Excerpt from the article:
Slow build up
The way of working is a steady movement forward and a constant openness and attention to what is around us. When starting this process, we decided to allow ourselves to be contaminated by ideas and materials. We decided to not decide.
Throughout the process, we are collecting. It can be a thought, a piece of text, something that someone said, a recorded interaction between others. Why certain things are collected, is hard to explain. It is as hard as trying to explain what happens in a chemical reaction. What is a ‘gut feeling’? How do two people get excited about the same thing? What is collected is often something that is hard to understand. So we ask: how does that happen? Then we each work to find our own way of answering it.
When these collections are placed against each other, they become combinations and patterns – a thread that sometimes stretches far and wide in order to catch itself at the other end. As Anne Boyman writes in the preface to Earth Moves by the architect Bernard Cache, it becomes ‘a topography where a line is not what goes between two points, but a point is the intersection of many lines ... it involves a flexible kind of continuity that is not totalized, finalized or closed’ (Boyman in Cache 1999, xi).
It’s like a wave: not one moment nothing and then the next something; it comes in a flux, a flow, an undertow. I am struggling to think about the slow build-up of material – the feeling of ideas do not suddenly appear from nowhere, as if from a void, but instead are already there from the beginning, as it were, latent and ready to disclose themselves. Devising performance is a slow layering of understanding and patient analysis of conversations and research.
We might perhaps imagine the process as something akin to the way that a wave leaves a tiny trace every time that it brushes onto the sand, until eventually a pattern is formed in the sand. Or, alternatively, in the way, if you rub your fingertips against a wooden surface, slowly, over time, the skin will feel raw. Or, on staircases, where you see the indents caused by all the feet who stepped there before you, and you know they are only visible because it has happened so many times.