dotdot dash

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Come and take part

6-8pm Thursday 17th January 2019
Cello Factory, 33-34 Cornwall Road, Waterloo, London SE1 8TJ

New performance as part of the opening of In the Dark, an experimental show by the London Group, the Computer Arts Society and the Lumen prize

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dotdot dash is a participatory light action with laser pointers and voice directed by Birgitta Hosea. The performance is orchestrated around a chance-based score made through walking with paint-covered feet over musical paper. Coming together in a choral collaboration, participants are directed to explore the colours and mark making possibilities made by drawing with laser pointers and to accompany this with the sounds of their own voices. The effect is a live audio visual performance of animated lines in red, green and purple reminiscent of a scratched-on film, abstract animation such as those made by Len Lye.

Although many other artists such as Pika Pika and even Picasso have done light painting before, this is not the same. It is not a set up to be recorded on a slow exposure for a photograph, but a live animation of lights and sound that is created communally and experienced in the present moment.

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dotdot dash was originally commissioned in 2018 for the Night Walking North Kent festival by InspiralLondon, a collaborative artists’ project led by Charlie Fox of Counterproductions. The project is based on a 300-mile walking trail around London in the shape of a spiral created by Charlie Fox and divided into 36 sections.

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Determining a route by chance through this drawing of a line means that the walk cuts through many unpredictable parts of London. dotdot dash was created to be experienced by walkers as part of a series of site specific artworks at the end of the trail in Gravesend. My intention was to create a work of animation that could be made collectively by the participants on the walk; that was mobile and would not involve carrying any heavy equipment.

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Additionally, following discussions with the InspiralLondon group about privilege and who is able to walk around freely in the dark at night, dotdot dash is a collective action to reclaim the night through light and noise for people who may not normally feel safe to walk at night in the city.

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The route involved going through light industrial areas that are desolate and deserted at night, walking through a caged walk way over a sheer drop to a chalk pit, through bushes and undergrowth, past burnt out motor bikes, across another caged walkway over a railway line and then to a tunnel through a disused chalk pit near Ebbsfleet International station. Everyone on the walk was given two laser pens and with around 30 people present together we created a live performance of animation. With the help of brass megaphone, I gave instructions as to what colors and types of marks they should make. With the excellent acoustics provided by the tunnel, I encouraged people to sing along with the instructions too.

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The work was repeated in a tunnel on the Regents Canal at Kings Cross, London for another InspiralLondon night walk for the London as Park City Festival, Friday 20th July 2018. A different group of walkers participated in the work. The addition of the water going through the tunnel added an extra element of bounced light and reflection to the mark making possibilities.

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Chance-based score made by walking, Birgitta Hosea, 2018

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The same score interpreted by participants with lasers!

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2 thoughts on “dotdot dash

  1. Dr Janeann Dill January 9, 2019 / 6:14 pm

    Totally love your concept for this, Birgitta, and am reminded of the research you just presented in China on “touching.” ❣️ Big congrats at every level – wish I were there to participate but am with you in spirit as you do your part to expand an embodied understanding of Animation as a mode. Thank you!!!! Ever so inspiring …

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