Jacaranda Time: Diagrams of Collaboration

Exploring the formats and complexities of inter-disciplinary collaborative creative encounters.

“Our own order is disrupted when we take another’s routines and certainties” Quantum Of Disorder, Hediger, I & Schaschl, S. (2015)

Jacaranda Time: Diagrams of Collaboration


Jacaranda Time: Diagrams of Collaboration asks questions concerning the formats and complexities of inter-disciplinary collaborative creative encounters. Exploring through the lens of Jacaranda Time, an inter-disciplinary performance developed in October 2017 as part the 2nd Season for the Centre for the Less Good Idea, what is presented in […]Ellipses is the original work’s data – its script, segments of its sound and code, alongside commentary on the experience of making and presenting the original work by all five collaborators. In the original Jacaranda Time Mwenya Kabwe’s poetic script (inspired by Changing Changing by Aracelis Girmay), Tegan Bristow’s interactive-software, Cameron Harris’s interactive sound composition, Tshego Khutsoane’s recital and Thandazile Sonia Radebe’s choreography and movement, led and fed the code driven interactive and experimental multi-media work. Outside of the complexities of collaboration across diverse creative disciplines – theatre, dance, interactive creative coding and electronic composition – the development of the work spoke strongly to the act and role of modulation and transversal.  This online version of the project therefore explores collaborative encounters between distinct disciplines and the values of modulation and transversal, both as metaphor and in reality. Can you explain ‘transversal’ here… Modulation in electronics and tele-communications refers to use of a stable wave form (carrier signal) as a carrier for more complex information that is held in another wave form (modulating signal). The outcome is a new wave that allows the information to be moved and transmitted by the other. The original Jacaranda Time used Kabwe’s script as the basis from which to engage the aesthetics of transversal, migration, borders, blocking and flowing through space and in time, in the mythical and the real. This reflective exploration, takes further this unwinding and unpacking of transversed forms. With the implication and requirement (found in the commentary of the collaborators) for a participant performed version that may make bare the inconstancies. The intensity of making the original large-scale performed work – saw experimentation, design and performance take place almost simultaneously. This left the collaborators with the feeling that they had not fully grasped its outcomes. What was left was a sense of longing and a need to unpack its inner workings and learnings as a shared experience between them. Diagrams of Collaborations, therefore acts to sketch (a trimmed down single encounter) of a moment in this reflection and a re-joining of its raw materials – people, skill, technique, samples of text and data – meeting again on an online stage. The online audience can themselves ‘modulate’ the interactive elements by exploring how the data begins to overlap and inform a reflective exploratory whole. For example, raising the volume of the sound samples feeds colour data to the scene and changes the behaviour of the falling Jacaranda ‘blossoms’ (in the live performed version the blossoms responded to the dancer’s movements, which in turn led and modulated the live sound composition). The speed of the line by line flow of the script can be altered.  The collaborator commentaries can be played over one another and are overlaid by the choice of sound samples.

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