Before coming to Bundanon, Rhiannon Newton has started a collaboration with visual artist Benjamin Forster. Having decided to find another language to communicate with, he is working with Rhiannon, under the premise that a dancer can inform his work with regards to movement. So, working on architecture, drawing and movement, Rhiannon and Benjamin hope to deconstruct the boundary of audience and the work, hopefully even to dissolve these boundaries.
The questions they need to ask architecture, drawing and movement is trying to see where one generates or constrains the other, what is constraining, what is implied. The process is generating infinite possibilities, and Rhiannon says she has to take them for what they are, “That is that.”
In this collaboration, she mentions that she wants to try to bring more complex natural systems in the work, and not just use tables and chairs as they do now. These are used in framing the work – finding an architectural drawing in that situation.
Rhiannon shares a couple of videos with the group, first is one where objects fall into a fixed square, delineated on the floor with what seems like masking tape. Theories of spatial relativity would be investigated here, though the dancers in the lab ask instead What is imposed? Does the thing placed there become the architecture?
Doris directly asks, if Rhiannon needs this complex concept explained to people before/during the performance? It would seem to be the case, as the objects are moving into space, there is a verticality in the object, which transforms on impact at the end, on a 2-dimensional plane. Therefore, two formats are created, a horizontal and a vertical.
Rhiannon says that the underlying idea is that systems appear stable, but something has to shift. “Direction, speed, force, movement, all change if movement transforms the object, shifting the balance of that object.”
She then drew a diagram of a figure 8 system shifting as a shape that she and the visual artist arrived at during their investigations. At this moment in thime, they’re still in the research period of development, in the very early stages and they’re trying to explain the slipperiness of the boundaries. Some of the participants comment that there should be a human aspect to this analysis of architecture, drawing and movement, and Rhiannon says she would love to bring a more human element in it.
Vicki suggests to have a body step into the space, adding a possible element moving within that space and allowing the original element to continue its trajectory.
Jerome comments that it seems like finding a mathematical equation to figure out the movement, and Rhiannon agrees, that she has always loved the formulaic aspect of choreography and it’s what attracted her to this work.
The main questions are, Where are we going with this? How heirarchies form, inform and interchange, and there needs to be more language to earth the concept.
Cat suggests that while they’ve been approaching the body as a source of movement, if Rhiannon is at all interested in the stillness in a body, and what energies are generated by just this presence in the work, and may even consider political-social readings of a body. Rhiannon says they tend towards working on a continuous pattern, short of saying why she has not considered stillness.
Latai has been playing around with images during Rhiannon’s explanation of what she is doing, maybe using GPS to locate the variables, but also sees domestic violence, and particularly boiling sauce burn. She tells Rhiannon that when she mentioned the use of patterns did her images of domestic violence make sense – the idea of recurring impact, and bodies.
The idea of a “free radical” in the work was highly encouraged, and introducing a body or element that doesn’t make rules or decisions, again on the concept of stillness. Also, there should be a clear differentiation between architecture and drawing to describe the space being moved in.
In the frame of architecture and drawing, the other participants would like to know if once the body has stopped moving, does that mean the drawing has ended? And perhaps the use of body as an object as a source of movement may be too limiting in this analysis.
Vicki says that she would see the system twice; first is the point of entry, which is in stasis. Then, the system has to reveal itself to the audience and gives us another dimension (she disclaims that this is just conjecture from her at this point) wants to see development, and again process. Also, to ask, Why the formula is so interesting? \
The work also “depends on your audience.” As a lay person who didn’t hear all the explanations that Rhiannon offered, “I’m not satisfied yet. The audience is the variable.”
Rhiannon shares that what she really wants is that there is no division (But I’m not sure how she means this, no division between the work and the audience, and she doesn’t offer more explanation on how she thinks she can achieve this. Perhaps though, this will become clearer during her stay in Bundanon).