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Chapter Three Knowhere? (continued)

“We do not come to "know" the world theoretically through contemplative knowledge in the first instance. Rather, we come to know the world theoretically only after we have come to understand it through handling. (Bolt, 2004, online)

The work itself was formed around this premise, so I created an environment which demanded ‘handling’ for it to make itself known. This resolved the issue of informing the audience pre-performance of what was required of them. As Wechsler suggests, “To simply explain the set-up before-hand is risky. The danger is that the performance, what is ostensibly a piece of art, becomes a lecture with demonstration.” (Wechsler, 1997, online) By planting a mock performer within the space, on entry the audience viewed first-hand what was required of them. The rest of the information given came through autopedagogic features such as the pressure pads and the textural props which enabled the audience to play, ‘handle’ and learn through their own intuition. The only request made, was that participants’ remove their shoes before stepping onto the grid. This action marked the boundary between performance and the everyday, asking the audience member to consciously step into the role of performer when entering the space.

As the project progressed, I began to realise that there becomes a point where an artist’s imagination radically overtakes either the available technology or the capabilities of the technology as a whole. As an artist this can be frustrating, especially when your creative ideas need paring down or re-shaping in order to suit the technology more efficiently. ‘Knowhere?’ had to be de-scaled several times, with each reduction relating to the computer programmed elements. The greatest problem was that of the interactivity. In order to play the video streams smoothly they had to be reduced in size and quality considerably, the amount of pressure pads and the complexity of how they worked had to be decreased and eventually contingency plans had to be devised in case the Teleo system (see appendix ii), which was the primary mode of communication between pressure pads and computer took on a life of its own.

In order to prevent problems with the video streams the decision was taken to edit them into a composition which the audience could disturb and disrupt during the installation. When editing these videos, the tenet of non-linearity determined that my normal editing style containing a definable beginning, middle and end, instead the order of the videos would be through means of association. The shots were placed in order dependant on relative features such as tonal qualities, compositional dynamics or the speed of movement, rather than editing the dance as it flowed choreographically from one movement into the next. Another change came in the form of decreasing the interactivity by making the central video non-interactive. Although frustrating, this gave me the opportunity to show all of the footage I had captured and had intended for the piece, reiterating the fundamental nature of Hyperchoreography.

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