Trying to find a way to work as a group of four in a time of everything waking up rusty. Little to no support for the arts and especially not if your work is ephemeral. Don’t get me started on the financial viability of making work slowly. Taking more than a year to find time when all four could be there and the space available, we finally met — just two of us, to get something going — the ball rolling, so that perhaps it might gather something.

Jemima Yong and I met for two half days. We had questions about interaction and communication, flocking and schooling and murmuration; phenomena at once collective and multiform. We thought about various currents flowing past each other finding different directions, joined by an overlap. We thought about the order of things and the direction of time: who says time goes only in one direction?

I wanted to look into the deep sea as a result of looking up the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone after seeing it marked on a map on the seat back in front of me on a flight between Britain and North America. Jemima said what’s an Angler fish? These two enquiries joined with our interest in listening, flocking and schooling, and other minds and sensibilities. The deep sea became a focus as it combined much of what we were thinking about and declaring as interests for our project.

some notes from that first session:

Joined by an overlap, as we are making our considerations the basement begins to fill with water. We are finding and being found, thinking and being thought, digesting and being digested, eating and being eaten, dissolving and being dissolved, fish and being fished, losing and being lost—we can’t remember, we have dissolved—dancing and being danced. Where is the edge of the sea? Where is the feeling of an edge?

Making work in the current context means living with an austerity of attention, support, space, air and time.

We decided to set forth a plan for working which would accommodate everyone’s schedule by allowing absence, with working sessions going ahead with as few as two and to build the performance in a way that accommodated both the absence and/or the presence of each group member.

Jemima Yong at South House, early meeting for work on Skywater, Facewater, Underwater Waltz

Partly urged on by a deadline for a residency (which we failed to get) we named the project:

Skywater, Facewater, Underwater Waltz.

Yes, we know.