This exposition is a pracritce. It is a curated notebook. It is incomplete, imperfect, and inpernanent

FRAMING TIME:

A Restrospective Scenography  

Methodology


Observe: Natural fleeting occurrences are those moments in time that can never be repeated and can only be experienced from a specific positioning. The reflection of the sun, a gust of wind on water, light in a mirror, the internal feeling of suspension, or a startle response that can never have the same effect more than once. Natural fleeting occurrences happen because of an alignment of exact spatial relations - including the time of day, the weather the day before, the height of the observer - me - and a seemingly endless set of measurable spacial relations. I as the researcher label these individual spatial relations Positionings and am also interested in the ratio of when the positionings are choice or chance.

 

Document: I investigate the positionings thoroughly so as to capture that moment in time and understand how specific spatial relations aligned to create the occurrence. I use exact measurements (distances, time, weather, etc) as well as artistic renderings (writing, painting, etc.) to create a documentation of the moment.

 

Present: The next step in my research is presenting the occurrence and its documentation to a secondary spectator. This is the Restropective Scenography. The two methods I use are In Situ: an indication of an occurrence in the space it occurred, and in Legend: a translation of the occurrence in a new space.

 

 



Scenography as performance design is in one of its many definitions the structuring of movement in space. In this way Scenography, much like a Dance, is a time-based art form. What is distinct about Scenography is the limits to how it can define the space, the performer(who or what) and its temporality.

 

With its connection to performance and time I suggest that Scenography is a practice, not a finished product. With materials such as light, space, the body, and particularly temporality; scenography - like Dance - is flexible; able to respond to time, new research and altered circumstances.

 

This exposition is my research of time using Scenography as a practice through observation, documentation, and translation. In order to research time, I have chosen to focus on how it performs in natural environments. 

 

Research Question:

Can I observe document, and present natural fleeting occurrences as a Retrospective Scenography: A survey of past events or experiences. 

Translation as Documentation and Presentation

Translation within my research has one definition.

 

The rendering of something into another language(here meaning medium or material).

 

Purpose 1: I use the word translation instead of recreation when I attempt to scenographically present a natural fleeting occurrence that I have documented. I find translation a more accurate word choice because recreation assumes a level of accuracy and transfer that I am not trying to achieve. This translation is the final outcome the secondary spectator sees. The Legend is a translation.

 

However, I think translation could also be used for another purpose.

 

Purpose 2: Translating as a way for the observer(me) to fictitiously rather than precisely document a natural fleeting occurrence. I had this thought whilst in a workshop about William Kentridge's Studio of the Less Good Idea. So far, I have been using exact measurement such as compass readings, angles of light, temperature, etc to gather documentation. I have also been writing which often gives a more personal state of mind to the documentation.

Can I document a natural fleeting occurrence using the concept of translation? i.e. can I use a different materials to translate the documentation in different art form (paint, drawing, writing, etc.) and add these translations to the documentation?

I'm hoping that the small translations I create before moving onto a larger one (The Legend) can open my mind to different options.


If presenting purpose 2 alongside the other documentation it is interesting to look at another definition of translation from mechanics: motion in which all particles of a body move with the same velocity along parallel paths. My documentation is already a form of this definition: different evidence for one occurrence that has the same claim to documenting a moment in time. They can be understood individually and as a document.  


The artificial is pushed to the point where it becomes performative. The spectator must wait, and this process is remembered as being a short time span because even though the moment gratification that finally appears is short it is the spark where the pieces are put together. until the moment of gratification. It is a spark of alignment, realization where the window of perception is open.

But . . . once you know you can not unknow.

ENCYCLOPEDIA 

NATURAL FLEETING OCCURANCE: Never exisiting in the same way twice.

Natural Occurance: Existing without aid in a natural environment. A natural environment can be both external or

internal, and can be both awesome or mundane.


Fleeting: transient, rapid, passing swiftly, momentary.


INTERVENTION:

To [intervene] take part in something so as to alter a result or course of events.Interventions are made using Framing Devices [see below].


%CHOICE & %CHANCE:

The ratio of Natural Fleeting Occurance to Intervention.This is the Scenography of the moment.


OBSERVER

Myself in oberving and measuring the first moment the fleeting occurence is experiencd. 


SPECTATOR

Secondary Spectator. The one who sees my recreation and/or documentation. The one who becomes involved in the memory of a time they didn't experience. 

IN SITU: The spectator is a reader

IN LEGEND: The spectator tries to align themselves with the spatial relations.



DOCUMENTATION and further definitions. 


IN SITU: An indication of a Natural Fleeting Occurrence within the space that it happened. 


A LEGEND A translation of a Natural Fleeting Occurrence in a new space using scenographic tools. 



FRAMING DEVICE: Tools used in interventions.


Positioning: All of the spacial relations that align in around and between the observer and the point of focus. Positioning when experiencing a Natural Fleeting Occurance is often by chance. Once the positioning is documented and presented to a Spectator the positioning becomes a choice.

Positioning is the spacial arrangement and relation of the choice and the chance.

Example:

Chance: On a snowy day in the city I looked out the window and becme enamoured by the melancholic serenity. This moment and its positionings are chance due to the conditions of the snow, the placement of the window, and myself having be there during that exact time.

Choice: Placing a chair, choosing what sounds are heard, and lowering the blinds of the window are all choices/interventions to invite a secondary spectator aid the sceneography of the moment in it's performance. But remember, that moment will never be the same as the first.


Time Perception: Being aware of or intervening so as conciously use or manipulate the percpeived time of a moment for the specator. The theory of time perception is restrospective, refering to the spectator's perception of time during a moment after it is happened. Since time is a human construction it can be distorted by translating experiments of time perceptions spatially. This is valuable because, the duration of a moment can seem to last forever yet be gone in an instant. 







My own previous work on perception.

The video to the left is a rendering of a suspended chord, similar to those used in impressionist music where the end of a chord just never seems to finish. Imagine singing the whole happy birthday song and then on the last line you never finished the final "to you" that completes the song. It's disappointing. I was interested in setting up this anticipation and disappointment.
The experiment: On a table, I set up dominos in a line to be knocked down, however, I taped one dominos close to the end to the table so the last five or so would remain standing. I then let spectators knock down the dominos and recorded their reactions.

Artist Study: James Turrell

 

James Turrell is an artist whom I believe also works in with the practice of translations. In a similar way, he is interested in rendering the concept of perception, artistically. Turrell chooses the abstract medium of light to create works that in my opinion are a translation. For example, the work pictured is one of his Ganzfeld works where he explores the loss of depth perception.

For me, Turrell's work is inspiring in the limits of scale and abstraction that I could possibly take my In Legends. Turrell also has an interesting view of his own work which I have yet to decide where on the spectrum my work falls. "Turrel calls his art non-vicarious art because, it can only truly be experienced first hand, and so all the descriptions and photographs you may see of it are somehow less than the real experience of the work"(Trotman).

Before I began precicely document natural fleeting occurrences I merely took a photo or video. Can I add to their documentation with the second purpose of translation?

 

Below are the undocumented occurances I can start translating.

Purpose 2 also presents an interesting solution for my desired moments of pause/making for makings sake. 

 

In my research of Wabi Sabi, and how it related to the impermanence and imperfection of moments in time and performance, I found the statement Wabi Sabi invites moments of pause, which I have been inviting through making for makings sake with seemingly random creations.

In Situ:

On March 19th, 2019 I saw a puddle in the south of Utrecht with the sun's reflection looking back at me. It looked like the moon. I placed a rock in the puddle and from the exact position I stood the rock eclipsed the sun. I was unsure whether the puddle was by the past week of rain that had caused a heaviness in the city of Utrecht, like having to find self-motivation during a bout of flu, or from the car wash a mere six meters from the puddle itself.

Regardless, A piece of rock (still researching what type) lay next to the puddle which was curious because I couldn't see any indication of where in the road or sidewalk it came from, and I placed it in the puddle and eclipsed the sun.

The documentation to the left is an intervention to a natural fleeting occurrence; the reflection of the sun clear as the moon in a puddle. This is my first attempt at investigating and documenting the measurable spatial relations to an extremely specific end. 

I measured the size of the puddle [15m], obtained an exact compass reading of my position where I stood, and tried to imprint the feeling of that time in my mind. I documented photos of the rock and information about the weather. I then took a spectator to see the eclipse but of course it could never be the same because my eye height was lower and the sun was one hour further to the west.  From this intervention, I now have further interest in specifically documenting my positioning and presenting the documentation to a spectator and recreating for them a memory they will never experience.

This wording has since changed to a retrospective sceneography. 

 

Documentation:

12:56 EST

Puddle Circumference 15M

Weather 11 degrees sun peeking through the clouds.

The occurrence

In Situ: Eclipsing the sun with a rock

The Indication

METHODS OF DOCUMENTATION

Initially, I believed that I was recreating or presenting for the spectator a memory of a time they didn't experience. However, the word memory confuses my documentation process the mood of which is captured eloquently by M. John Harrison. “Memory commits you to the nuance; the fog. If you act on memory you commit yourself on the basis of echoes: unpredictable, faint, fading even as they were generated. No basis on which to inch out across your life, and yet all you have.” This mood being that memories are fleeting, fragmented and flawed as Jerry Koh wrote. However, these memories are mine - I as the observer and the primary spectator - I am not asking my secondary spectator to recall anything but instead I am trying to translate the moment in order to give the spectators a taste of what that moment was from my perspective; to get close enough to the terrain of that same mood in hopes that the uniqueness of my own revelation can unlock something universal. 
Therefore `i have come to the conclusion that I need to reword the original phrase: a memory of a moment they did not experience. I have decided upon

A retrospective scenography: a survey of past events or experiences.

 

The process begins with observing a natural fleeting occurance and meticulously documenting the positionings and their spatial relations [this can include interveneing]. I then have two methods of presenting the secondary spectator with my documentation which are described in full below.

METHOD #1

IN SITU

In situ is a Latin phrase that translates literally to "on site" or "in position." It can mean "locally", "on site", "on the premises", or "in place" to describe where an event takes place and is used in many different contexts. For example, in fields such as physics, geology, chemisty, or biology, in situ may describe the way a measurement is taken, that is, in the same place the phenomenon is occurring without isolating it from other systems or altering the original conditions of the test.

 

An In Situ presentation of my scenography takes the spectator orienteering. It provides the possibility for the spectator to visit a natural fleeting occurrence. With In Situ, I as the observer create interventions in space by indicating, essentially pointing out a fleeting occurrence in space by actively documenting its progression of time and/or artistically framing the occurrence. In short, I indicate (bring attention to) the natural fleeting occurrences that happen in a pre-existing space. In Situ provides the spectator with enough documentation of the moment that they can see traces of the occurrence or position themselves within the spatial relations so as to bring new awareness and poetry to the pre-existing space that they may not have noticed otherwise.

 

 

 

Both scenarios provide exact and poetic documentaion alongside their created scenographies. Both also involve a suble choreography of the spectator for them to align with the spatial relations. This is expanded on in a different panel 

S P A C E  F O R  D E V E L O P M E N T 

The positioning of the spectator


METHOD #2

In LEGEND

In reference to unlocking a map. It gives you the information needed for the map to make sense.The etymology dates back to the early 14th century: "narrative dealing with a happening or an event," from Old French legende (12th century, Modern French légende) and directly from Medieval Latin legenda"legend, story," literally "(things) to be read," on certain days in church, etc., from Latin legendus, neuter plural gerundive of legere "to read, gather, select"


In Legend  presents a natural fleeting occurrence in new space as a translation - a rendering of the occurrence using scenographic tools in a different space from which it was first observed. The spectator is provided with the documentation as a key to understanding a seemingly abstract translation(non exact recreation), in hopes they will get some sense of my perspective be it the movement, the mood, the light, my state of mind etc.

 

In short it looks like a space that has documentaiton and tools of documentation as a legend to understand the scenography I have created in that space.  

Understanding this page.

 "In a comic you have various panels. Those panels are each units of time. You see them simultaniously, so you have various moments of time simultaniously made present." - Art Spiegelman 

 

The basic unit of a comic is a page, the interplay of different panels. Although read linearly the entire page is always present.TIME IS MADE SPATIAL. It is the device I am using visualize my research - and in fact the way I work on pen and paper also. I am also curious if I keep organizing myself and writing  in the way, if I can eventually translate it to my research document at the end of my Masters.

 

 

On April 8th, 2019 - the day my sister turned 33 - whilst overseeing a mellow workday at a restaurant near the north of Utrecht, I stepped outside to check for new customers. As I breathed in the cold, clean air that only spring can produce I was confronted with what I could only call the Dutch Sky. All week the sun had been diffused behind clouds and buildings, peaking out and warming up the city, after a seemingly endless winter that had begun to feel like a lethargic lack of vitamin D.  All week this spring evening had been hinting at its arrival and finally here it was on a lazy Monday evening.  

 

Spring is and always has been my favorite season.

THE NATURAL FLEETING OCCURRENCE

THE TRANSLATION

In Legend: Sunset on the day my sister turned 33. 

On moments of perceived synchronicity.


Looking back, I became interested in letting natural moments perform in January 2019. As a group of three, we set up a simple space where the spectator watched the city through a window and used sound to influence how they looked. Here are my own words from the past. "Recently In my own research, I have been interested in the idea of performing landscapes, or performing time. This workshop(sound), and particularly the collaboration between Astrid, Chihhua, and I felt like an experiment in both. We created a conversation between two cities that played while
spectators sat and looked out of a window – a scene we did
not create. We were surprised to see how long spectators
sat and watched, and how much time was given to observing
and listening. I want to keep developing these concepts of
time, time spent, observation, simplicity, and hidden
loops."
What I saw as interesting then and continued to carry over was the idea of moments of perceived synchronicity. When scenographic tools are used to underscore the natural world - such as the sound of a bus in a room happens to match up with a bus outside, however, because of subtlety, it takes time for a spectator to notice.
This led me down the path of exploring synchronicity, live performance, and the metaphor of quantum mechanics; all of which led me to natural fleeting occurrences.

First experiment with Legend and its transition to performance.

 

On Tuesday, April 9th I decided to do a quick and dirty experiment in translating a natural fleeting occurrence to a new space using scenographic tools. As this was an experiment I used an occurrence that was not extensively documented and I believe there is value in continuing to practice with how to translate these moments. 


Step 1: Invite a spectator into a space. 

Step 2: Provide the spectator with measured and poetic documentation of the Natural Fleeting Occurance.

Step 3: Translate the documentation in the space using scenographic tools. 

Step 4. Guide the spectator into the alignment of the translation. 


It is unclear as of yet whether every legend needs to be live, what is clear is how it differs from In Situ in that is is a translation not an indication. 



                                              

 


VIDEO

Translations and positioning. 

April 24th, 2019 I had the opportunity to work in a small theatre. With little to no idea of what I wanted to achieve so I surveyed my surroundings. I decided to ask: can I combine natural and artificial light within a theatre space. In the blacked out room I opened one window and turned on one warm overhead light at full intensity. From the perspective of the seats and the lighting booth this did little to nothing of interest as a scene, however, stepping onto the stage I was met with a cold and warm shape high on the wall in front of me, a seemingly universal symbol for a sun and a moon.

The two sources of light appeared as orbs as a reflection on the black ground and I began to play with when the sun would take over the moon depending on my positioning. This took on the form of spiraling around the space and playfully dancing with the orbs. This then developed into the shifting of weight - much like the spectator in my In Legends - exaggerated into a movement to try and see the two orbs of light equally.

The video below is my view of the floor. The video to the right is my playfull dance of the spectator. 

Giving the documentation beforehand is a must.

If I do not provide the documentation of the work in its many but curated forms, then the spectator will not know what they are looking at and not know what to look for.

How this changes the choreography of the spectator.

with the curtain, in motion, the spectator also needed to shift and bend in order to catch glimpses of the moment. They needed to position themselves as a fluctuation spatial relation in order to align with the other spatial relations in the room. This was also in part because the scale was significantly reduced.

 

Why was the performative element more interesting and what do I want to continue to develop?

 

The inaccuracy of it being live.

The feeling of loss that goes along with the retrospective scenography is heightened because the ability to capture the photo when done live is given a heightened chance of failure. The natural light from the window in the room remained and the windows were open to simulate the spring air of the natural fleeting occurrence. The light and wind on the curtain were fluctuating in the same way that spatial relations of the occurrences are also always in flux. In a sense, the inaccuracy is more accurate as a representation. Each time the spectator sees the translation almost becomes its own fleeting moment.

In Situ: Tracking the sun moving east on April 16 2019

Working within the theatre was a practice of translating. The picture abouve is the actual moon relfected in water.

Throughout the day I returned back to the hallway of light and intervened by placing a marker (of my positioning and the light) so as to create an indication within the space. As it was a public space, I used tape and charcoal to mark my presence and time whilst documenting time, but wished I could draw think lines with ink in the space. After each documentation, I reflected analytically and poetically on the time - including the mundane events that took place in the in-between spaces. This so far was the closest to an In Situ as I have imagined so far. It included scouting a location, documenting, and returning. The spectator in this form of presentation takes on the role of a reader (rather than trying to situate themselves within a spatial relation.

Choreography generated out of trying to see the sun and moon at the same time. A translation of the spectator.

VIDEO

CHOREOGRAPHY OF THE SPECTATOR

 

Attempt to position themselves in the same spatial relation. They are quite literlly stepping into my shoes and performing a movement choreogaphy where with a suble shift of weight from foot to foot, the crack in space where the body fleetingly aligns with the moment has the potential for happening again . . . or not

Each time I returned, I played with different positionings of myself. These positionings are similar to those of the spectator within the In Legend translations. However, In Situ is more about me choosing and documeing the angle at which I align.

On April 16th at around 11 am I went location scouting around my studio at Pastoe with eyes open to find a Natural Fleeting Occurance.
Walking around unusual surroundings of the second floor I happened upon a hallway of windows, light, and some reflection - the perfect ingredients for a Natural Fleeting Occurrence (which makes me wonder if this new motivation to observe and investigate is a product of my general state of awe during spring). For some minutes I placed myself in a number of positions within the hallway of light; down the stairs, around the corner, close to the ground, against the wall . . . until four steps down I noticed diagonals of light cutting up the room, one on the door, and one on the floor . Having spoken to Hilda recently about Anamorphosis I wondered if I could, from a specific positioning, align those diagonals and create a line. Crouched around the corner with my head tilting sideways I created the straight line. Quickly I borrowed(with the agreement that some would not be returned) some tape from Aina and documented the light and its line.
I will come back again during the day, knowing that the light will move, and investigate where next I will be able to create the line of light.

Reading List 


M. John Harrison 

Art Speiglemans Maus 

Joris-Karl Huysmans With the Flow

Amon Tobin 

Emily Dickinson

Sculpting in Time Tarkovsky

Callum Copley Oivla(?)

Hopscotch 

 

THOUGHTS, CHECKLISTS, AND READINGS

WABI SABI

 

imperfect,


impermanent,


incomplete.