TRANS- documentation

PRINTED POSTERS • Documentation of the process behind TRANS- •

As artists that primarily work with liveness we have in two-women-machine-show long discussed the practise of documenting work: What is meaningful documentation? What are the different and overlapping purposes of documenting? In an artistic process what kind of value does the labour that goes into documenting work have?

My role in the choreographic work TRANS- was both dramaturge and finding a meaningful way of documenting the work. With the idea of combining the two positions we developed a practical approach that mimicked the practise of describing that the performers use on stage. Like a gaze documenting another’s gaze I took on the performers practise, but different from them my media was written text. Daily I spent time describing, noting down different situations taking place in rehearsal. I had simple rules - no interpretations, no use of metaphors and maximum one written page per day. Sometimes I had special themes like focusing on facial expressions only or avoiding the use of gender specific pronouns. Some days the practise seemed totally trivial. Other days my experiments produced concrete ideas or proposals that in agreement with the rest of the team, could be tested by the performers the following day. In this way the mode of documenting fed the process; my practise became a source for a type of feedback and input.

Later my texts were sent off to graphic designer Sam Moore, who then went on to interpret the texts in a relatively free manner. Sometimes he followed my rules or themes, at other times he developed his own concepts for interpretation. What was a simple document to begin with went through several processes of super-exposure or densification. Words were enlarged or graphically layered to the point of total alienation, creating different forms and textures or even concrete images. We discussed how we could add another level of density to the images that Sam produced. Could the words be stacked further? Perhaps to the point of creating a three dimensional object, a piece on its own? The documentation of this project finally consists of approximately 400 multi-layered images printed, stacked on top of each other and fixed together forming a brick like entity. It is language multiplied and deformed to the point of material solidification. It has concrete weight. 

Above are two examples of the images that can be found inside the object that constitutes the documentation of TRANS-.

Concept for documentation: Ida-Elisabeth S. Larsen
Graphic designer: Sam Moore