furthermore

Around a reflection about contemporary issues as the relation between image and reality, the fragmentation of space and time as an important pattern in our more and more virtual lives, the generalised use of pornography and its codes as a major commercial weapon, the globally increasing addiction to lifestyle and fashion, TBYLTMYS gathers a pool of artists coming from different areas.

TBYLTMYS is thought as a continuous research process based on the development of different clusters of material belonging to each medium involved (movement research, sound, images, objects, text…), using as well the specific tools of each domain as common tools (looping systems, real time composition, video editing…).

The material generated by this stream of experiments and meetings will be combined/ juxtaposed and confronted in different public moments, in different surroundings and frames.

TBYLTMYS is an attempt to make processes visible more than a designed product. It is not about creating a fixed choreography and its dramaturgy possible to reproduce more or less on any stage but more a database of movement elements, images and sound sequences, texts that can be recalled, recombined, reorganised differently in different contexts.

In this perspective a good part of the work is about developing systems of rules and tools concerning individually each medium involved as well as systems of rules and tools that can apply to all the media involved. Some kind of game within a game organisation.

Two approaches are worked simultaneously:

pure juxtaposition of elements of different nature and observation of what results of it, in terms of new meanings, new images…(independent rules for each medium )
relation of causality between some elements of different nature (relation if…then… as a game rule), which creates an interdependency between the media involved in a complex action/reaction system (common rules for all the media).
In this choice of structure the ability of making decisions and having reactions in the present moment is essential. This ability might be natural for human beings (here the performers), but is less easy to achieve for the media based on technology (here mostly images, sound and light). The idea of real time composition based on decisions is already quite developed in the movement research part of TBYLTMYS, and still in progress concerning images, sound and light with the attempt of developing a multimedia sampler allowing as much flexibility as possible.

1.The approach to movement

The research is starting questioning where movement in a performance is coming from, exploring private and performative states, articulated and non articulated body languages.

Some of the tools are observation, isolation, transmission and reproduction of movement patterns coming from quotidian private situations as well as the consciousness of the body decisions and their intentions and a movement research using the vocabulary of video editing (rewind, forward, pause, speed control…).

The tools are connected to your memory and the capacity to recognise your own movements in any moment in order to work with them. What sounds like very mechanical is resulting in something, like an effect, a state of being, producing anything unexpected, depending on what kind of movements you are working. Working with this constant active mind the perception of time is changing as well.

Imagining your body being manipulated without the real manipulation (outside control over your body): The desire to lose control over your own body, the imagination of being manipulated by somebody is changing the quality of the way you move. Movements are happening and arriving to you, you are not really “doing” them any more: with minimal effort and out of complete stillness the body is being moved like if there would be another force steering it.

This body work is using two visualisations of the human body:

the quotidian body made of flesh and bones as well as thinking body, its basic postures (standing, sitting, laying and all the possible in-betweens), its capacities of motion, its articulations, its decisions.
The work with the body decisions is connected to a constant active mind (your thoughts) and therefore it is possible to create a “thinking body”, a space in which the thoughts may become visible. (Moshe Feldenkrais’ exercises of the conscious body are very connected to this idea).

the represented body, the body as an icon, an image, a symbol, an ideal in our so*ty (body cult, beauty cult, sexploitation, pornography…), the exposed body, the body as an object.

The performative attitude is then based on a constant travel back and forth between the thinking body and the represented body, on a great awareness of the body decisions and mechanisms as well as its projection to the outside.

In the idea of real time composition, with instant decisions and instant reactions, the performers are constantly in a state of high attention and body awareness, using accidents, coincidences, failures and imperfections in their very moment of happening, connecting to the present, being in the reality of the moment, processing and creating in real time.

About observation/body decisions:

observation can be worked on 3 different levels

the observation of the self, your own body
the periphery observation
the observation of yourself through the spectator
The observation of the self allows the recognition of the body also in every day life situations, to build up a body language that is connected to a quotidian body.

A high body awareness in your every day, “real” life, makes you discover behavioural patterns; how you behave or “act” in a real way without pretending to “act normal”. To exercising this consciousness we are going to follow the studies of Moshe Feldenkrais who concentrated during all his studies on this movement awareness.
Where is movement coming from then?

After the being aware of the quotidian body situations, movement can be found by working with our decision making.

The work with the body decisions is connected to a constant active mind, your thoughts, the body can become a thinking body: there is a space in which the thoughts may become visible.

2. The approach to images

The work on images is based on the representation of the body in mass media with particular interest for the intricate fields of fashion, pornography, music videos, video survey and reality TV. More than anywhere else the body is seen as an object in this field and as a powerful object that generates fantasy and money.

The attempt is here to recycle some genres of body representation and to make their strategies and mechanisms visible through a distorted re-production.

All the images are generated within the pool of artists participating to TBYLTMYS in an ongoing process of photo shootings (digital pictures). The pictures are then put together in video sequences that recreate movement from still pictures (animation).

The confrontation of the live performers and their animated pictures aim to allow different levels of reading of both the live performance and the video sequences.

The use of animation preferably to video shall allow a critical vision of powerful pictures through the exposition of the tricks of their fabrication.

The mixed use of live and pre-edited pictures, juxtaposed to live performance proposes a reflection about the relativity of the term reality in the field of the visual media.

The realisation of a video sampler allows to chose in real time which sequence will be the next projected switching easily from live to pre-edited manipulating in real time pre-edited sequences and generating prepared or live typed texts on top of the images. This widens the possibilities of interaction between live performance and images, in the frame of the real time composition system of TBYLTMYS.

3. The approach to audience

TBYLTMYS aims to make the spectator an active part of the performance (one of its subjects), to give him autonomy and possibilities of making decisions, without going into direct interactive forms of performance. TBYLTMYS constructs an equal position between performer and spectator which allows the spectator to get out of his or her passive/ receptive position challenging him or her with the offer of making his own constructions, of finding out rules that are not revealed or announced.

The Questions are:
How can communication happen between performer and spectator, and identification take place and what about the gap between receptive space and showing/spectacular space disappearing or being relativised. TBYLTMYS is first an invitation to observe and then an invitation to the spectator to make his or her own construction. A proposition in form of a riddle that could have more than one solution: first recognise that there is one or more system(s) and then decipher the system(s). The diversity of material proposed and the confrontation of elements to different contexts invites the spectator to make his or her own associations, to find his or her interpretation of what is shown.
A wish to stimulate the perception, questioning the recognition and give room to individual ways of interpretation.

4. The objects

In most of the versions of TBYLTMYS some animated objects realised by Jim Whiting are part of the scenery. If the body is sometimes seen as an object, it’s fair that sometimes the objects come to life.

A very small remote controlled toy car is equipped with a mobile spy cam driving between the performers coming very close to the bodies giving the spectators unexpected and sometimes very intimate points of view, changing the perception of space and scale

An enhanced Nike t-shirt crawls its way through the room useless but mobile, finding its random paths, pathetic and poetic sign of our consumer’s era.

A hydraulic powered machine, between sexual object and fitness machine, moves the performers bodies faster and stronger than they could do themselves.

The interest in working with such animated objects comes from the ambiguity of their status, shifting from object to subject and back and how they can be both powerful and fragile when confronted to the performers ( for instance the 15cm camera car driving between motionless bodies, stealing their image will be absolutely powerful amongst those bodies-objects, as it will be a totally fragile object when the performers move menacing to step on it ).

5. The approach to the context

This performance is also based on the idea of being adaptable to different contexts and locations, as theatre, gallery or lounge space. This means that in each situation we wish to take in account the specificities of the location, in terms of conventions, habits of use, time frames, relation audience/space etc... and propose a performance in relation to these parameters, either questioning, reinforcing or putting in light the particularities of the space.

A reflection on the codes existing in the use of public spaces, and how a proposition can affect these codes.

Published 26 June 2011