‘Device Detection’ focuses on a vague response to the proposed recent speed cameras that can detect if you’re on your phone whilst driving, the cameras can also detect any phone activity in cars, such as texting/instant messaging.
The work is brought together collaboratively with the help of bands, D.A: Euan Gubbins, Jamie Keegan and Matt Keegan. Band, SUEP: Josh Harvey, Gorgina statt, Oliver Chapman, William Deacon, George Nicholls. As well as dancers Cathy Mou, Meera Patel and Sumi cheng.
The dancers interacted with a banner depicting a person on their phone while driving, and movable emoji, vehicle sculptures. With these the dancers moved in and out and around with the sculptures. Both bands responded to these movements, and then in turn the dancers responded to the music.
A fly was flyering, distributing information in regards to ‘Device Detection’
Both bands played as one band at times, at other times they competed, or worked together to create one sound. The dancers danced in tandem with their touch screen mobile phones, every time they breathed in, they would move and when they breathed out, they would move again, slowly spinning and moving to the sound of the live music. This is a technique that the dancers learnt at Siobhan Davis school of dance. They interacted with the sculptures and released a banner down, one of the dancers flowed with the banner moving it around the large gallery space. The fabric from the banner moved through the air with elegance and confidence.
On the banner was a painting of a person on their phone whilst driving.
A person was dressed as a squashed fly and was handing out flyers to the audience stating that there should be no phones whilst driving in your car.
After a while the fly enters the sculpture, a box on wheels, a car, the fly puts its head through a hole in the top of the car, just as the music builds and gets quicker. The fly uses its body to try to escape, as if the fly is trapped in the car, its body is sweaty and its attempting to move the car closer to the audience, jolting and exerting energy in order to shift the car to the rhythm of the music , a dancer swiftly turns the car from the audience and pushes the car away and around the gallery space.
Towards the end of the performance, the fly finally manages to escape the confines of the car and is now stuck on a sculpture on wheels, a flat small square wrapped in garden tarp which had tiny emojis stuck all over it, the type of emoji one would use whilst using Facebook instant messenger in the back of a car on a long journey on an motorway or A road. The fly uses its limbs in order to propel its body forward and around, crawling, slowly but desperately on the sticky gallery floor. Until finally the fly cannot move any more, twitching and squashed laying exhausted in between the two bands whose music slowly comes to a standstill. As well as the dancers who also came to a halt.
Enacting out this performance, enacting out this live celebration or observation of a technological advancement in traffic cameras being able to detect mobile phones in cars, being able to prevent cars from crashing, saving lives. It’s scary how quickly technology is developing, how much we are controlled already by it. For better or for worse.