Witty installation of dance and digital imagery in which a giant set of scales weighs the balance between futility and aspiration.
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian 2016
Weighting is a kinetic video installation based on ideas of presence, duration within in mediatised culture. The piece looks at how digitised movement contained within two video monitors, might impact and affect the surrounding physical environment which also includes the physicality and movements of the viewer.
The piece presents five performers who appear through pre-recorded video footage on two large LCD monitors connected together by a 3-meter horizontal beam of trussing forming a kind of seesaw with the performers at each end. The monitors show these performers standing and waiting in a Beckett-like fashion; why they are waiting is never disclosed. The five performers are distributed between both screens. Every so often one performer leaves the frame of the first screen to enter the second and visa versa. The piece is carefully balanced on a central axle that allows the beam (and hence the monitors) to rise and fall. Concealed motors within the mechanism are synchronised to the performers movements so as to tilt the beam as they cross from one monitor to the other, responding as if their bodies were physically present in the space, effectively reproducing a large set of weighing scales.
The piece works on three levels: literal, empathetic and analogous.
The literal is a technical trick which plays with the viewer’s sense of continuity of motion. The empathetic follows on from research conducted in Gravity Shift which explores how witnessing the moving body can directly affect the viewer’s own body awareness through kinaesthetic empathy, particularly if the motion of the witnessed body is affected by a force (such as gravity). On an analogous level, the piece suggests how the intangible and representational have direct repercussions in the physical world. In an ironic manner Weighting reflects on the more banal side of our digital interactions within a consumerist culture by presenting an endless cycle of interaction with no particular aim or progression embracing themes such as futility, and pointlessness.
2016 Gulbenkian, Canterbury
2016 Jerwood Dance House, Ipswitch
2016 MK Gallery Milton, Keynes
2016 The Place Theatre, London
2016 The Point, Eastleigh
2015 The Emporium, Brighton
Artistic Director: Nic Sandiland
Performers: Luke Birch, Nicola Collett, Chris Copland, Andrew Downs, Annie Lok
Performance Advisor: Gary Stevens
Supported by Arts Council England, South East Dance, Brighton Digital Festival