I presented the performance Warpoem V – subtitled Warship/Worship – in the international festival Töne, which was held at sites in and around Chatham and the Medway river in England, in 2014. The work was staged in an underground air-raid shelter in Chatham’s world heritage Historic Dockyard.
For the performance, an audience of 25 each time were invited to descend into the World War Two shelter. There I performed a ‘score’ involving 8 actions, and 8 interactions, based around 8 objects. The only light in the shelter came from the projection of a set of Morse Code slides that I had produced by laser-cutting black card. These spelled classified wartime messages. The slides rotated on a timer in sync with a computer programme that played the contents of the code as a soundtrack. Throughout the cycle, I performed a durational choregraphy, moving repeatedly up and down the length of the shelter. This movement responded to the rhythm of the digital sounds playing and its intermingling with the material sounds produced by numerous pairs of vintage shoes, tied to my ankles.
The Warpoem series as a whole explore the impact of technology on culture, including its influence over the space of intimacy, social ritual, and history. Given the areas that I am exploring, it is a principle of the works that I do not visually document them, and do not allow documentation to be taken of the performance. The only visual traces that remain are of the elements and sites that I use for the works. These are accompanied by performance scores and writings.
I began the Warpoem performance series in 2007, and plan to perform a total of 8 works, with at least one in every continent. Each work is composed around the figure 8: there are 8 objects, 8 actions and 8 interactions with the audience. The works are between 30-40 minutes in duration, and may result in a residual installation.
To date, I have made 5 of 8 works, presenting Warpoems in:
Europe in the International Festival, Taidepanimo Cultural Center, Lahti, Finland in 2007 and Töne, Chatham, England in 2014
North America in Manifestation:Agitation, Western Front, Vancouver in 2008
Asia in Open Art 10, International festival, Open Gallery, Beijing in 2009 and the Middle East in Aesthetics and Bias, Barbur Gallery, Jerusalem, 2010.