AbstractsGeography &GIS

Open limit: field as witness

by Marcia Lyons

Institution: AUT University
Year: 0
Keywords: Telepathic; Wild-track; Algo-cinema; Field-as-witness; Live-media; Network-fiction; Method-writing; Augmented reality; Performance Art; Digital media
Record ID: 1311256
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10292/7415


This PhD project is undertaken through a creative works process, culminating in a series of experiments produced during candidature, polyphonically named Open Limit; field as witness. A polyphonous textual, folding practice and critical engagements, the textual investigates in ways that refuse writing as commentary on practice or practice as counter-point of theoretical plaeaus. The PhD ‘dissertation’ is presented as an active processual encounter where sound and image fuse, and in this refuses an orthodox containment of research to the stasis of the book, or to the geo-fixity of an exhibition architecture. “...Language is a virus, oooooo” — Laurie Anderson, O' Superman (1981) Desert: Untitled (2011-13) is the latest in a series of prescribed investigations, born out of the performative uncanny in which the human body — with its psychic drives and physical thresholds — is exposed to actual site energies, inspired by John Cage's description, as the telepathic in live media. Unfolding across a series of geographical realities (ice, deep sea, desert), over the span of three years, the work explores site as an entity with its own psychology and momentum (wind, temperature, seismic, sonic), introducing the notion of a subtle alchemy: field as witness. This is an intro-ducting into different kinds of analog and networked situations in which an audience and a site's energies are in play, fusing more with the contemporary environment in the moment. Within a dynamic sense of standing -in, -with or -among remote and local energies, I invite viewers to access a living presence within their own improvisational moves. Remote frequencies become a kind of character study, suggesting a porosity, awaiting entry and passage, as well as the 'wide open,' as an endless metaphor for field. Each geographical circumstance has its own field of intensity. This idea of a site voicing is formulated in relationship to the increased complexity and intensification of a field witnessing, prompting more intricate forms of site development. Exploring forces in live performance, the desert coordinate, takes this principle as a governing sensibility. In this sense, Desert: Untitled, is a live field study excerpt of Open Limit: Field as Witness. In my research trajectory, Open Limit has developed a more recognizable character, that is, a vision and voice that fuses endurance in live-site performance, and incorporates ‘physicalized’ projections and sometimes text. I regard it as participatory—a ‘brew’ inhabiting the live-worlds and traditions of the public art and witnessing sphere, but thickened with cross-pollinating performative disciplines — film, sound, theatre and live media — that help weave a context for developing a system of activated viewing. The desert coordinate is the culmination of three years of research expeditions (geo- psi- tele-) in which a fundamental questioning of ‘encounter’ thematically explores the performative nature of site/nonsite – narrative/non-narrative. I use the notion of activated-cinema to give a name to this…