Blind Scripting

in: InDialogue

InDialogue was a two-day art research symposium at Nottingham Contemporary, on the function of 'dialogue' in art practice. I presented my performance lecture Blind Scripting. In the foreground you can see two audience members I spontaneously recruited to read out an experimental script; a dialogue between two characters that is supposed to 'free' them from fictionhood. At the time I was touring around various arts/academia venues, presenting this dual artistic-academic work. A previous version of it was presented at Research Matter(s), a conference organised by Alberto Condotta and held at Birmingham City University.

The script is called A Ritual Resuscitation of Eternal Lovers and consists of a text designed to be spontaneously read aloud by a pair of volunteers who have never encountered the text before. It's what I call a 'theatrical seance', a way of waking up the characters dormant in the text, by placing them in direct conflict or relation with the people reading on their behalf. It's worth mentioning at this point that the performance is not intended primarily for the benefit of an audience; it's designed for the benefit of the two performers reading it. So if you haven't heard the text before, and are interested in trying it out for yourself, do feel free to get in touch with me and we can organise a little reading event so you can experience the text's effect on you yourself. The documentation in the video above offers a secondary experience of the work.

I then followed the performance with a 15-minute lecture called Blind Scripting. In the talk, I expand on some of the thinking that went into making the performance - specifically relating to my interest, at the time, in cross-examining different types of scripts: play scripts, genomes and code. I continue to be curious in the relation between a script and its performance, particularly where this gives rise to so-called agent-like behaviour. For more on this, see my PhD project.

Nottingham Contemporary

1-2 December 2016