The project’s ‘lab’ events are gatherings of practitioners, to share practices and ideas, provoking and supporting developments in our work. The first Lab took place on the 16thand 17thof May, 2019, at Jackson’s Lane Arts Centre in Highgate. Participants included:
The day sessions were structured around a series of workshops led by network members, with time scheduled to reflect and respond. The network also ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together, to seamlessly extend conversation as much as possible, in less organized settings. There was a highly productive sense of continuity, and community amongst the participants (and perhaps because of) the significant differences in disciplines, training paradigms, cultures, and performance priorities.
Thursday's session began with Jaakko’s introduction to Larp (Live Action Role Play) and its approaches to facilitating risky interaction between participants. Exercises included ‘replication protocols’ for violent and sexual encounters within the fiction of the larp. The afternoon was spent trying out and responding to one of Lundahl & Seitl’s headphone-based works, where the spectators take turns to become guides to each other while moving, blindfolded, through a re-imagined space.
Friday's morning session was led by Jade & Jorge, sharing some of ZU:UK’s work, leading physical exercises for preparing to work creatively with audiences, followed creating, adapting and playing each other’s games. In the afternoon Natalie and Joe shared some of Lab Collective’s practices for creating and preparing for audience interactions, and for mapping routes and options within interactive performances.
Prior to the lab short statements were shared on two of the key themes of the project: play and intensity, as a result, some common concerns emerged and they were fed into discussion at the lab:
The conversation led to other topics including:
The next step for the network is to pick up some of these themes for further conversation, online, in preparation for Lab 2 in the autumn and as a way to deepen and extend the insights gained so far.