Last weekend 40-odd artists squeezed into The Blue Room Theatre’s black box studio for the PROXIMITY Forum & Workshop. Led by James Berlyn, Kelli McCluskey from pvi collective and myself, Sarah Rowbottam the forum and workshop was a chance to create a moment of dialogue and creative enquiry around the notion of one-on-one art.
James kicked off the forum with a little activity to get everyone in the proximity mood – taking each-others resting pulse. After fumbling about trying to find a beat on a strangers wrist or neck we were asked to reflect on the experience in terms of nearness in place, time, order, occurrence, and relation.
James then shared insight about the success of his touring show Tawdry Heartburn’s Manic Cures and what made him want to make one-on-one work. After sharing stories from the road and secrets from the vault, Kelli and I gave an overview of artists/ groups from Australia and around the world making work that explores intimate audience engagement. The artists discussed included: Marina Abramovic, Curious, Rotozaza, Kelly Doley, Kira O’reilly, Adrian Howells, Jason Maling, French Mottershead, Theatre for one, Blast Theory and Live Art Speed Dating.
Participants then broke into groups, were equipped with venue floor plans and given 30 minutes to dream up ideas for one-on-one performances/ experiences/ or installations in one of 20 possible Blue Room Theatre performance spaces. The energy was great and so were the ideas. We were so overwhelmed by the response and walked away feeling even more excited about making PROXIMITY happen in 2012 than ever. Submissions for ideas are now open so make sure you APPLY by the 30 of September!
Special thanks to Louise Coles and The Blue Room Theatre for letting us use the space and for opening the bar early, to Jarrad Seng for taking these awesome images , Kelli McCluskey from pvi collective for sharing so much knowledge and to all the artists who have shown an interest thus far. We look forward to hearing your ideas for PROXIMITY.