In this reimagined version of The Secret Garden- Mary Lennox will turn to Alexa to demonstrate her distress, hopelessness, overwhelming grief.
In the reimagination of The Secret Garden- Mistlethwaite Manor as a modern day SMART HOUSE
"Changing our minds I have argued that the human mind is not a static, compartmentalised system but a highly adaptable medium that is subject to environmental stimuli and its own economy of energy. Within this medium lie various paths, attractors, or ‘fields of potentiality’ that represent the probable routes a thought might take if it is to be activated. It was proposed that these routes are not fixed and finite but open to reconfiguration. But while the medium remains adaptable it also maintains a great deal of constancy, since without either quality it would be virtually useless in dealing with the coincident volatility and stability of the environment. Accordingly, aesthetic experience can be understood as the innervating mental response to stimuli that induce both semantic or perceptual discontinuity and conceptual coherence, simultaneously. In a similar way, creative acts synthesise coherent ideas or objects from disparate probabilities. Furthermore, I have argued that any creative act is an act of transformation, and to some extent it does not matter that the transformation might occur in the cognitive medium of a human mind or in a piece of material. There are many instances when we try deliberately to transform the ‘layout’ or structure of our mind — we are learning, trying to think of a new idea, or trying to remember something — and in each case we are attempting to transform the links between ideas and memories, just as we modify the structure of substances around us. Whether we are trying to think up an excuse for missing work or attempting to comprehend the ultimate nature of the universe, we are doing essentially the same thing; that is, we are engaging in a purposeful attempt to modify the actual and potential structure of our mind. One could even conclude that in changing our minds we also physically change the world, insofar as our minds are part of the physical world." (Pepperell, R. (2003). The Posthuman condition: Consciousness beyond the brain. Intellect Books. p.116)
"What is meant by the ‘posthuman condition’? First, it is not about the ‘End of Man’but about the end of a ‘man-centred’ universe or, put less phallocentrically, a ‘human-centred’ universe. In other words, it is about the end of ‘humanism’, that long-held belief in the infallibility of human power and the arrogant belief in our superiority and uniqueness. This ‘end’ will not happen abruptly. Belief in the ideals of humanism have existed at least since the fourteenth century and will continue to exist well into the future. Second, it is about the evolution of life, a process not limited to genetics, but which includes all the paraphernalia of cultural and technological existence. If life can run more efficiently and become ‘fitter’ in collaboration with mechanical systems then it will do so. By the same token, if humans are able to exist more effectively by acquiring further machine-like enhancements then they will do so. This does not necessarily mean the extinction of the human genome. Even if distinct mechanical life-forms emerge there is no reason to suppose that they should replace other forms of life which may carry on indefinitely. Earth still abounds with species that predate humans; evolution does not necessarily discard old species when it generates new ones. Third, posthumanism is about how we live, how we conduct our exploitation of the environment, animals and each other. It is about what things we investigate, what questions we ask and what assumptions underlie them. The most obvious manifestations of the end of humanism are those movements that resist the worst 171THE POSTHUMAN CONDITION aspects of humanist behaviour: feminism — the movement against the exploitation of women, animal rights — the movement against human exploitation of animals, environmentalism — the movement against human exploitation of the earth’s resources, and anti-slavery — the movement against human exploitation of other humans. The very existence of such movements over the last 200 years or so suggests the gradual overturning of a human-centred world is well underway. More importantly, the recognition that none of us are actually distinct from each other, or the world, will profoundly affect the way we treat each other, different species and the environment. To harm anything is to harm oneself. This is why posthumanism is not just about the future, it is also as much about the present. To some extent we live for the future; it promises better things. But this can lead us to forget that the future, and whatever benefits it may bring, is not something that just happens to us — we create it by our conduct in the present. We all have an influence now on the way the future will turn out. One reason for writing this book is that many people remain unaware of the huge implications of the technologies that are now being developed, and few of us are invited to take an active part in those decisions that will profoundly affect the course of human development: who is in charge of the future? The awkward question posed by the changes we have labelled posthumanism, is not ‘Will we develop machines that are equal or superior to humans?’ We have already described how this will probably happen. The difficult question is, ‘Why do we want to develop such machines and to what ends will they be put?’" (Pepperell, R. (2003). The Posthuman condition: Consciousness beyond the brain. Intellect Books.)
CREATIVE ENQUIRY: HOW DO I USE DIGITAL Technology TO ENHANCE THE NARRATIVE OF 'THE SECRET GARDEN OF FAKE BELIEVE'
Reflections of Scratch Night, and a conversation with Lisa.
Reaching a creative enquiry after the Scratch has been challenging. I have been exploring various elements to find out how my practice might enable the reimagination of The Secret Garden. After a conversation with Lisa in my tutorial, I have decided to focus on the Opening Section of the live work and now to explore how I might use digital technology to enhance the narrative of the work. Through processing reflections from audience feedback and my own personal thoughts and feelings that have come out of sharing the work, I am now really interested in how digital technologies might be able to explore low interventions and high level tech for future iterations.
As I prepare to write my script and construct my presentation, I am starting to draw my findings together to explore ;
How can an immersive digital storytelling support the possibilities and potential to reimagine the story of The Secret Garden?
I am a dance creator that draws upon multi-disciplinary practice. My work involves lived experience, multiple realities, active listening, tender conversations, physical forms, hope, and choice. I create hybrid work within the physical and digital interface. Devices and choreographic language vary based upon the subject matter or main objective of the work. I work in a people focussed methodology and adopt a collaborative approach to co-create inter- disciplinary creations. The notion of freedom sits at the heart of my practice.
I am a dance and aerial practitioner, digital and multi- disciplinary thinker and maker, dance advocate, experience curator, experience seeker, and cultural activist. My portfolio career enables me to carry out a variety of roles, whilst on a personal quest to empower people to live a creative life. My personal practice draws upon lived experience, ground based and aerial creative processes, choreography, facilitation, teaching and learning, youth work, yoga teaching, bungee workout instructor and creative producing, project and events management. http://www.tuckshopdancetheatre.org/laurentuckshop.html
I set up Tuckshop Dance Theatre in 2018 and have been refining and diversifying our offer ever since by listening to the voices of young people. I work collaboratively with other people to create, to develop and to explore. We are in early stages of our development, but our ambitions reflect the vision of the young people we connect with. Tuckshop Dance Theatre develop innovative practice to amplify youth voice, stories of humanity and issues of global concern, with a commitment to excellence and diversity.
We work with people to shape cultural learning opportunities and meaningful experiences to transform people’s lives. We empower young people to celebrate their individuality, organise and express their creativity through shared lived experiences. We celebrate the power of young people and creative practice to lead change, ideas and actions that connect people, give back to their communities and ignite the spark for life long cultural learning. For more information please visit: http://www.tuckshopdancetheatre.org
We recognise that all of our values are iterative, active and creative processes.
Since the pandemic, my personal life has included caring responsibilities, isolation, a personal storm, grief, and suicide bereavement, as I navigated my own healing journey, I was drawn to a deep connection with nature. The garden became the place that captured my imagination, and after many tender conversations around my lived experiences, collaborative conversations around the notion of freedom and escape, with creative peers, and children and young people. I have started to explore how to reimagine the story of the Secret Garden, to make a piece that is relevant. This is an opportunity to tackle the problematic aspects of the classic tale such as ableism, othering, racism and gender issues, to explore mental health and wellbeing through an immersive participatory experience. The Secret Garden touches upon experiences of a personal storm, collective grief, connection, the healing forces of nature, to continue to inspire audience’s ‘innate capabilities to heal and grow.’ And ultimately find freedom. (REFERENCE, p.129)
This presentation will outline ways in which ‘The Secret Garden’ could be reimagined through a multi disciplinary participatory performance experience, enhanced using low-tech and hi-tech digital interventions; with suggestions of things to do in the present iteration of material presented in the Scratch Night, today’s presentation, as well as looking towards future developments. I operate within a process orientated framework and will draw upon prior learning experiences through other live and digital hybrid approaches leading up to this moment to inform how I will strengthen the narrative and move this work forwards in future.
The choreographic investigations have highlighted considerations for many aspects of the whole story of The Secret Garden documented on my website. Within this presentation I have decided to focus on the opening section of the phygital trail that explore’s the beginning of the character of Mary Lennox’s story of transformation, growth and healing, which will begin in an indoor setting and culminate in an outdoor performance environment. Modern day Mary Lennox, feels powerless, is grieving, feeling the physical and emotional effects of loss, ruled by digital, with a desire to stay human in the online world and a desire to wander outdoors, she asks audiences to help her to find a key to the magic garden.
This presentation focusses on digital storytelling and how digital technologies can enhance and support the narrative of the work and makes further recommendations for digital storytelling to help interpret the story of The Secret Garden further.
I will redevelop a short section of material to support my presentation.
In the opening section of 8 minutes I aim to:
Introduce the Character of Mary and her behaviours, emotions, thoughts and feelings at the beginning of the story.
I will create a sensory world with use of projection on my body wearing white, the parachute and white umbrellas.
Continue to explore the possibilities of the parachute as a metaphor for lived experience of crippling grief held within our bodies.
Introduce the trapped nature and desire to escape, involve audience buy in 'I can not do it alone' and ask for help from the audience.
Introduce the idea of the quest to find the key using digital media and QR code on costume and in space.
To develop the material on the aerial lollipop, to leave the portal, and go in search of Freedom with the help of the audience.
Reading to underpin my next steps...
Thomas, T. H. (2016). The joy-maker in the garden: cognitive behavioural therapy in The Secret Garden (1911). International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 21(2), 128–139. https://doi.org/10.1080/1364436X.2016.1182895
Dinter, S. (2015). Spatial Inscriptions of Childhood: Transformations of the Victorian Garden in The Secret Garden, Tom’s Midnight Garden, and The Poison Garden. Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 40(3), 217–237. https://doi.org/10.1353/chq.2015.0030
Swamidoss, H. (2012). “You”re so yeller’: identity, land, and the third-culture subject in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. The AnaChronist, 17, 161–.
Gupta, P. (2016). The Female Explorer and the Child Wanderer in George MacDonald’s “The Day Boy and the Night Girl” and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. North Wind (London. 1982), 35, 4–.
Lelekis, D. (2014). ‘Pretty maids all in a row“: power and the female child in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s ”The Secret Garden. Anglica (Warsaw, Poland), 23(1), 63–71.
Dixon, S. (2007). Digital performance a history of new media in theater, dance, performance art, and installation. MIT Press.
Auslander, P. (2008) Liveness: Performance in a mediatized culture. 2nd ed. Oxon: Routledge.
Causey, M. (2006) Theatre and Performance in Digital Culture: From simulation to embeddedness. Oxon: Routledge.
Lonergan, L. (2016) Theatre & Social Media. UK: Palgrave.
Bree Hadley. Theatre, Social Media, and Meaning Making. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, v + 256 pp., £89.99 (hardback), £71.50 (PDF ebook).
Contemporary Performance Practice
Matt Adams interviewed by Andy Lavender (Interview). Interview
Contemporary Performance Practice. (2016). Digital Theatre.
January challenge - curates people’s interpretations of an artistic brief through instagram
Eureka! digiPlaySpace (a digital exhibition from a few years ago)
Social Media and Its Effects in the Commercial Dance World
Punchdrunk - Schools
Bo Burnham - Inside (interesting lo-tech visual effects)
Social Media as an Art form
5 Social Media lessons I learned from Peter Pan
The Posthuman Condition - a great book that look at the future of humans as we advance with more technology and how we may be integrating it.
Joseph Campbell - A Hero With a Thousand Faces
Joseph Campbell - The Hero’s Journey
This section of the website will include reflections for Lauren's MA Study. This page is linked to Lauren Tucker's studies and creative practice which is broader than the work of Tuckshop Dance Theatre. Please enjoy my reflections in this learning journey.