Final Project – On Location Performance

By: Randall Packer |

Blast Theory, I’d Hide You

On Location Performance is our class final project inspired by the work of Blast Theory, the UK-based performance group that creates interactive performances that engage the public in site-specific locations.

With Singapore as our stage, the public as participatory viewers, our mobile video devices in hand, student groups will create performance works that blur the boundary between art and life, between reality and fiction, between artist and audience.

In our On Location Performance project, groups will each devise a narrative that plays off of real interactions with each other, Singapore, public, and media. Each group will design a project through the process of conceptualization, execution, discovery, and exploration. The narrative is to be partly scripted, with a clear structure in mind, but within that structure there will be ample room for surprise, accidents, glitches, errors, mistakes, encounters, laughter, conversation, and other elements that cannot be pre-determined.

Groups will devise a narrative work in which a situation will unfold according to the initial narrative structure, with room for the storyline to be stretched beyond what is imaginable and conceivable. You may feel this is an open structure that might be challenging, but once you develop the core idea, the narrative will take on a life of its own.

Incorporate the tools, methodologies, and technologies we have learned this semester: Facebook Live social broadcasting and two-way co-broadcasting, Adobe Connect Webconferencing (you can use the Connect app), Flickr group page for aggregating photographs, Facebook group page for sharing and super-participating; glitch and collective construction of images (and video); memes, avatars, and identity play, etc.

Here are some ideas to consider in the development of your concept:

  • Begin by brainstorming simple narrative ideas, such as hide and seek, solving a puzzle, interviewing strangers, devising a game, following one another, filming interesting characters, riding the MRT, searching through a park, capturing shoppers in a mall, etc., etc.
  • Think about ways to engage the public, striking up conversations, asking questions, involving strangers in the storyline.
  • Decide on a location, or set of locations, such as downtown, the Singapore riverfront, the Botanic Gardens, the Singapore Zoo, the beaches of Sentosa, industrial areas, etc.
  • If you are devising a game structure, decide wither there are winners or losers, points earned and lost, etc.
  • Determine a specific duration over the course of day, or spread out over several days.
  • Decide how you want to use your mobile video devices, how you will shoot, where you will shoot, and what you will shoot. Decide whether or not to use the camera’s effects or tonal alterations.
  • Choose to go live or pre-recorded, synchronous or asynchronous.
  • Decide how you want to incorporate sound in your project, the importance of sound, the kinds of sounds whether spoken or ambient.
  • Create a Google Doc for each group to include all of your notes, ideas, and descriptions.
  • Each member will also create a weekly process post is OSS that includes media documentation and notes.

Final Project “Trailer” (due Thursday, April 18)

  • The final piece that will be presented in class will be an edited video of your project, approximately 5 minutes in length, that serves as “trailer” for your project. See the Blast Theory trailers for ideas, narration, and poetic construction of the documentation of your work.
  • You need to decide how to condense your project into the trailer form, how to convey the essence of your work in 5 minutes.
  • For the final trailer, you can decide whether or not to incorporate a voiceover, music, and other post-production techniques including special effects.
  • The final trailer will be uploaded to Vimeo or YouTube to be incorporated into each member’s Final Project OSS post.

Final Project OSS Post (due Monday, April 23)

Along with the trailer, each student will write a 500 word project statement, a personal description of the Final Project, including the following elements:

  • A concise description of the project, it’s narrative and overall concept.
  • How was it the project made, where was it made, and what was your role in the project.
  • What kind of unexpected elements resulted during the on location performance.
  • How was the project influence by Blast Theory.
  • What were other influences from Experimental Interaction, including artists, works, techniques, and technologies.
  • Summarize by stating how your final project explored the idea of the social and how you designed an interactive experience that included both artist and viewers.

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