Posts Tagged ‘Ideas’

The Right Frame of Mind

Now that we finally have a piece of work that resembles a full performance, we have been able to start considering other elements surrounding our work, such as, how an audience might view it and how we can archive what we are doing. We have attempted to do a couple of ‘dress runs’ of the performance, and this has opened up many new routes that we could take with the finished piece. So naturally, we shall continue to make adjustments to the piece before its final showing.

One question that came up after our preview was: How could we frame our work? The positioning of our piece is very important as we are representing everything that the library is inside, outside.In his book Site Specific Art, Nick Kaye states that “the ‘inside’ of the work is always already penetrated by the outside’ (Kaye 2000, p. 192), therefore choosing the right sort of frame for our work was vital in order to allow the audience to interpret the desired meaning of our piece. Having thought about this, we thought that the perfect place to perform our work would be in front of the construction site of the new extension of the library; after all we would then be deconstructing language in front of the construction of the place that is the centre of language. This could potentially create a very strong image to an audience. In his book Site Specific Art, Nick Kaye states that “the ‘inside’ of the work is always already penetrated by the outside’ (Kaye 2000, p. 192), therefore choosing the right sort of frame for our work was vital in order to allow the audience to interpret the desired meaning of our piece.

Secondly, we began to think about what we could do to “fill the gaps” between our individual readings. This led us to create motifs that were relevant to our personal ‘language breakers’. For example, I am using French to break down the library list, so after my performance I will kiss each individual piece of card that I am holding. This is because if someone were to say the term ‘French kiss’, it would conjure up the typical image that most people have of this phrase, however I am breaking this down by giving each piece of card that has French writing on it a single kiss, therefore challenging the semiotics surrounding the term. Another example is that Hannah holding the book in various different ways. This is to demonstrate the fact that we talk about being able to hold a book in an infinite number of ways, but once again we are unable to truly demonstrate what infinity is, being only human.

Lastly, we decided that we would like to archive our work, and show the progression over the four performances. This is where the idea of the pieces of card that we have written our lists on comes in. We decided that, rather than simply read off A4 pieces of paper on a clip board, we would hand write our lists on small rectangular pieces of cards. The thought process behind this was that when we went to the library in Lincoln town centre, they had thousands and thousands of pieces of card with all their records on archived at the back of the building. This made us think how fantastic it would be to mimic this by creating our own record of our performance, with the pieces of card all marked in our individual way. It would really tie the library into our performance.

The plan now is to do one last run through of our piece before the official performance dates, in order to receive yet more feed back. Hopefully we can create something that people will be able to look back on as part of the library’s history.

Works Cited

Kaye, Nick (2000) Site-specific Art, London and New York: Routledge

Posted: April 28th, 2013
Categories: Library, Taking the Library Outside
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Putting Names To Faces.

I went into the library last week and decided to experiment further with Andy Wahols concept of taking a photo to try and develop and understand the person. This was undoubtably one of the hardest things I have had to do since working in the library.
Approaching people in the library and taking a moment in time to get to know the person on an intimate level in a short amount of time becuase they were working hard or doing dissertation proposals, capturing a moment in time when people are in the library for a specific reason and trying to convey themselves in a single snap shot.

Mark R Scovell (11210091)

Mark on the 8th of April wanted to put across that he loves chatting and procrastinating whilst in the library

‘I think I’m fun to be around but most people don’t like to come to the library with me because I will distract everyone from everything until someone forces me to do work, I am a distraction to others and myself .I go to the library because of the resources , sometimes I bump into a friend to have a chat . The library is quite big so I can find somewhere to motivate myself”. In a single snap shot there is a true sense with his wave and cheeky smile that he really likes to have fun, but the library creates an enviroment for him to work within. Mark said he’d love it if there was ‘a place for having a break’ a place to get away to clear your head and get back into the working enviroment and with this ‘place to break’ escape the factory enviroment for ten minutes.

Favourite cake – victoria sponge

Lucinda Brown (11239270)


The Library is supposed to be quiet but my friends always distract me, if do work at home my flat mates distract me , the library has all the books I need. I’m able to get out of the house, and find a place to be quiet and to work hard , which means its good for motivation. In this picture i was hard at work and being easily distracted from everything so was telling you to stop distracting me and trying to give the impretion that i work hard but I’m unorganised because this essay was extremely last minute’

Favourite Cake- Lemon Cake.



The reason I asked what their favourite cake was because like any conversation wth strangers its easiest to have a starter question and with the influence of ‘Hunt and Darton’

Jenny Hunt and Holly Darton, create enviroments where they can ask provoking questions about the society in which we live. ‘Their work ‘combines elements of spoken word, movement, improvisation, and installation in their experiment and play with the aesthetics of entertainment and performance’. Their work comes out of a shared interest in what it means to be human, making work about common problems, embarrassment, human behaviour, love, life and art. They tend towards the deadpan and the absurd.’

We decided to have our own piece of absurd in our piece so did large head pieces to draw attention to the cafe, we used maps on the majority of the head pieces and circled the library to focus on our site, in the centre of the photo is steph who is wearing a tea cup to advertise our pop up cafe.


Taken on the 3rd of may on the day of our perfomance

After talking in depth with people in the library Thomas Cuff gave our group an insight and said ‘ there isn’t a sense of community in the library’. This is something that Hunt and Darton acheive by asking big questions to people for example ‘What is it to be human ?’. Our group wanted to make a statment on the history of the buliding and the way people were treated in the factory, similiar work has been done by Maureen Hawkins who did a piece drawing attention to the segregation of North and Southern Ireland and we want to make a statment on the class system in British society.This idea runs parellel to our idea of making buliding a community and making people feel welcome and not just a number, in a buliding that has evolved from a place of work to a library that has the same ethics with the library users clocking in and clocking out and working towards a pay check or a deadline .These ideas and the inspiration from Hunt and Darton to take a space and mix the history and create our own pop up cafe in the library and create an escape from the history .. The Grain Escape idea has been formed !

Comments welcome :)

Works cited

Boon, R. and Plastow, J. (2004) Theatre and empowerment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Posted: March 29th, 2013
Categories: The Grain Escape
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‘Workshop is the active research phase of the performance process. Some artists use workshops to explore processes that will be useful in rehearsals’1 This week, we decided to experiment with how we use our senses more in hope it would prove useful for our final performance. In order to do so, we went to the silent floor of the library and started to play around with movement, imagery and different senses. Rebecca was blindfolded and would experiment solely with the use of touch, and sound or lack of it as she was blindfolded. As you can see below, some beautiful images were created in this improvised piece. It makes me think how crucial the use of a strong image can be in provoking an audience response.

Key points from the experiment:

  • Improvised movement
  • Connection with the books
  • Inspiration from Marina Abramovic’s Seven Easy Pieces
  • How imagery can form a spectacle
  • Can we make a dress out of books to form interesting imagery?
  1. Schechner, R. (2006) Performance Studies: An Introduction 2nd Edition Routledge: London. p233 []
Posted: March 3rd, 2013
Categories: Les dames des livres, Library
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Taking a Journey in Someone Else’s Eyes…

‘Calling herself the grandmother of performance art’ (Allain and Harvie 2006, p.13)

After delving into more research on Marina Abramovic, I find myself to be more fascinated. I want to take one main element from her work and that’s to get the audience to be a part of the final performance.

Exploring the library in an early session gave me the idea of using headphones with the audience and setting out a list of instructions for them to follow. Myself and couple of others from the group experimented with this and had our tutor to be our “guinea pig” and test our experiment. Due to short amount of time he had set us to create the task we had to use mobile phones to communicate, this proved difficult as we lost signal and the call disconnected in certain parts of the building. The feed back we were giving from our tutor was that the piece did give some form of own meaning to the participant, but not quite what we wanted the responce to be.

We then sat down and discussed what we could adapt to make the piece have meaning.

  • Taking a journey through the library in someone else’s eye’s.
  • History of the build – What it was before the library.
  • Looking at the building as a grain factory.

I and a couple others from the group took a trip to the city library, where we found it has an archive of pictures of the city and it’s surrounding dating back to early 1800’s. Here we found a few documents that we thought we could incorporate into our piece:

  • Photographs of the city that surrounds.
  • Pictures of the library.
  • Pictures of the grain factory.

After deciding this I looked at some work by Janet Cardiff. Her pieces called Walks could be considered a high influence to our ideas.

All of my walks are recorded in binaural audio with multi-layers of sound effects, music, and voices (sometimes as many as 18 tracks) added to the main walking track to create a 3D sphere of sound.’ (Janet Cardiff:

In these pieces the participant/audience listen to a pod cast/recording of Cardiff giving instructions and building a story, for example, in one of her pieces she tells the participant to sit on a bench and look out in front. She then continues to tell the listener to hold up a certain photograph out in front of them. The photograph is of a woman sat on the bench in front. She then starts to ask questions such as,’ what is the woman thinking?’, ‘Where is the woman now?’ She also rises the point of that the past is being brought to the present. This is one aspect of Janet Cardiff’s work I want to bring to the final idea.

Having to come up with 3 ideas for our next session, I would like to propose my idea of looking at the city through someone else’s eyes whilst telling a story.

  • Using audio.
  • Headphones to make the piece more intimate.
  • Photographs as a visual aid.

I want to take the listener on a journey through the library in the eyes of a worker in the factory. By setting up numbered points in the library to look out the windows and hold up the photographs matching that number. This will firstly, bring the element of making the familiar unfamiliar and secondly bring the past to the present.

I’m excited to see the outcome of the experiment and the ways in which we can develop this into something better and stronger. I’d like there to be volunteers from our group and possibly people outside our group to be a second “guinea pig” for this idea and to give feedback on how we can improve it.


Allain, Paul and Havie, Jen (2006) The Routledge Companion the Theatre and Performance, US and Canada: Routledge.

Cardiff, Janet (accessed: 10.05.13)

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