November 3, 2007

Documenting The Builders Association, CONTINUOUS CITY

Through 2007-8 The Presence Project will be closely following the development of The Builders Association's current project, CONTINUOUS CITY.

CONTINUOUS CITY: Excerpts from a work-in-progress by The Builders Association, UC Berkeley, October 5-14, 2007

Our extensive documentation of this process will be developed on the Collaboratory at

Initiated in a series of company workshops at the Krannert Centre and the National Centre for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in July 2007, CONTINUOUS CITY will be developed throughout the next year toward opening performances in Autumn 2008.

CONTINUOUS CITY: Excerpts from a work-in-progress by The Builders Association, UC Berkeley, October 5-14, 2007

Engaging with the impact of network technologies on the nature and sense of contemporary place, the company write that:

CONTINUOUS CITY is a mediation on how contemporary experiences of location and dislocation stretch us to the maximum as our "networked selves" occupy multiple locations. Globally, we are at a watershed moment where, for the first time, more people are living in cities than in rural environments. From the megacities of the developing world to the gated communities of the U.S., our new production looks at the sense of 'place' within a global context, and how electronic connection contributes to and complicates that sense of place.

CONTINUOUS CITY also explores these networked architectures through a website created as a performance space where members of the public may participate in the project by joining a chorus, entering into dialogue with characters and uploading images, all of which may be added to the theatrical production. Uploaded material may also be viewed from the site. Visit to explore and participate in this part of the project.

CONTINUOUS CITY: Excerpts from a work-in-progress by The Builders Association,
UC Berkeley, October 5-14, 2007

Ranging from extracts from Marianne Weems' preparatory notebooks to interviews at key moments with company members to analyses and accounts of working processes and outcomes, this documentation will form a unique dialogue between The Presence Project and the evolution of a major theatrical work.

December 9, 2005

Discussing SUPER VISION in New York

I have just returned from New York and the BAM performances of The Builders Association and dbox's SUPER VISION.


The BAM Harvey Theatre is an extraordinary performance space.

Saved from dereliction, the interior fabric of the building has been preserved in a revelation of the interior structures, materials and surfaces that frame a state-of-the-art 900-seat theatre.

To this The Builders Association and dbox have brought a precise and spectacular synthesis of virtual scenic architecture, video, sound and theatre design, with live, mediated and recorded performance.

Interweaving three stories, SUPER VISION is a complex visual and musical exploration of the 'data body,' the shaping of presence and identity in the data stream continually constructed around us.


During the six days of my visit, I was able to record interviews with Marianne Weems of The Builders Association and James Gibbs of dbox, as well as eleven company members and associates.

Along with Marianne and James, I was able to talk with Moe Angelos, Kyle deCamp, Constance DeJong, Dan Dobson, Peter Flaherty, Allen Hahn, Stewart Laing, Rizwan Mirza, David Pence, Tanya Selveratnam, as well as Norman Frisch who has collaborated with the company on past projects.


SUPER VISION emerged out of the collaboration of many artists and contributors, full details of which are available through the SUPER VISION website at


The agreed, edited transcriptions of these recordings will form the basis of a documentation and exploration of SUPER VISION and the process of its development.

Forming one of the key projects within the Presence Collaboratory at, this process will also explore the collaborative, online documentation of performance.


For me, this has been a unique opportunity to discuss in detail the process and realisation of a performance that crosses disciplinary boundaries and has been evolved in a close and intensely creative collaboration between all aspects of its production.

Details of tour dates for SUPER VISION are available at

The Builders Association are at

dbox are at

October 26, 2005

The Builders Association and dbox, SUPER VISION in New York

Image by dbox

In December, we will begin our first extended documentation through the Collaboratory.

SUPER VISION has been created by The Builders Association and dbox as a major cross-media project embracing multi-media performance, digital animation, new video techniques, electronic music and an architectural set.

Engaging with a 'post-private society,' the performance explores the negotiation of identities and presence in the contemporary production and circulation of data.

Our work will focus on performances of SUPER VISION at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, before its wide-ranging international tour, and will be the beginning of an extended collaboration with The Builders Association through the Presence project.

It's a tremendous opportunity for us - our documentation is being developed on the Collaboratory project pages

The Builders Association website provides details of the touring schedule of SUPER VISION in 2006-7, as well as an animated trailer and project details.

dobox are at,