Thursday, 21 January 2010

Urban navigation

In the midst of an interesting, but yet-to-become-exciting Sydney Festival, I've happened in the last week to read two gorgeous blog postings about civic navigation.

In a post entitled 'The things nobody tells you about Berlin', intrepid guerrilla semiotician and international-woman-of-mystery Jana Perkovic reflects elegantly about the "combination of relaxed slowness and elephantine change, of poverty and big projects" of Berlin, a combination which "means that everything that is imaginable may be possible. Not always in the perfect way [...], the cleanest and neatest, but it may be there, just inside a courtyard or underground or some distant U-Bahn stops away. Berlin is a New World, right in the centre of the Old." Read more here. Given that it was only last Friday that I lodged my funding application for support to attend a major theatre networking event in Berlin in April, I read her post with much enthusiasm.

Also navigating Berlin, amongst a wide range of other cities, is Geoff Manaugh's post 'Nakatomi Space'. A dizzying reflection on urban navigation through the violent re-organisation of architectural features in both cinema and the real-world, Manaugh somehow manages to build a theoretical narrative arc from the first Die Hard film, to recent Israeli military tactics, to the contrasting modes of urban navigation in recent Bond and Bourne films. In the post, he cites a commander of an Israeli paratrooper brigade stating: "There is no other way of moving! If until now you were used to moving along roads and sidewalks, forget it! From now on we all walk through walls!"

It's frightening and deeply impressive. Inspired, I've re-watched all three of the Bourne movies this week. In the second and third movies, Berlin didn't quite look as Perkovic has described it, but I guess I have to navigate this space for myself, just to be on the safe side. I will, however, almost certainly stick to the streets, rather than making new paths for myself over rooftops or through walls.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

New year, new blog

Dear fellow cyberspace dwellers,

Welcome to a brand new year. And unlike that troublesome 2009, I'm confident that this will be a great one.

For those of you who follow this blog for version 1.0 news, I've decided to set up another blog dedicated solely to version 1.0 projects, and that can be found here: Over the next few months, I'll be archiving a range of writings about version 1.0 projects, from program notes, to unpublished academic writings, to research materials on that site. For convenience, this blog can be accessed directly from the newly-updated version 1.0 site.

It's going to be a huge year for us, and one in which our artists and our works get out around the country, as well as the occasional overseas jaunt. First up though, we're taking our alcohol-fuelled, techno-beat driven meditation on sexual violence in contemporary culture to the Adelaide Fringe Festival. It'll be the first ever show we've taken to Adelaide, and given the number of past and current company artists who hail from that city, it seems an amazing omission. Check it out - 6 shows only at the Norwood Concert Hall from February 20-26.

Hopefully I'll have some time in the next month to open up some of my notebooks and reflect a bit on the year that was 2009 in performance. Despite being away on tour for 3 months, I managed to see some deeply fascinating, and some deeply ordinary, performance works, few of which I've managed to respond to here. With luck, this will not be replicated in 2010.

More soon.