Documenting the making process
This thesis documents the construction of a performance project, At Last Sight, which was made with a group of undergraduates at University College Chester. The leader of that project is the same person as the writer of this thesis; this locates the act of writing as something embedded within the process of performance making. The writing forms an address to the unreliability of objective observational analysis. It does so through a resistance to those attempts at impartiality and detachment that might usually be expected in an academic investigation. In this case partiality and involvement are more than central to the investigative process, they form the very structure of enquiry. The body of this work was written at the same time as At Last Sight was being constructed, and the ideas encountered herein possess many of the rhythms of performance making. Space is both somewhere performance is made and an integral aspect of the made work. In a similar way the following chapters amount to more than the site where work has been recorded. In tracing the footprints that led to At Last Sight the thesis reveals itself as an element of that which is being traced. Where At Last Sight revealed the performers as the to-be-watched and also as the watchers, the study functions as the to-be-read and also as the reading. In this way the documentation becomes the documented. This notion of integration between the subject and its study runs through the thesis. Approaching performance analysis as something `other' creates a gap between it and its subject that can deny the best attempts to bring the two together. Approached in a less compartmentalised way the analysis is allowed to form an indivisible correspondence with the analysed. When the division between the act and the analysis is dissolved the documentation is able to exist as both fixed object and time-based event. Something of the fluidity of process is acknowledged and articulated in each of the sections presented.