’s not always necessary to have lights, stage, props, costume and characters, performance art is a way of pushing you to your limits. I felt that as a three we pushed ourselves to our limits and way beyond. This is something that I would have never normally have done, but I’m so grateful to have experienced this as I have now found a new interest for myself.

Casey Typing.

Casey Typing.

Posted: May 13th, 2013
Categories: Babel: Lost Words
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Post performance thoughts

It’s the early hours of Saturday 4th May 2013. 24 hours of performing in the library. 30 hours of no sleeping (other than a 10 minute nap). My head feels as if it’s pulsing, and about twice in size. I’m so tired but wide awake at the same time. I feel as if I already miss the sound of the typewriter, and I miss but dislike the library at the same time. I have so many mixed emotions and my head still feels like it is spinning. Jokes that aren’t normally funny are suddenly out of this world “what did the green grape say to the purple grape? Breath you idiot, breath”. Haha. I think I’m going to write this blog post in the same format or our book, as it reflects my mood that everything I’m thinking is an endless train of thoughts and it wouldn’t make sense to have paragraphs and sense within this post. I feel as if I’ve gone through all the stages, first was tiredness, then there was boredom, after that I felt like I hated what I was doing and wondering why I agreed to this, then admittedly I think I went a little bit crazy and then finally it was the last stroke until the end. It was almost over, but we weren’t quite there yet. In the first stage all I wanted to do was sleep, but I was too scared to as I thought that I wouldn’t wake up and the whole performance would be ruined. It was dark in the room that we had booked out for our breaks. All I kept doing was watching the drunks coming home from their nights out and listening to upbeat music. After this had finished, there was hardly anyone in the library or outside so it became boring. I was just waiting for the first lot of people to arrive. I wanted the interesting stuff to start. I wanted to find out last nights gossip. Already what is a little bit worrying is the conversation within the library about incomplete dissertations, the day before the headline. Well how can I explain the hate? It was more of a hate towards myself for agreeing to do something like this. As I watched the other groups entering the library getting ready to set up at 7:30am all I wanted was to be in another group. At this point Casey had been feeling ill for about 5 hours and it was getting worrying, wondering how long she was going to last. The craziness, this lasted for quite a bit of today or should I say yesterday. I suddenly became hyper and excited, full with energy. I didn’t want to stop moving and if it wasn’t moving then it was typing. I was also finding the strangest things funny, and started to not care what the other people in the library thought of me. Then I had a down fall, when walking around a pair of people weren’t happy with me listening in on their conversation and the girl turned around and stuck her middle finger up at me. At this point my mood dropped straight down, and I didn’t want to be doing this anymore. I didn’t want to upset or annoy people and with all my emotions running wild as it is, it really got me down. Coming to the end of the performance I was glad, just the thought of having a lovely hot bath was on my mind. But I can’t help think about how well we’ve come together as a group, helping each other out. Nothing any of us did was just for ourselves but for each other. Our friends as grown so much within the space of 24 hours, when thinking about it 24 hours is nothing compared to the years we’ve been living. But within that small space of time we became closer than most of my old friends that I have known for years. It was interesting seeing how big loud personalities would stop speaking as we would come near to them. Thinking that they would carry on speaking and not even notice that we were there, suddenly these people became very shy. After finishing the piece I strangely didn’t want to leave the library. I was sick and tired of the place but all I could think was “well what am I going to do now”. We’ve finished our task, so what is there for me to do at home… nothing?

 

This document will stay unedited as it is exactly how I felt after the piece was finished. It is what it is. Either love it or hate. Just respect and appreciate it for what it is.

Posted: May 13th, 2013
Categories: Babel: Lost Words
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The old and the new

New technology is being developed by the second; we are a fast growing country in terms of today’s technology. This being the reason why we liked the idea of using projection on the front of the library, as the building itself is fairly old I felt that the use of a projection will look aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Also the words that will be written to form the heart will be the past by the date of the performance, this being the old (words) with the new (projection).

 

In contrast with the projections will be the typewriters. As we are walking around the library picking up current and new conversation it will be written down on the typewriters. Not only are they are old technology but we thought that they would be beautiful to use. Also the sound of the typewriters is going to make such an impact on the library. Starting to date it back to when the building was first built and the type of technology they had then. If we were to use laptops or computers it wouldn’t have the same affect on the performance and also wouldn’t give us our characterisation.

 

The typewriter formally dates back to 1714, with the theme of the old machine we felt it would be best to dress in an older fashion. When researching how typical secretary’s dressed the most popular search was between 1920 to 1960’s. Drawn to this style of clothing we felt that it gave us a formal character to embody but also didn’t make us stand out too much from the crowd. As our piece involves us trying to over hear people’s everyday conversation, we didn’t want to be too noticeable.

 

As this documentation stays on the shelf for longer the new becomes older and will start to become history. And this is why we wanted our book to be placed on one of the history shelf’s as we see it as being a day in history that people are able to look back on. People in 10, 20, 30 years time will be read about what was going on within the library on Friday 3rd May 2013. This will open people up to the fact that everyone and everything together in the library is what makes it a whole ‘being’. Without all these different elements there wouldn’t be life among the building.

 

The combination of the two differing forms of technology is crucial to us because bringing the library to life means that we need to bring all the different elements together as one. Within this one building, that is old in itself, there is new technology and also new people entering everyday. We felt that using opposites would be an interesting way to link and loop the components together. If we don’t do this then I don’t think the piece would work, as it will look as if we are sectioning of different components. When what we aim to do is to bring it all to one so that everything has a place as an ensemble.

 

Typewriter.

Typewriter.

Posted: May 13th, 2013
Categories: Babel: Lost Words
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Lost words

So much goes on within the library everyday. Hundreds of students and tutors come and go and yet it’s still seen as a lifeless building, somewhere that is monotonous. As it stays the same day in day out, but we’re forgetting that the people aren’t the same. They constantly change their attire, the way in which they style their hair or even their attitude. The building doesn’t get recognised for all the personalities among one roof.

 

We wanted to bring the library to life by giving it a heart. When watching people entering the building, I came to the conclusion that as we might feel that the library has no essence, in reality this building is possibly the most charismatic of all the buildings within the university grounds. This being the reason why we felt it necessary to display a pulsing, living, breathing heart.

 

Back in 1907 the library was a builder’s warehouse, and then converted into a library in 2004 for the university campus. Entering everyday are people of different race, origin, and cultural backgrounds; also under that very same roof are many students studying extremely different subjects. Personality is life. Differing life should be showcased. The amount of diversity should be recognized and the most affective way would be to document these creatures.

 

The initial idea was to find as many words which are related to a human heart and it’s functioning, emotions that people go through and as many things that are connected to the word human that is written among the library. With these words we’ve created a projection that is in the shape of a heart. This can be seen on the front of the building. Within the durational performance this starts at 8pm and finish as 12am. This being because it projection would be seen until the night sky. I wanted this to big and bold and to stand out to passers by to make a statement, to show that there is life within the building.

 

Keeping with the stimuli’s of life within the library to co-inside with our heart project we felt that it was important to have this theme running through the foray and all the different floors. This being because the whole building is layered with different and unusual people, so the theme shouldn’t stop on the outside of the building. With this in mind we thought it would be nice to have the sound of a heart beating in the foray as people enter the library, this being our next layer just like the layers of the building. The sound would commence at 12om through to 12am (midnight).  This will go in conjunction with the projection working together to cause a greater affect.

 

Finally going back to the sore of all the different personalities being discharged and the building itself being seen as lifeless, we want to document a day in the library. We are extremely interested in what people are speaking about while they visit the building; whether that is about work, last nights gossip or dinner plans. As everyone comes and goes, then that’s it. We thought it would be nice to have a day of what people are thinking and saying written down and kept, so that day will always be apart of our library. To make it apart of the building this documentation shall be written on a typewriter, and will form a small book that will have a library number and place upon a shelf.

 

When documenting a day in the library many ideas of how this would be done were thought about. In the end we came to the conclusion that if we want to document a ‘day’ in the library then it has to be a whole 24 hours. The whole day consists of different elements, the busy stage and the quite stage. For this reason we felt it was important for the performance to commence at 12am (midnight) Friday morning and then to end 12am (midnight) Saturday morning. With doing a 24hour performance it was important that we kept ourselves rotating. Moving though three stations once an hour was the way we wanted to do this; typing for an hour, walking and picking up conversation and then a break.

Signs

Signs

signs
signs

 

Posted: May 13th, 2013
Categories: Babel: Lost Words
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