Archive for the Work in progress Category

Mel Brooks, oh yeah.

Posted in Events, Random thinking, What one gets up to, Work in progress on November 3, 2013 by Carina Westling

We went to see a special screening at the Duke of York last night, of Some Like It Hot. It is such a good movie – not a single dull moment.

The weather has decided to go back to November mode. It sucks. We had to run to the train this morning, and the cold air hit my lungs badly. It took me a good 10 minutes to stop coughing afterward. I want summer.

Conference preps, working with my new contracts, research. I am certainly keeping busy. This is good. I am slowly rejoining the human race.

I just want it to be a little warmer now!


Grand tour of North Laine venues

Posted in Work in progress on September 18, 2013 by Carina Westling

The day has been clement – the sun turned up midday (as promised by the ever-excellent, and we went to see Lighthouse, where the ever-excellent Phil greeted us downstairs; Basement, where the equally ever-excellent Tim talked the learners through the Basement concept; ORCA Gallery, where two artists were reverse-engineering Coca Cola; the Dream Factory, where Carlos Saba from SpookStudio gave the learners an introduction to lean startups and how they approach people who bring their ideas to them; and finally Komedia, where Marina herself generously gave us the full tour and shared Komedia wisdom. We rounded the tour off with a spin at the Brighton Japan Festival in the Old Steine Gardens, and after that we needed to sit down for a bit.

Setting up blogs with my Dv8 pre-apprenticeship learners

Posted in Research, Work in progress on September 17, 2013 by Carina Westling

With Internet the speed of treacle, we are just in the process of setting up blogs for them, so they can log goals and progress throughout the course.

We have had an introduction to the different presentation skills we will cover during the course, and how they interrelate. The intent is to make sure they leave here in tip-top shape for job hunting and interviews, and there seems to be a bit of excitement in the room about that. I have already shared some of my favourite angles on the subject.

Earlier on, I was interviewing for the new research admin for our research at Falmer. I couldn’t be there during the afternoon, obviously – I look forward to hearing about the afternoon candidates. One of them especially seemed promising.

NESS – new beginnings

Posted in Events, Research, What one gets up to, Work in progress on July 18, 2013 by Carina Westling

We had a very constructive meeting with Judith today. It is great to develop ideas with good people; so much momentum. We have formulated next steps and all have homework to do to bring things forward.

I also saw DV8 today regarding teaching for them. I guess I will find out next week what happens there.

The weather is still blissful. We had a lovely barbecue on the beach last night, with several messy courses. Tonight, David Bramwell’s new show at Zu.

Conference preparations, lots of tunnel experiment preparations, and some festival things

Posted in Events, Research, What one gets up to, Work in progress on May 20, 2013 by Carina Westling

Phew – no rest for the wicked. Inputs-Outputs suddenly feels imminent (and it is). We just met with Judith, and had an excellent discussion about both the conference and future developments.

The weekend brought a little bit of festival activities – we went out to see Faust by Bad Taste Company (or Bad Taste Cru, as their breakdancing ‘face’ is called), which was nothing of the sort. Exhilarating dancing, clearly based on streetdance, but brilliantly expanded into ensemble dancing, what looked like capoeira, and altogether very expressive. Great use of music, too. Thoroughly enjoyable. We went both Saturday and Sunday night.

There was lots of work to be done during the weekend – the tunnel project has turned into a bit of a monster (predictably), and I am glad to say I could contribute quite usefully to making preparations somewhat less frantic and more productive. I prepared and uploaded all the music, and the playback solution I worked out the other week (configuring an alarm clock app to function as the timer for the playlists) ended up being what is going out, at least in phase one. But by Jove, it has been time-consuming. I am counting three days working on it now, and that’s just stepping in to avert meltdown.

This week will see me doing more work with Punchdrunk (hurrah), more work with my new clients (exciting), and quite a bit of time with my kids (which very much I look forward to).

The bottom half of the Internet

Posted in Random thinking, Research, Work in progress on March 26, 2013 by Carina Westling

I have been thinking about ‘aggro’ engagement lately. I think the discourse around engagement, both academically and from the industry side, is very one-sided. It is not like it is not understood within the industry that this is an effective way to attract attention, engagement, and traffic. Neither is this isolated to digital media. It is obvious that The Sun, and other gutter-licking tabloids, use this phenomenon to their advantage – or rather, base their entire business on it.

I have some ideas around this that are a little off-piste, in terms of how the discourse usually goes. I think I will make them part of my presentation at the Inputs-Outputs conference.

Sleep No More – observations

Posted in Events, Research, What one gets up to, Work in progress on December 29, 2012 by Carina Westling

My mum and I enjoyed Sleep No More immensely. I will be unpacking the complexity of it for some time. The dancers/actors were excellent – especially Tori Sparks as Lady Macbeth. Goosebumps! But they were all superb. The slow-motion banquet stops time itself.

Key features:

    urgency – the risk of missing the action
    embodiment and ambiguity
    restructuring the hierarchy of sensory channels
    hidden affordances – the need to seek out locations and hidden places
    the possibility of unexpected interaction with unknown consequences (but presumed safe)
    seeming randomness – strong, but not superficially obvious, narrative structure, rich in layered metaphors
    dynamic changes of scale, reflecting the narrative structure – narrow, twisting corridors opening into big rooms, boxes and small spaces within rooms
    the tacit “mirror” choreography of the movement of the audience – designed to be intuited, not directly perceived

Ambiguity/the partially revealed:

    darkness makes it more challenging for vision to remain the controlling sense; opening avenues for other sensory channels (auditory, haptic)
    disorientating, placing emphasis on imbalance, risk of falling
    creating an atmosphere of impending danger and/or mystery
    masks limiting the visual field, making hearing more important as a way to perceive fast approaching actors and audience memberslight and occluding edges, using extreme chiaroscuro to create ambiguityshifting boundaries between performance spaces (as they become so) and audience spaces – the need to be constantly aware


    proprioception being pushed to the fore by a disorientating and unbalancing environment
    proximity of other bodies – both actors and other audience members – often fast moving
    the intense physicality of the actors/dancers
    rich surround (recorded) sound, reverberating through your body
    the sound of gravity and effort – the actors/dancers, the audience members, moving (often with great urgency) close up
    the real risk of impact if you get the shifting boundaries between performance space and audience space wrong

And, of course, meticulous attention to micro- and macroperspective detail and sensual depth, created by layer upon layer of material-as-metaphor. Finished off by draping all that rich detail in sensory ambiguity.