Generating non-egocentric storytelling using a scenography from cord, fabric and trust

Conference Presentation


Penna, X. 2022. Generating non-egocentric storytelling using a scenography from cord, fabric and trust . IFTR Reykjavik Shifting Centres: In the Middle of Nowhere. University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland 20 - 24 Jun 2022
AuthorsPenna, X.
TypeConference Presentation
Abstract

My practice-research tests how participatory scenography processes can be informed by 4Es cognition in order to generate new vocabularies, approaches and habits of embodied and ecological audiencing and performance making. 4Es stand for cognition that is: enactive and ecological (Varela, Thompson, and Rosch 1991; Thompson 2007; di Paolo 2005; O’Regan and Noë 2001), embodied (Clark 1997; Gallagher 2005), embedded (Clark 1997; Hurley 1998), and in some cases extended (Clark and Chalmers 1998); it is also understood as affective (Colombetti 2007). These approaches de-centre the brain’s role in cognition from it (the brain) being metaphorically understood as a central computer to it beeing (metaphorically) understood as part of a ‘dynamic biological system’ (Hutchins 2010: 706). By ‘de-centering’ the brain (Gallagher 2018) from being the exclusive mecahnism of cognition there is inevitably a de-centring of the brain’s importance in the construction of ‘self’. What interests me as a scenographer are the ways in which these understandings, may help with contextualising the de-centring of individualist creation when it comes to making participatory work. To perform the scenographic action To You <-> To Me during the period 2018-2019 in various settings I used cord, fabric, and trust inviting the audience to perform an unconditional act of love towards me, the performer on stage, by lifting me on a piece of fabric using red rope. During IFTR 2022, I am testing this invitation-action as a way of generating collective storytelling based on the unexpected connections made by the participants between the act of holding, a song, the experience of being held and the qualities of the material elements of cord and fabric. Members from the group, when lying on the fabric, will be asked to focus on the holding experience and the sensing of the pulling from the other participants. They will then be asked to share a song that comes to mind in response to this reflection and the place that we are in. After they have done this, I will ask them to share with the group how they felt from being held and why they have chosen the specific song. What does the song mean for them and why is it related to/triggered from the specific experience and place?
I situate this participatory performance-generating apparatus as a critical tool-prop, a ‘scenographic contraption’ (Penna, 2013) which prioritises ingenuity, and inventive playfulness over effectiveness. In the specific occasion the priority is given to the ingenuity and inventive playfullness of a collective, dialogical creation between participants, space and materials over the effectiveness of the individual internalist artist.

KeywordsPractice-research; scenographic contraptions; 4Es cognition,; de-centring the brain; co-operation; collective creation
Year2022
ConferenceIFTR Reykjavik Shifting Centres: In the Middle of Nowhere
FunderUniversity of Derby
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Deposited27 Mar 2024
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/q5421/generating-non-egocentric-storytelling-using-a-scenography-from-cord-fabric-and-trust

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