Head Space

5 October 2007

Working ugly and hard in Bergen on the FE show, towards very early work-in-progress next week. Work days are 13 hours, there are no breaks to speak of and food is either dialling pizza or running to Spa to get stuff and coming back straight away. All 'meals' are taken whilst meeting, watching video or otherwise continuing to work. People sleep here and there on the floor or in their chairs as we work, the occasional succumbing to exhaustion more or less an accepted part of the routine. Not a good way to live.

I found a fragment I wrote last year or maybe the year before, describing one part of what goes on as we're trying to make something at this stage:

"…the process, whilst in conversation, or alone, of mentally 'running' imaginary or speculative bits of the show to see if they work. Often this seems to happen in relation to transitions between sequences – trying to figure out if a certain way of getting from one piece of material to another is plausible. So… in the tiny stage of your head you're placing figures and picturing the end of the one scene and thinking 'he does that and she says that' and then thinking 'that happens, and so and so says such and such' and then, moving figures around for the transition 'x says y and then a moves to b and then…'

Always constructing these very specific (if hazy on inspection) 'versions' and all the time, as well as the detail, trying to see if it 'feels right'. What's amazing to me is how knackering a long day of talking is, especially if you're doing a lot of this (which you could call screening of mental rushes) – it reminds me so much of computers faced with the task of rendering complex moving scenes… Your brain is really working. And it puts you in a very weird relation to the world too – because all the time you are somewhere (in a room, in the studio, sat in a café) you're also largely somewhere else. In this unfolding head-space which you're conjuring, making stuff happen with this cast of figures you have to shift and shunt around the stage. Very weird…"