30.3.10

U N I T 14 - EXTRAS

Here is a very poor quality video (it adds to the effect I tell you) from our Car Crash Test Dummy sequence. I am the car, Hannah is the Test Dummy.

video

I like to start every project with a bit of drawing, and so for this one I did some not looking sketches of my Grandmother in pencil. I quite like them, and they sort of capture a good likeness.Faithful readers will also know that I have an insatiable obsession with photographing large buildings between my legs. Well, I think this has subconsciously permeated into my Unit 14 stuff with Hannah. There is a relationship between the two images below, no?

B A U H AU S
'Bela Lugosi's Dead'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq7xyjU-jsU
So whilst my dissertation may have been on the Bauhaus art movement, I'm quite partial to a bit of Bauhaus the band. I own a T-shirt which I think belonged to my eldest brother Stephen which I wear a lot. This photo was taken of me (yes, replete with long locks) when I was 17.The sound is strange, the look is awesome.

29.3.10

G I R T H
( W E L O V E A B I T O F )
S N A P - P A I N - D E A T H - R E L I E F
Risk assessment is life.
Faithful reader. Hannah I have had a week apart - she went to France and fed chickens whilst I went to Surrey and ate sausages. Lots of sausages. However, things are stirring - slowly. Today we made a plan - yes 'The Plan' we've decided to call it. However, we're also reaching a point where I want to be careful about how much I reveal on the blog. So certain (well actually, all) details off of the plan are going to remain secret for a bit. My photographs are going get slightly more cryptic too, for we would not want to totally spoil the surprise for potential audience members in the Cochrane. But oh what a Plan we have devised. And how we cooed. Anyway - today was fairly productive until two things happened. Firstly, the video camera stopped working. I don't know why, and I don't know how - it just has stopped. And the word DEW keeps flashing on the screen. So if anyone knows what that means let me know please. Secondly, WE HAD AN ACCIDENT. Well, Hannah did. Health and Safety was severely compromised. Its been noted and will surely go down in our risk assessment. Basically, after finding a load of white plinths around the studio, we got into the Black Space to start video/photographing and we thought we could get Hannah inside one of these plinths, which was a bit like her getting into a rectangular tube, head poking out the top, feet poking out the bottom. This was fine, until I turned away for a second, and she fell - into all the other plinths, completely unable to move her upper and lower body. Literally, she fell like a skittle. It wasn't pretty. It was one of the slow motion moments. I thought she was dead, and I wasn't sure which end of the plinth to pull her out (head or feet first?!) Eventually, when she was free and she'd stopped wailing, we went to newsagents across the road and bought TCP and Ibuprofen, which we smothered/dosed her up with. Note to selves: we must not die for our degree. Here are some of the photographs we took before said accident - were're thinking in terms of Gilbert and George's living sculpture attitude.And so onwards - the future? Well, the future lays in this direction.....

24.3.10

H U M A N - T H E A T R E -
H Y B R I D
"It's this house, it knows, it's watching us all the time - it's alive..."
In this last series of photos from our preliminary Cochrane Theatre visit, Hannah and I tried to integrate our own bodies into the space, and in a sense, be at one with the architecture of the space. It's a continuation of the work with the plinths, and we used the beams and pillars of the Cochrane Theatre bar area to achieve these shots. Continuing the make do and mend/recycling/stealing theme, Hannah found this outfit in a cupboard - we like the idea of introducing a character to the mix. A normal person doing abnormal things? Spectacularity in mundainity? Could she be the one element which binds the moments together?

23.3.10

P L U N G E R - F A C E -
P R O L A P S E
Cochrane - Invasion [2] Hannah is a right trooper in these photos. Surreal. I'm not sure if we can get away with actually planting performers in the toilets like this, but it's probably worth a try. Am I giving too much away by posting these photos? Possibly. Although, if this is what we've come up with already, I'm tres excited about what is yet to come....

22.3.10

C O C H R A N E - I N V A S I O N [1]
"No animals were harmed in the making of this film" Hannah and I like being the early birds. Today we organised a location scout around the Cochrane Theatre, the same venue as last terms Midsummer Nights Dream project [faithful readers will know]. Quite by chance, call this coincidence, call it fate, there were some white and [hurrah!] black plinths just laying around the corridors of the theatre. What follows are some of the most wonderful photographs that Hannah and I have ever taken - we were scratched, bruised and fairly traumatised after todays session. More photos tomorrow, but here are some of the best from today. These photos were taken in the corridor/stairwell connecting the bar area to the auditorium floor. I got semi naked. It was liberating.

21.3.10

S U M M E R
Today was hot. Miriam and I went to Brick Lane market. We found this sign funnier than we should have done. 
O how we cooed.

19.3.10

U P D A T E
"I'm so knackered, I've been doing shit with plungers all day."
This week has a been intense. We decided to leave the mannequin stuff behind us, fearing that we were basically heading nowhere, especially after a mixed response from our peers. One of the first ideas Hannah and I had wanted to explore was the dramatic possibilities which could be extracted from an ordinary house hold object, namely the Sink Plunger. The aim? To discover the spectacular in the
 mundainity of life. So after a brief discussion on Monday, we set about devising a series of routines with the Plunger which we recorded on video. The top image of this post was a sequence wherein Hannah and I attempted to lift various pieces of furniture in the Pod (a round room in CSM) with two Sink Plungers. It was surprisingly easy to do so. It was also fairly nervewracking - especially the fear of dropping said furniture when it was lifted from a great height. In a second routine, I attempted to Sink Plunge a cabinet from one side of the room to the other (Naturally, Hannah was inside said cabinet....):
C E I L I N G
In this routine, I appear to be clinging to the ceiling with a Plunger. My lanky arms looked ridiculous, but this was an intersting exercise in playing with perspective, perception and frameage.
A N I M A T E D - F U R N I T U R E
After the fairly static exercises with the Plungers in the Pod, we borrowed (stole) a shopping trolley which was just lounging in the studio, and an industrial strength trolley belonging to the lighting technicians. With the aid of the plungers, and not unlike a Punt, we got inside the trolleys and navigated around the studio, much to the amuse/bemusement of the rest of the students and staff. 
This produced some bloody brilliant imagery and video work and has sparked several new ideas and directions in the work we want to produce for the realised event at the Cochrane. Plunging our own bodies:
It helps that Hannah is quite short and I'm unbelievably skinny, because we can get inside these trolleys with total ease, and it looks a little bit freaky. The image below is of me plunging around the studio on a broken chair on wheels. Again, this produced some great visuals - in the video, you can see everyone of my arm muscles (not much the) working as hard as they can to get from point A to B whilst manipulating the Plungers. 
The mobile furniture/giving furniture limbs harks back to the pictures we produced with the white plinth, and again refers to the beetle imagery we produced.
 Its strange how ideas all sort of relate/mesh into one eventually.
D E V I S E D - P E R F O R M A N C E
Tuesday was spent all day editing the footage we had amassed so far into a 20 minute film to show to the Cochrane Theatre techicians for a technical pitch on Wednesday. The film is quite lovely actually, and Hannah and I are very proud of the obvious journey it details over the past 5 weeks. We created a really striking opening title seqeunce, which evokes the titles of old 1960s Doctor Who episodes (there's the Doctor Who influence again).
The pitch went pretty well on Wednesday. Nothing is set in stone until after the Easter Holidays, so we more or less have said that we are going to carry out a series of Happenings in the theatre space, not unlike what has been seen so far. But better. So pleased were we with the film, that on Thursday, Hannah and I organised a screening of it to first and second year students. After gatecrasching a first year meeting and then forcing one of the tutors to send a mass email to the first and second years, we were able to  get about 15 people people to come and watch (along with our senior tutor who requested a copy of the video at the end - result!). Hannah and mines attempt at recreating Single Ladies has now been seen by a lot of people:
Do we have a career as Sasha Fierce lookalikes? I don't think so. It was a really great feeling to have people voluntarily come and view/support/criticise your work.
 The group of mainly first years were very vocal in their thoughts and a lot of them have said they will come and help us at the Cochrane, in terms of production and performing.
We are going to detail a Workshop for them to carry out in the first week back from Easter. Below is a selection of the brilliantly useful feedback produced after the screening. Thank you to everyone who came along!
B E E T L E S
Thursday saw us back in the white space playing with the Plungers again. Its interesting how imagery permeates your ideas - for instance, in a sequence of photographs we took with Hannah wearing the Sink Plunger on her face whilst wearing a white leotard, she look very much like Malcolm Macdowell's character from A Clock Work Orange.
Beetle imagery - when we celeotaped the Plungers to Hannah's back, she took on this beetle/hedgehog/dinosaur quality. A body enhancement? An extension? Is she becoming something more than human?
We produced this wonderful two minute video, wherein Hannah and I wear the Plungers on our faces, obscuring our vision and our faces whilst we probe on another in an attempt to locate where we are - this video was strange, highly charged and bizarrely erotic, sensitive and intimate. The way forward? Possibly, almost definitely.
We thought there would be more imagery to plunder if we had more Plungers, so Hannah went off to Wilkinsons and bought a couple more Plungers. These, combined with the trolleys we'd been using earlier in the week and the black leotards produced these images below:
Trolley 1:
Trolley 2:So that brings us to the end of this week, and this terms work. Unbelievably the Easter Holidays have begun for Hannah and I already - we have a month off (wonderful UAL scheduling..) This means that we're going to be pausing briefly in terms of the amount of work we are realising, but not for long - Hannah and I have an obscene amount of research, planning, organising and designing to be doing in this time. We're just hoping that all the shit we've manage to beg, steal, borrow, steal and erm, steal along the way doesn't get thrown in the bin over Easter. This has been intense. I'll let you get back to your lives now faithful reader.