Memory+Place Experiment, May 12, 2011, Dance Studios MB 7.265

Overview of the different phases of the process:

(15 minutes)

a) A verbal introduction to their role in the new environment (Noah & Andrew)

-       In this stage of the process, participants are given a minimal introduction to the task at hand with some instructions about what to expect and how to proceed. They will be informed about safety and given a form to sign authorizing us to record their collaboration in the event with the possibility of using the findings for further research and writing in the future.

b)  A moving introduction to phenomenology and bodily attunement (Niomi & David)

-       After being introduced by Noah/ Andrew, Niomi will lead both participants plus Andrew, David and Noah through two short kinesthetic activities.
-       Together, Andrew, David, Niomi and Noah will help the participants describe their experience phenomenologically.

2.  Transition from the warm-up space to the environment

-       The participant is fitted with the new sense organ and blindfold
-       The apparatus is tested for correct function
-       Any adjustments to the apparatus should be made at this time, last minute questions from the participants answered
-       The participant is then guided to the appropriate studio and invited to step into the space

(15 minutes)

The participant negotiates their way around the space. If needed, the guide intervenes to answer questions and protect the participant’s safety.

(15 minutes)
  1. Exiting the environment

-       Participants are guided back to the warm-up space
-       The apparatus and blindfold are removed
-       They are offered tea and cookies

2. Beginning the conversation
-       They are invited to talk to their fellow participant about the experience
-       Andrew and Noah may begin to gently ask questions
- Participants are also told that they will be emailed in 24 hours with a follow up set of questions and we would very much appreciate their responses

Appendix to protocol phases:

a) A suggested script:

Welcome. Thanks for joining us. We’re inviting you into an different kind of environment than the ones you might be used to. It’s possible that you will need to navigate it differently. To help you do that, we’ve tried to provide you with a new way of sensing this environment. There’s an object that you can find with in this space through this new way of sensing. We’re going to ask you to wear a blindfold and a sleeve-type thing on your finger. You should let us know if you find either of these things uncomfortable.
We’re going to take you into a different space to experience this new environment. You’ll be with either Noah or Andrew the whole time. They’re going to guide you into this different space and then step back a little so that you can explore it. If at any time during this process you feel uncomfortable you should let them know right away. You can speak to them throughout the experiment even if you are feeling completely comfortable. We’re here to help you navigate your way in this new environment so feel free to say what comes to mind as you’re moving around the space. You can move around as much as you’d like but it’s probably a good idea not to move too fast so that your guide can keep up with you and spot you.

After you have completed your time in the space, you’ll have an opportunity to discuss your experience with the participant. During the time that you are in the space, we’ll be audiovisually recording your experience. We would like to watch these recordings later to better observe your experience. We might also want to use some of this information for future trials and to help us build a more precise environment. If that’s ok, we would ask you to sign a form.

[In the debrief we will be interested in your primary reactions,things like sensations, feelings, sensations of oddness, disturbance, comfort, curiosity, etc. There is no puzzle to solve here nor a specific task. Your attention to what happens while equiped with this ‘new way of sensing’ is whats important. Your observations might be incredibly simple, next to nothing, or the experience might provoke in you elaborate interpretations.  Both are equally valuable for us. If you experience almost nothing, it is valuable to tell us about that.--af]

Now, Niomi is going to lead us all through a couple of different movement things.

b) Now on to the fun stuff…

Niomi leads participants plus David, Andrew and Noah through two brief movement exercises.
(I thought it might be a good idea for all of us to participate so as to have a better grasp of how to explain the difference in kinds of description between a phenomenological description and that other kind that we don’t want. Also, I think if we all participate it will feel like more fun, less stressful).

2.     Exiting the warm-up space needs to carefully choreographed. Things like slamming doors, pace of walking, sounds – all these things are important to the transitional movement between the warm-up and the new environment. Abrupt or jarring things that happen during this time will affect the participant’s experience. This transition needs to be as neutral as possible.


Questions remaining and some details to be worked out:

-       The participants are positioned in the space in close-ish proximity to the light source?
-       We also discussed starting them off against a wall… what is the final decision?
-       At what point do we shift or change the position of the light source? There should probably be some kind of signal or cue between the guide and the lighting technician so that this can be accomplished smoothly.

(The exit from the space should be as carefully executed as the entrance.)


1.     It’s important to take the same care and gentleness when leaving the environment as when entering it. This stage should if possible feel almost the same as the initial entrance.
Once the participants have come back into the warm-up space (perhaps we might start calling this area the backstage area or something), their glove apparatus should be removed and put away (I think it’s best if they don’t see it for the time being) and then their blindfolds removed.
Tea and cookie time if they wish.

2.     I’m not sure how to encourage them to start a conversation with each other. It might actually be best to have Andrew/ Noah ask the first question to both participants or perhaps to go with the question:
“Can you tell the other person what that place was like for you?” – or something along those lines.
These are the other questions that came up:
- What can you tell us about your experience?
- What was your experience like?
- Can you narrate your experience for us?
- Are there particular moments that stood out for you?
- Was there a difference from one round to the next?
- What was your experience of the space around you? (What was the shape or structure of the space? What did you find in the space, and what was its shape or structure?)
You know you were in a room, what can you tell us about that room?
-How big was the room? where were you in it? How much of the room did you move through?
-Other than the room itself was there anything ‘out there’, a thing, a shape an object, an opening?
Was it (the object, the opening, whatever) big or small (bigger or smaller than you)? How close did you get to it? Did you go through it, into it or around it?
- How did your body feel? How did your hand feel?
- What were you trying to do, what desires or actions were prompted by the situation?
     - What do you call what you just experienced?
-do you find these questions helpful or are they too leading?
-Niomi will email you soon to see if you have further thoughts, it would be great if you wanted to take some notes to share with us. If you think there is nothing to add that’s good too.

(let people know how to get out and ask them not to talk about what they did to the waiting folks)
* Please add on anything else that’s missing

Preparation of space:

-       Space is clean and free of obstructions
-       Lights are arranged and hung and preset heights and locations
-       A map of the space is drawn with quantified measurements of how the set up is arranged (this is important for documentation) – someone needs to volunteer to draw up this schema and take measurements pre-show

We need to arrange a test light (maybe a flashlight or something) and have a tech person on hand post warm-up to make sure the set up is set to go and vibrating at the right level.


We need to settle on whether we will have additional Memory-Placers in the studio in addition to the guide, the lighting tech and the participant. Where will they be? What will be there jobs? Is it necessary to have extra people in the studio?

as few people in the studio as possible

we need good timing so we finish both rooms together

there will be some curiosity from the participants as to if both studios were the same experience, do we give them any indication of this?

Draft Schedule for Thursday, May 12 2011. (Assuming two participants arrive and go through process in 1 hour blocks).

WHEN                        WHAT                                                                WHO                                               

4:40pm            Equipment Pick-Up            / Transport                - Zohar & Patricia
- Cameras, Tripods, Microphones, Associated cables, Audio Recorder?,
Light Stands?, Power Bars, Many Extension Cords, Gaff tape….
- 3 Glove devices (extra batteries).

5pm                        Studio Set Up             / Prep                                    - Zohar & Patricia & ?
-       Who is bringing how many lights?
-       Who is bringing blind-folds?
-       Who is bringing snack-table, serviettes, + whatever is needed to wash up and for disposal ? Who is bringing snacks (we will be running throughout the dinner hours, so do we  want to have more than cookies on site?)
-       If slippers, they need grip for soles – would be better than socks - who has / can bring these?
-       First Aid Kit?
-       Who will document the experiment set up / process as a whole (photos?)
-     plot drawing, notes, and measurements.
6pm                        Run Through / Rehearsal                        - Whole Team
-       Quickly walk-through the process we will undertake when participants arrive.
-       Who is located where and in what roles? Handling equipment / lights / devices in two separate studios? Participant follower in each studio? Are there observers in both studios?
-       At what point in process are blindfolds and devices fitted?
-       Choreography of s