Capturing Practice

I’ve become obsessed with trying to pin down what I’m doing, to find a way of describing my practice without using my words and to find a way of seeing myself so that I can ‘know’ what I’m doing or at least know that I am ‘doing’.

Following on from my last thoughts where I considered ‘choreography’ as a form of capture and therefore attempted to ‘choreograph myself’ by ‘capturing myself’, this week I took the notion of capture one step beyond the practice of choreography. My aim was to capture my practice itself, to capture what it was I did when I ‘practiced’. I felt that the short term capturing 1 minute apart was too ‘close’ and that I was too aware of practicing for the camera. So Simon created a programme that allowed me to capture my practice by taking a photo every 5-10 minutes.

Unlike Capturing as Choreography, capturing practice required a real letting go of control. Firstly the wider time frame makes it harder to stay with something long enough to capture it. I therefore have to let go of things I might have liked to capture and accept that something less interesting might make the cut. This lack of control becomes all the more evident when my practice involves engaging in another ‘choreography’ that absorbs my attention as in the documentation below. The first set of images document my practice over a 1.5 hour period during which time I ‘warmed up’, thought about what I wanted to do, set up a ‘choreography’, ‘performed’ a choreography and watched back the choreography in order to repeat the cycle. (Further images of this process were captured, however the programme shut down before they were downloaded!)    All words enclosed in ‘scare quotes’ above are written so to remind myself to think more about how I am using them in the context of my practice research.

The second set of images are the resulting ‘choreographies’ captured by my phone running an app set to take a photo every 1 minute. Unlike the previous experiments, I was not able to see the framing of the space or have some sense of when a photo might be taken, resulting in a less intentional choreography. I worked on my living room carpet with white masking tape to once again draw out the framing or enframing within the frame of the camera. The framing of the collage took place post practice and was almost accidental, however the appearance of white lines both between and across each picture draws out another possibility for choreographic interplay.


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