A walking talking performance for COPY at the table, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe – previously a church
Pre performance thoughts;
- Space - Old accounts of buildings often use paces as units of measurement. So do contemporary impromptu, amateur and tourist descriptions of places.
- Time - The stepometer enables the wearer to measure out their day-to-day life in terms of physical steps taken.
- Words, memory - If you want to learn a speech, a poem, a foreign language, try walking as you practice. Big regular strides. There’s something about linking the rhythm of the text with that of your steps and breathing that helps words enter the mind more easily.
- Architecture - Perhaps cloisters are structured to encourage walking-thinking, walking- talking or walking-discussing. There, you cannot look at the outside world, but only towards the cloisters’ centre. And the view of this is broken by regular columns. All four sides exactly the same. Walking activates the architecture; yet its regularity, and the fact that the walkway is without end, shifts attention away from the stonework to a sort of abstracted contemplation.
- Specific building – 20-21 visual Art Centre retains the process of blocking out the outside world and the rhythm of cloisters, but breaks their continuum, perhaps implying that past congregations should no longer walk but sit still.
- Physicality - The building’s great height makes the individual feel small and want to talk in whispers.