Witness: For Zaha, Equinox & Big Hugs (2016)
Buzzcut Festival, Glasgow

Witness is part of an on-going series of works, exploring re-enactment, memory in relation to digital video and group dynamics. It can be thought of as a choreographic version of the game called ‘broken telephones’.

The work usually involves identifying or devising a site-responsive set of movements with four people, which is then video-recorded. Four members of the public are then invited to watch the recording. They are challenged to re-enact the video live. Their re-enactment is recorded – a new group of four is invited to watch this new version, re-enact it and so on. Up to seven re-enactments are made per day. In the evening, the videos are shown back- to-back in a ‘chain’ to participants and other audience. The videos are later distributed online or shown in the context of exhibitions or festivals.

We call the first video-recording in the chain the ‘starter film’. For these new versions of Witness, we created the starter film by spending a day with our devisors observing everyday movements and gestures in Govan, Glasgow. We worked together to assemble the observed gestures into a single sequence. This collection of everyday movements is made unfamiliar again through being re-presented in a single frame.

This work was premiered at The Pearce Institute, Buzzcut Festival in April 2016.