As a Scenographer, my practice brings questions: a Scenographic work is always performative, but is it always site-specific? Or, is the work dependent on the details of a narrative – does it call for dramaturgical strategy such as an arc - a beginning, a high-point and a resolve? Requiring support from literature or text, or creation of a story within the space?
Does the Scenography claim existence within a conventional black or white box – therein is it created into physicality out of nothing, intervened through the abyss of the black-box? Or, is a Scenographic work a close relative of an installation work, in the stark white cube? Does it fundamentally need placement, by arranging object, media and performer – does it require movement, or navigation - of media, of spectator?
Or, does the Scenographic work exist in a virtual or augmented reality – is it entirely digital, or is it spatially or digitally immersive? Is it inclusive, or interactive – are the spectators in fact participants? Or, is it exclusive – with a spectacle that the spectator beholds, without interaction?
And, what makes up an experience? What informs the spectator, what information does the specatator need? As a Scenographer, can I tell you what to think, or how to feel? Can I guide you as a spectator, do you or do you not want freedom in the space?
These questions provoke infinite potential answers. I must first establish the intention that urges me to create, in order to appropriately deem selections of what is required for the Scenography work to take a physical, experiential form.
I like to have such space for a broad range questions in my Scenographic practice. The greatest realization to come from such questionings is that of the arc and the sequence within my works: by questioning what happens, where, and why, the Scenography comes to unfold by an arc in time through the space - and, it takes arrangement by sequences of experiential moments, to deliver a particular emotion or message (such as in IBB : Enquiring Aural Sensitivity and Empowering the Spectator and in Culemborg : Station Deja Vu)… And this approach of 'sequencing' I find very appealing and useful, as though to transmute the term of ‘sequence’ typical to film or music, into an experiential, performative term referring to the order, inter-relations and possibilities within the medias I choose for my Scenographies.
Of course, to answer any of these questions, including of the arc and sequence, I find I must either have a motivation – a core idea to attempt to answer or deliver – or simply create out of nothing and trust the work or the space to inform itself through my developing method of Deep Spatial Listening.
I understand there are potentially endless options available in creating a Scenography, and I must decide to make a work responsive – does something happen in particular to a spectator making an action? Or immersive – does the space engulf the senses, physically or metaphorically? Or is it fixed, a spectacle to behold from afar?
I may also opt to have a multi-layered space – a mixture of these options, perhaps of static media (media that does not respond), or performative body (such as dancer), or interactive elements (technological or not, that respond to and inform the spectator). I realize it is an important duty as a Scenographer to be selective in the possibilities of the space, to align my choices with my core motivation and to be open to learning what the experimentation may reveal.