Design for Performance 2021

 

grand-finale-al-carousel-desktop-hero-1133x628Image: Grand Finale by Hofesh Shechter

Course coordinator: Meg Rollandi m.rollandi@massey.ac.nz

Senior Tutor: Nick Zwart ndmzwart@gmail.com

Assignment # 1

Introduction to Contemporary Performance Practices: The Performance Arcade

Project outline: This assignment introduces you to performance design and live art practices by focusing on the development and presentation of a work for The Performance Arcade 2021

Context:

– a note from the festival director and creator Sam Trubridge

“The Performance Arcade is an acclaimed live art festival on Wellington Waterfront. Every year it is experienced by 60-90,000 people. Audiences come for an exciting and diverse program of art, live music, and performance works. These diverse projects are installed within a special architectural arrangement of shipping containers that are stacked and installed together to create an innovative space for performance and arts presentation. This miniature festival offers new encounters between artists and public, creating a vibrant hub that activates the city and exposes communities to new ideas and new cultural perspectives. The free admission and waterfront location makes it accessible to a broad community, developing empowered audiences and participants in the creative and cultural life of Wellington city. It has been running every year since 2011.”

Project Brief:

For this assignment you will work on preparing a proposal for this event for one of the two following programmes:

THE CONTAINER SERIES: a performance or installation work located within (or using) a shipping container. Containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

THE WATERFRONT SERIES: a work that occupies an outdoor site, multiple sites, or moves around the waterfront environment.

A critical aspect of this assignment is how you develop your concept for a live encounter with performance, through your use of body, space, light, costume, object, material, sound, and audience. To help with this you will each respond to the work of a significant practitioner (your ‘Artist Model’) from the history of performance design and performance art practices. From this starting point you will work through a series of tasks and design workshops in order to arrive at your final presentation.

PROJECT DELIVERABLES

ATTENDANCE: There will be one three hour class each week over the six weeks of this assignment. Attendance is necessary at each class.

PRESENTATION: In our final class you will each present your final concept using Powerpoint imagery, material experiments, constructions, models, video, and live performance.  You will use some of these methods in order to best communicate your ideas. The presentation should include these minimum requirements:

  • 2 slides introducing your artist model, and their work
  • 1 slide that articulates your response to your artist model and selected Performance Arcade programme
  • 3 slides showing images from your development process and experiments
  • an image locating performance in site, showing it on the waterfront environment
  • five images showing what happens in the performance
  • a link to your blog

PROCESS WORK:  Research, development, testing  – process work – for this project needs to be documented and posted to your blog. 

 

Learning Outcomes for Assignment One

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the relationships between performers, design, space, and audience in performance practice. (Graduate Profile: Connectedness – Whanaungatanga A3)
  2. Apply exploratory and transformative thinking to generate ideas, proposals, and creative works in response to performance project challenges. (Graduate Profile: Creativity – Toi C1)
  3. Reflect on and evaluate own work and the work of other performance designers and artists. (Graduate Profile: Creativity – Toi C2)
  4. Source and utilise information in a variety of forms and contexts to support their work process. (Graduate Profile: Understanding – Matauranga E4)

Assessment Criteria for Assignment One

Your project will be assessed according to:

  1. Your understanding and response to your artist model: theories, style, practice, works, and historical/contemporary context.
  2. A proposal that addresses makes use of the ‘live encounter’ between performer, audience, design, and space. Note: sometimes the space, design, and audience becomes a performer when there is no other performer present.
  3. The successful manipulation of body, space, light, object, and costume in order to create a performative experience and event.
  4. Your ability to express your ideas fluently and clearly, as well as the quality of the presentation imagery and model.

Week 1

-Introduction – performance art practice + performance design

-Introduce the brief

-Introduction to artist models, discuss performance practices and strategies

Independent study for next Tuesday: 

  1. Research your artist model
  2. Prepare a 10 slide Pecha Kucha style presentation of your artist model. 10 slides/30 seconds per slide!
  3. Identify a performance strategy that your artist engages with. Create 5 performance responses to this strategy. Reminder these don’t have to be ‘the’ or your body performing – objects, materials, phenomena also perform. These also don’t have to be direct documentation performance they can also be the results or artefacts of performance. Documentation is a performance in itself.
  4. Source 1 video of a performance work that you know of or that you find that is interesting in some way. Add the link to your blog.

 

Week 2

  • Pecha Kucha’s 
  • Video performance
  • Scores, topics, actions
  • Strategies exercise from last week

Independent study:

Write your own Yoko Ono/Grapefruit inspired performance score that relates to your artist’s practice or strategies you have observed in research. 

Developing your idea: using a combination found imagery, your drawings and text address the following elements of your performance proposal: duration (how long it is it, does it repeat, is it scheduled), journey (does it move around, if inside a container how does it transform over a day, hour, the whole Arcade), what happens (is someone performing, are the audience watching or participating…).

Source 5 precedent works or artists relevant to your current performance proposal idea.

Ensure you document these tasks on your blog!

 

Week 3

*weather report is terrible meet at normal studio space*

  • Site analysis – Taranaki Wharf  CANCELLED
  • Precedents
  • Developing your proposal
  • Testing at 1:1

Independent:

Continue to develop your proposal. For next week, aim to create 2 images that express your proposal in its current form. Consider the way that you are representing your ideas, what are appropriate visual representation methods? What are the key moments in your proposal that you need to communicate?

1:1 testing of a selected element of your proposal. 

shared folder link

 

Week 4

  • Image reviews
  • Precedent images
  • Storyboarding exercises. 

Independent study:

Continue to develop your proposal. Make sure you re-read the brief, learning outcomes and assessment criteria. Create a plan for each of the deliverable items. Tidy up your documentation  and independent study in your blog! 

Visit the site – Plan where your work would be situated!

 

Week 5

  • Group feedback exercises
  • Prep for next week – outline deliverables and presentations.

Presentation and submission info:

  1. 6 min presentations.

2. Please have your presentation loaded onto the the presentation computer in the space by 1.10pm!

3. Upload deliverables to Stream by Thursday 19th August, 5pm. Ensure you have included a link to your blog – your process (in class and independent study) work for this project is part of the assessment.

Week 6

Link to presentation order

We will begin at 1.10pm.

Please ensure your presentation is titled YOUR NAME and loaded in the SHARED FOLDER

We will discuss the second project after presentations.

 

Assignment 2: Performance Design – Staging Imagined Worlds

“Yet design artefacts  – whether objects, materials, occasions, environments, or still and moving images- are inextricably bound to performance through notions of embodiment, action and events. Within them stories are told, forces are harnessed and roles are played out.” 

Hannah, Dorita, and Olav Harsløf. Performance Design. Museum Tusculanum, 2008.

Project outline:

For this second project you will create a performance design for Ella Hickson’s The Writer.  Creating this performance design requires that you translate the play text from words and ideas into a live performance event.  Your task as the performance designer propose the world that your imagined version of the play takes place in.

You have many tools at your disposal – space, objects, costume, time, light, body, sound – that can be arranged and rearranged infinite times over to shift the audience’s experience of the play. Each element present on stage holds and carries meaning and function, as the performance designer you are able to manipulate our experience of these elements both individually and in combination with each other.

Project deliverables:

To communicate your performance design you will create the following:

_A storyboard of presentation quality images (or short videos). This should be a minimum of 7 images. Your selected images should communicate key moments in the play as they relate to your overall performance design concept. These images can be created using a combination of media of your choosing.

_A 200 words concept overview statement. This statement should identify the key themes you have identified in the work and describe the arching narrative of the performance design.

_5min mixed media staging of a section of the play. This does not need to include dialogue, or a performer ‘acting’. You may choose to represent a key element of your design, using this mixed media staging as a way to describe or capture the essence/a sense of how the work might feel. These stagings will be realised at 1:1 and presented to the class in Week 12. 

_Blog that documents your process work and in class exercises. This is part of your assessment and contributes to your overall grade.

Your staging of this play will be at Circa Theatre. 

COVID Levels allowing we will do a site visit to this space.  

 

 

Project key dates:

Week 11: Interim

Week 13: Presentation and hand-in

 

Week 8

  • Introduce new brief
  • Introduce the play
  • Introduce site (this will now be done in week 9)
  • Precedent examples of text to performance – staging
  • Conventions of a script
  • Close reading for design strategies – creating a design matrix

Slides from today can be found here

Independent study for week 9:

  • Read the play more than once…
  • Write down your thoughts about the play, follow the prompts on the slide show (slide 2)
  • Source reference imagery that addresses your response to the play so far. Include at least one image for each of the following: a costume, a prop/object, a space, a lighting state, a transformation. Note these do have to be pictures of the object/space, they can be images that reference the quality of them.
  • Bring to class an example of a contemporary text, staged (The National Theatre has a great youtube…)
  • Start your design matrix (refer to the slide show)

 

Week 9

  • Discuss the script and initial responses
  • Share reference imagery
  • Theatrical styles exercise:  Realism, Naturalism, Expressionist, Post dramatic, Live cinema/mediated performance, Live art, Contemporary performance, Greek Theatre.
  • Circa 1, Circa Theatre, plans and layout
  • Staging, Cleansed by Sarah Kane

Circa plans

Independent study for week 9

  • Concept statement  – create a draft concept statement that outlines the overall idea that is driving how you intend to stage your production of The Writer
  • 3 scenes 3 ways. Select 3 scenes/moments from the play. Create 3 possible staging responses for each each scene (a total of 9). Visually represent these through collage, drawing and sourced images or video. 
  • Daffodil pitch: how would you stage this scene from Sarah Kane’s Cleansed
  • Continue to add to your design matrix

 

 The blog has not been updated beyond this point – everything below is out of date…

Week 9

  • Review three scene pitches.
  • Daffodil task
  • Discuss treatment of the play 1:1/2 tutorials

Independent Study:

  • Draft storyboard presentation (10 images), at least 3 images/elements completed to presentation standard.
  • Select a scene from the play that could be realised with the use of projection. Source examples of style, form and content precedents and possibilities. We will be having a guest lecturer in next week to deliver a workshop on projection. Please be at the session at 12.45 if possible so that we can get started asap.

 

Week 10

Projection workshop with Charley Draper

Independent Study:

2 more images towards your storyboard to presentation standard.

-Be specific, use the resources (plans and sections), consider sight-lines, what is an appropriate rendering style, what elements of your proposal require detail or more detail, a storyboard is not necessarily a static image…

Draft version of mixed media staging, this should include at least 1x 1:1 test, detailed storyboard (more than sketches) including reference and research imagery.

 

Week 11

  • 1:1 mixed media staging discussion and workshop
  • Review updated storyboards

For next session:

Final draft of storyboard images (have a way of showing video if this is part of your storyboard). We will workshop these together in groups so that you can implement changes in response to feedback for you week 13 submission.

‘1:1’ stagings: 5mins. Ensure that either you or one of your classmates documents your staging. This is not a draft! Post this to your blog. 

Digital submission via Stream of all project requirements Tuesday 20th October, Week 13, 5pm.

Reminder of project deliverables:

Project deliverables:

To communicate your performance design you will create the following:

_A storyboard of presentation quality images (or short videos). This should be a minimum of 10 images. Your selected images should communicate key moments in the play as they relate to your overall performance design concept. These images can be created using a combination of whichever medium you choose.

_A 200 words concept overview statement. This statement should identify the key themes you have identified in the work and describe the arching narrative of the performance design.

_5min mixed media staging of a section of the play. This does not need to include dialogue, or a performer ‘acting’. You may choose to represent a key element of your design, using this mixed media staging as a way to describe or capture the essence/a sense of how the work might feel. These stagings will be realised at 1:1 and presented to the class in Week 12. 

_Blog that documents your process work and in class exercises. This contributes to your overall grade.

The blog has not been updated beyond this point – everything below is out of date…

Last modified: September 21, 2021