Residency: January to March 2022
The DAP-Lab residency was facilitated by project partners Third Space Network (3SN), involving geographically remote directors and performers based in London and Bath in the UK. DAP-Lab are an experienced multi-disciplinary performance ensemble that bring numerous artistic skills and methods to their work. From the outset of the residency, they developed ecologically focused concepts particularly centring on the human relationship to water, its movement and places. These ideas were explored and developed using rural imagery, audio and movement ideas, as well as varied props and mise-en-scène elements, including the use of fabrics as objects and scenic elements.
“This residency allowed the company to take their recent interest in VR technologies and the somatechnics of dis/ability one step further into questioning the connectability of the virtual (and real-time composited telematic performance space) with a sensual and sensorial as well as organic-experiential collectivity – now urgently envisioned since the 2020 Covid pandemic.”
Drawing on their previous experiences, DAP-Lab were well prepared for the residency and proved to be adept at investigating their artistic material, applying technology, and exploring the potential of the Telepresence Stage online media environment. Their final 30-minute performance, The river of no one was performed in six parts and included multiple video and photographic images, scene transitions and audio accompaniments. This was a fluid performance that journeys through place and time, literally and figuratively, with a uniquely personal, yet collective voice.
Techniques and solutions
Each scene utilised unique virtual sets made up of the composited video and photographic imagery, including a recorded video performance by Johannes Birringer. The two live performers were placed in various quadrants of the Telepresence Stage environment, and often scaled to be small or large. At times, special effects were applied such as different transparency/opacity ratios to create a ghostly ethereal presence. Much was made of a rich layering of visual content, for example, with images of watercolour paintings surrounding a performer, who appears to move within a painting in progress.
Reflections and outcomes
DAP-Lab's intention was to create a prototype telepresence performance based on environmental issues and the climate crisis, linking regions and continents in a subtle exploration of hydrocommons, a shared ecological water and plant culture. They were interested in seeing how they could incorporate scenes of devastation from recent flooding, scientific measuring devices and underwater environments to create a compelling narrative. The river of no one presents a journey that unites two remote performers, a dancer/choreographer and a composer/performer who explore intimate immersive movement, sound experiences and voices.
Residency facilitated by project partners Third Space Network (3SN)