make-shift is a string of performances which re-imagine ‘the private actions of our domestic lives as multiple, interconnected and with global consequences’ – there was almost an air of prescience when Paula Crutchlow talked about the launch of the interactive online performance make-shift way back in November 2010.
“It’s asking questions about the importance of our actions in Western society,” she said. “We’re not bad people, but we are in a dilemma. We may want to change things personally, but we are squashed in a system that is not letting us do it.”
This year we’re in the midst of a global ‘occupy’ movement where dissatisfaction in that squashing system is being expressed, and make-shift is preparing for a tour.
Subtitled ‘a networked performance about connectivity and consequences’, make-shift straddles the intimate and the global. Performances take place in homes throughout the world. You can book them in yourself, to share your home in a global event.
The performances begin in a comfortably familiar way, with a parlour game ethos as it eases into full swing.
Intimate events happen simultaneously between two ordinary houses and in an online performance space. The performances are led by Helen Varley Jamieson and Paula Crutchlow – one in each location.
The next performance is on Sunday, November 27 in Ashburton and Turin, with a simultaneous screening at a festival in Berlin. Then a joint venture in Exeter and Munich with a screening at the Two Short Nights film festival at the Exeter Phoenix. You can book an audience place at the house event by emailing email@example.com
They are still looking for people to host the performance on December 9/10, which will be connected to homes in Auckland, New Zealand.
The time difference of the New Zealand performances offer a new problem to solve. Helen said: “I will be in the middle of the southern summer, with everyone on holiday and in total beach mode; meanwhile Paula will be in the uk, 13 hours behind and in the depths of winter. thus, scheduling performances is a little… challenging, shall we say!”
A 13-hour difference is one of the most extreme – more difficult than for example an 18-hour time difference, because there’s less time when both parties are actually awake
And Helen said: “On the one hand, we have to take into consideration the local and seasonal contexts: whether people are going to be at the beach, or if the roads are going to be dangerously icy at night so no-one wants to go out late. but on the other hand, cyberformance transcends time-zones: it happens when it happens, and the online audience are potentially in all time-zones.”
There are more dates coming up in spring.
While developing the idea Helen said: “I became completely obsessed about plastic, then that research has led to the idea of disposability, and what that means in our consumerist lifestyle at the smallest domestic level as well as globally. At the same time we are exploring disposability from a more philosophical perspective.”
Step over to the make-shift site to find out how you can watch the performances online, along with the tour dates and how you can host a make-shift event yourself.