email correspondence with a fellow animateur post-previews; process


another thought about live art
3 messages

To: Jamie Lewis Animat <>
hey luv, 

something else that the work made me consider was live art in relationship to story-telling.  i think this is not pertinent /important to all ‘live art’ but was interesting for me to consider in terms of what you guys are doing.  it feels like story and story telling still holds a place in this performance? you’re telling us your stories, the river has stories, histories, physical stories and you have a way of extracting our stories out of us.   would you agree?  obviously narrative structures are completely different so i don’t mean ‘story’ in a particularly theatrical sense.  and our experience of narrative is altered, reshaped and experienced as we move through the physical map of the work.  but it still feels like the artist is telling us a story.  or in an exchange of story with us.  or that our shared experience together creates a new story/our own version of the story. 
what do you think?

JAMIE LEWIS <>Thu, May 17, 2012 at 10:28 AM

To: xxx

yepp definitely, and definitely the starting point that i gathered when i first talked to dan about the project.
i also reflected a lot after our conversation, and i think we’ve not quite settled into the site yet – in the sense, actually placing the work in the context of the real city now!
we’ve made the work in the countryside, so we could explore these “natural” elements, such as the water, weather, bridge, grass…and then we did the run at coburg lake, where one of the feedback was that the audience felt really taken care of. But of course they did. it was coburg lake. it was serene and calm, and the bit of a crowd, or a passer-by, were gentle, taking a stroll…

and now, there is the reality of the harshness of the city, intrinsic in the place. and even more care must be given. as in the bridge, of course. but even with max. to view the kinda jarring towers – there is an aggression in that “story” – in how a city develops – and so the tone, or mood, that he brings with, must balance that. dan and i have it a little easier in that we are tucked away, or in a distance on the water. and our view points are much more internally focused.
so yes, i think we haven’t quite fully realised the space.

i’m looking forward to having that chat with them later. whee

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Jamie Lewis
Performance Artist/Animateur
mobile: (61) 468 559 898

JAMIE LEWIS <>Fri, May 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM

To: xxx


yesterday went rather well. I had a good chat, especially with penny and max.

max had already clocked, by the end of the day before, that he wasn’t comfortable with that “tone” he had arrived at. i think it confused him a little, because we had discussed having the punter feel a sense of consequence with the city they create, and yet, having a sense of play while they were in the process of that creating. and so yesterday, we decided that he would just play it light, and playful almost. and let the reflection be mostly on the punter’s end. that we don’t have to impose that sense of consequence, or “resolution” to the section in terms of, “did you build a sustainable city?” and it was much better a process for him at the end of yesterday.

same with penny, i talked her through some of your feedback, and she agreed. the bridge is so aggressive in nature, that spot, that hour of the day, in fact, all day, there is ALWAYS traffic. so yea, worked through some of the beginning parts as well, and also, to let go of the Need for participation. where we offer something, and the punter responds, sometimes as a witness, spectator, sometimes participating, and then sometimes even giving more than participation. that changed a lot for her, and she had a good run. the silence thing was an interesting conversation. i don’t know if we have the answers, but we both agreed, even for me and the clay, we took on those devices from the sketches we first saw at bundanon, the sketches that Dan and team had created before we got there. there were things we liked about it and so kept it. and worked from it. but we’re not quite sure (for ourselves) what it is. and definitely, worth thinking about now; how do we own it? and understand why we are using it? and how do we use it anyway?

i’ve been thinking about my section too. there are moments of “panic” when i cannot find an entry point with the participant. and i find myself being a little preachy with the story – as if the imagery of the yarra is a life lesson. and it kinda is, for me. or more than a lesson, it’s my metaphor for starting my life here now. but i find myself treading this place where i might come across over “therapeutic” or like i’ve got Your solution to life. but i’ve been playing with very different permutations – starting with the clay first, not using the clay at all with some, sometimes i read them the story, sometimes i just retell it, sometimes it’s silent when they work the clay, sometimes it’s silent when i wash their hands, sometimes not, sometimes we analyse the clay, sometimes we stare at the blue dye settle into the water…i think i am still trying to understand how much is enough? how much can i leave hanging? and how much must i tell?

i can’t remember in its entirety what happened in the run with you. but i think you got quite a full sketch of things.

what are your thoughts?


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