Time_Place_Space 4 :: Elka Kerkhofs

September 2005, Adelaide Australia

Time_Place_Space is an intensive laboratory for emerging and established practitioners to explore new methodologies, processes and contexts for hybrid performance practices. They come from a range of art form backgrounds and geographies including performance, dance, visual arts, installation, interactive and screen based art, new media, writing, music, experimental sound design, and more.

FACILITATORS Threes Anna (NL), Elizabeth Drake (AUS), Shigeaki Iwai (JPN), Derek Kreckler (AUS) and Pilyun Ahn (KOR)

PARTICIPANTS Greg Ackland (SA), Kirsten Bradley (VIC), Sohail Dahdal (NSW), Sam Haren (SA), No‘lle Janaczewska (NSW), Gareth Jenkins (NSW), Elka Kerkhofs (NT), Jason Lam (NSW), Stephen Noonan (SA), Abigail Portwin (NSW), Sarah Rodigari (VIC), Yana Taylor (NSW), Bronwyn Turnbull (WA), Ingrid Voorendt (VIC/SA), Sarah Waterson (NSW), Tim Webster (VIC), Jodi Rose (NSW), Scott Cotterell (TAS)

CURATORS Teresa Crea (Parale//o), Sarah Miller (Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts) and Fiona Winning (Performance Space)

TPS4 was held in July 2005 in Adelaide. This was the first time I attended an arts event in a capital city other than Darwin. All of my arts practice over the last five years has been concentrated in the NT. I was a bit nervous and very excited before I left Darwin but as soon as I got there I felt at home surrounded by all the electronic gadgets and the people creating with them. The lab started with a tour of the facilities and I remember thinking what an amazing space the Adelaide Arts Centre was and realizing the harsh and isolated conditions we operate under in Darwin. After the tour we gathered in a large space where the facilitators had organized an introduction game in order to break the ice. I felt like I was in heaven.

TPS seems to have a slightly different focus every year depending on the nominated facilitators. This year a lot of the focus was on the process of creation from concept to presentation. A lot of the discussion and focus was also on the Dramatic Arc of a creation through installation, visual or sound journey or storytelling. Before TPS I had never heard of “Dramatic Arc” and it took me a nearly full two weeks and lots of discussions to get a grasp of the meaning of the term.

In order to experiment with the process we were placed into groups of three and four and given starting concepts, then we had 24 hours to create a presentation which was discussed by the group afterwards. Several tasks were set out in different groupings during the first week. The second week was set aside for solo work and final presentations in free collaboration with others.

One of the concepts was to create an experience for the audience in altering their perception of a space without using any form of technology. I thought this to be very interesting and challenging since I always use some form of technology in my work. For this exercise I collaborated with Tim and Stephen and we achieved this by introducing the audience to a meditation class and asking them to lie down on some yoga mats placed in a circle in the big entrance hall underneath an overhanging balcony. They were asked to close their eyes and listen to a singing, reverberating voice echoing through the large hall. In the meantime colour lens glasses were placed on their eyes and 30 plastic bags hung over the balcony from thin fishing line, floating above their heads. Some audience members felt transported to a deep submerged ocean floor watching the belly of a large jellyfish swimming past.

Of course, there was a lot of technology there to be used over the two weeks. It was interesting to see other people being creative with the technology but it was always questioned as to how it was used and with what purpose and did it add to the dramatic arc, which in principal does not require technology to explore. So consequently there was not much time left to explore with all the different technology available. Also a lot of the evenings and nights were spent editing sound and vision, which made the lab very exhausting because of the already full day programs. The ability to try out new things, go out of your comfort zone and to see and discuss the showings of so many different creations were the best and most inspiring part of the lab.

A personal highlight of the lab was being able to totally immerse myself in this experimental zone for 2 weeks with all these amazing, creative people and to build up networks for future collaborations. TPS has changed the way I look at Hybrid Art. It gave me a deeper insight about the process and long-term outcomes of projects. I have now started working on a long-term artistic careers plan. A short-term impact is that the small world I was living in in Darwin has grown dramatically and that I’m setting up collaborative projects in order to make the large distance smaller.

I intend to continue working with the participants/facilitators either in person or remotely. I have started a remote project “The Word Game” with all of the participants and facilitators involved if they choose to be. For the next 52 weeks after TPS4 I will send everybody a word and I’m documenting their impression of that word if they choose to reply. After 52 weeks I will look at how to turn this information into an installation or web piece. I’m also communicating with different participants to continue dialog for future collaborations of discussed concepts or ideas during TPS4.

Thanks to ANAT, The Performance Space, Adelaide Centre for the Arts, curators, facilitators and participants.

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