Wednesday, January 10, 2007

James Responds

(he sent this to me personally)

Your dumb ass blog won't let me comment

so i'll give to you - i just tried to get t it on
again - if it isnt there by tomorrow would get it up?

----------
It is spelled Jamie. But for you we will stick to
James.

To answer your question I would blame my loserdom on
being white, middleclass and an actor the three areas
of self hatred that have fueled your entire career.
The actor thing still fueling much of your criticism.

And in response I would like to pose some new forums
for discussion.
To what extent has the shape of Darren’s ass degraded
since he’s turned forty?
Should he now be forced out of those jeans and into a
looser fitting chino?

but staying on some kind of topic...
Why so unwilling to suspend your disbelief? Those
little pink ears in White Mice were oh so satisfying.
If they weren’t pink and you were not waving a tail
around a fake block of cheese a lot more people would
have been leaving in droves screaming soapbox - as my
older brother did.
By the way he keeps a file on your ass.

We gave six fantastic artists the opportunity to
interview people and then create pieces based on those
interviews. Maiko and i once discussed the actors
exactly mimicking the interviewees, that notion
dissolved quickly. This show was about people spinning
on their meetings and discussions with real people.
The show is about the languages they share and hearing
those languages in close quarters. Its about getting
close for a little storytelling (you are a godfather
to better get used to pretending – that little
guy/girl won’t be able to cut your hair (s) for a few
years). It is about the real projected on the wall in
conflict or in conjunction (depending on your
perspective) to what the artists made in the boxes.
The interviewees were displayed on the video (we
apologize for the sound but our hands were tied
technically). The tech in Vancouver will be better
and allow for a more integrated fact with fiction. I
encourage people to sit and watch the video. Although
most are too keen to get inside the make believe boxes
to take the time.

Granted, the best shows are going to be the ones the
actors do for the original subject – I won’t get to
see them sadly but I look forward to the report. It
would be nice to see how the performances change from
stranger to subject. Perhaps a hidden camera.
That may be where the real conflict lies. How the
actor acts when faced with the person they have been
representing to audiences.

We could have skipped the actors and asked the 6
interviewees to put their heads in the boxes allowing
them to field questions, or sit in chairs with a video
behind them but that is a mammalian show. That's what
you do you big social scientist “gaylord” – (and go
get something beyond a BFA already)
We still like to trust creative instinct and have a
little fun with the material – and fun can be
constructed.

And we have discussed the lab coats. I just ironed
mine.
--------
jl

8 comments:

Darren O'Donnell said...

Hey James, welcome.

sorry about getting your name wrong. i had dyslexia as a child.

Yes, a ruthless self-criticism has been the source of most of my best work. I think it's a great strategy as you're able to talk about the world while remaining honest and not hypocritical.

my ass is actually one of those that's getting smaller as i age. my real problem is that sag around the neck area, my balding nogging and chronic tension in the pelvic floor muscles that makes me pee all the time and my back tight. I would rather have a fat ass.

Your point is good about White Mice except that it's hard to transfer to Bioboxes because you weren't trying to get the audience to swallow some dry, obnoxious, didactic polemical tirade. If you were doing that, then, certainly, use whatever theatre cheese you can. But you were representing conversations with real people that had actually occurred.

I didn't know those projections had anything to do with the Boxes. I thought they were part of another show that was in the gallery. That would make a big difference if the audience had to be exposed to them in a meaningful (and perhaps not optional) way. If you resolve that in Vancouver that would be fantastic. Really sorry I missed out on that. I'm sure it would have changed the way I experienced the boxes.

But, still, too much acting.

And I don't think you have to go so far as to put the subjects onstage (like a Mammalian show). I think there are probably plenty of creative ways to stick closer to the material. For me, I would have preferred less of the fractured, expressionistic treatment of the monologues and, like i said, more trust that the subjects themselves are interesting.

i think talking about the Mammalian Q&A thing is interesting because it could really benefit from some Magic of Theatre. It's a good event but it would be a TERRIFIC event if it was possible to do some of the magic you guys do in those boxes. so, if you took some of the magic of theatre thing that you do so well and add it to more of the real encounter thing that i do so well (even if it's faked up a bit with an actor playing the subject) I think you would have something that would bring in the best of both worlds and be really exciting. if a Q&A type thing had all that clever shit, it would be incredible. but, like i said, i'm bad at that and it would be impossible with a live subject. But here you have that possibility.

thanks a lot for responding. now, where did those scratches come from?

Neil Cadger said...

I guess I did realize that the videos were part of the show but I didn't want to sit in the same room with the boxes and watch it. If it were in an adjacent space I would have taken some time and watched. Then probably watch them all over again. I like pretending. And the coats seemed ok at the time. Like we were getting a theatre spa treatment. I didn't think scientist. The clipboards seemed to have a functional place in 'who's in whose booth...etc.

James said...

Hey Neil and Darren.

yes the video. I worry that more attention paid to the video would have only frustrated you more.
There is a great deal of artistic license in the cutting of the video. And we like it. Its well done but it is possible that pairing of the highly edited video and the theatricalized interviews may be too much of a good thing for you and there may be a more interesting relationship found between a rawer video and performance. We'll see in Vancouver when the video and sound is better integrated
You wouldn’t be able to escape it as it will fill the back wall.
hopefully you will be here Neil, and you can comment.

Magic real encounters - we should talk.
Empty Orchestra was but a first kick.

As for the scratches - i wish i knew - Paul was the only one in the room.
jl

Cande said...

Hello all,

I am responsible for the bioboxes video. This is in short what happened...

We had aprox 9 hours of uneven (technically speaking) footage. I was worry about even touching it.

The main reason is because, after witnessing the 6 interviews I was afraid of attempting to the conversations by some sort of video designer curse (overlaying effects, changing speeds, making loops, etc.) All those things I love to do.

But after talking to Maiko and Jamie, we agreed that the simplier and 'lower tech" the video could be it would be better integrated to the boxes.

The idea is, I believe, that the video brings a hint of the material which the stories of the boxes are made from.

It happen to me, that when I watched the 6 shows I never thought about the "interviewees", even though I witnessed all the conversations.

I picked the excerpts from the conversations, looking more for a motif which could unify the different sources, because every conversation had a different theme to talk about.

Projecting the video in a differrent room is an interesting idea, though, taken away from the boxes might not make more sense.

I must confess that at the beggining of the project I had a "Qualitative Research Scientist" pretention which faded away since I had no control over the questions or the interviews, I am glad, because probably that's whay every single box is different and yet there is a link between them all coming from casual (or some times not so casual) conversations.

I don't know about the coats, though, I wasn't there, but I always wanted to direct a movie wearing a suit, like Hitchcock.

Best,
Cande
Ps. Apologies for the "uneveness" of the sound, too.

Darren O'Donnell said...

Hey Cande, welcome,

For me, it was simply that I wasn't aware that the videos were part of the show so I didn't even look at them. I was pressed for time so I just jumped into three of the shows. I just wonder if there might be a way to make it more clearly a part of the show. Or position it in a way that you have to pass through a room where the videos are being screened before you can access the bioboxes.

Cande said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cande said...

Hey Darren, thanks...

I noticed that some people at the preview we did in Vancouver, didn't look at the video for a while.

Then as time went by, they started to check it out and at one point there was an "in-transit" audience for the video; people moving from one box to another, waiting for their turn, got interested in the projections and started making links between whatever the video said and some of the boxes they experienced.

It seems that having the video projected behind the boxes (as a background) could be more integrating. I like the idea you exposed, Darren, though, in that case, once you passed it you will never go back because you want to stay were the boxes are.

Maybe making people watch the first 10 minutes of the video could help to integrate it more.

Anyway, I look forward to experiencing the boxes at push, the set up will be different than in calgary, we'll see.

Cheers
Cande

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