Hyperlude IV was composed by Francicso Coll. In the composer notes Francisco states that he was heavily influenced by the social theory of Hypermodernism (a response to post modernism). Hypermodernism contextualises the incredible information overload of our modern era, suggesting that unlike Modernism or Postmodernism before it there is no discernible core belief system or interest, and as such objective truths fall away. People instead focus on compelling features rather than overall function. In Hypermodernism our world exists in a state of flux, with deep dualities. Our world is at once both cold and empathic, loud and quiet, innocent and callous.

Our film explores Hypermodernism, specifically in terms of human intimacy. It frames two characters within a world caught between the organic and inorganic, unable to touch or connect but desperate for intimacy. Their relationship exists in a state of flux,  equal parts intimate and violent, isolated and dependent, competitive and symbiotic. The characters battle through the loneliness and desperation of attempting to build meaningful organic relationships in a world driven by technology, and information.


Collaboratively, our group worked incredibly well. All members contributed equally, were honest and supportive, and pushed each other to strive for our best work. Early on I pushed us to be upfront about our feelings and concerns by insisting the group was critical of one of my ideas which they seemed unenthusiastic about. My response helped to develop an environment which celebrated honesty and constructive criticism. As I come from a Directing background and am used to being a leader in collaboration I knew it was important to take a step back, listen more, and celebrate my collaborators as influences for my own work. From this I feel I have learned a much healthier ballance, and moved past my history of being an overbearing force in collaborative rooms. Later on the process of filming under extreme conditions put a huge emotional strain on us, but we worked to be kind and supportive to each other. I feel that this collaboration has been an invaluable example of effective group work, and that I have found two artists I can trust to build exciting work in a supportive environment.


(Gallery, please click through to end)

Our moodboards for the project explored our initial influences. Overall they explore ways of viewing organic materials in a new lens (fruit, meat, leaves, bodies), placing importance on the details and features as opposed to the whole. They also look at artists like Chrishabana, Luke V Smith, and Constantine who explore new ways of viewing the human form, playing with its potential expressions. Metal wire jewellery is a reoccurring image, as we knew from the beginning that we wanted to explore augmenting the human body with wire. We also began exploring relationships with dual or comparative imagery as a part of building our own dual relationship.


(Gallery, please click through to end)

Above are the early tests of costume and makeup. These early tests explored our interest in editing and augmenting the organic form with inorganic materials (string, wire, clingfilm). We were interested in the ways they reshaped the body, and in the marks they left. This image, of marked skin, was a key way of exploring a touch which was hypermodern. It needed to be a way to communicate touch which is equally present and past, thus exploring the potential duality of intimacy. The makeup sketches sought to find the perfect ballance between organic human and augmented human.


In collecting references to build our movement from I was particularly interested in how to communicate intimacy with dual meanings. I looked at the work of Dan Safer and his company Witness Relocation (and their use of mirrored imagery and negative space), Choreographer Emma Portner, and the Butoh Company Sankai Juko.

Butoh became a key point of inspiration for us. In the same way Butoh was used in post WWII Japan to process violence, and in post 9/11 New York to process loss, it could be used to process the violence of the information age. The difficulty of using Butoh became detaching it from its cultural origin. By drawing from inorganic materials like wire, and pulling heavily from our location I feel we were successful in reinterpreting it.


Above is our first draft of the movements/dance for the final piece, developed and filmed in the White Lab. Although the process was collaborative, I took a leadership role because of my interest and past experience in developing dance. We operated under the constraint that the characters could not touch at any point, but that the choreography should still explore proximity and intimacy.

The final movement ended up being greatly stripped back. In filming I realised that heavily choreographed movement felt inorganic and disingenuous within the context of our piece. Initially my group was resistant to loosing pieces of choreography which they were attached to, however by developing the more organic movements out of deconstructed versions of original choreography  I helped ease them into this new mode of movement. In the end very little of the original draft made it into the final piece, however it was still indispensable in building our understand of the movements and physical relationships in the final edit.


(Gallery, please click through to end)

We felt location was incredibly important to the film. It was important to film it on location as opposed to a studio in order to contextualise the abstract concepts within the real world. Hypermodernism suggests that in our modern era there is more importance placed on the details of the world (texture, colour, material, etc.) than the function as a whole. After weeks of traveling across London we eventually found a derelict boatyard on an island in the thames called Lott’s Ait. As suggested by Hypermodrnism the details were more important than the overall function, considering it was in disuse. The materials, the moss, the texture of rust, and peeling paint which filled the island fit the theme perfectly, and supported our investigation into the tension between organic and inorganic materials.

The location was incredibly difficult to secure, and required weeks of phone calls, emails, and waiting. It endangered our filming because it took so long, and was in many ways a risk. However we knew it would pay off, as the location so perfectly fit our final concept.


(Gallery, please click through to end)

Above is the initial storyboard. As a group we agreed to storyboard very little, and allow the editing process to be organic. Instead of a detailed storyboard we felt it more important to contextualise different images and location within the music, hence each slide is placed above a visual representation of the music in order to form a timeline.


Above is the first draft of our film. We shot the footage at Lot’s Ait, and as a group felt that the quality and the clarity of the footage was below our standards. The process of filming was extremely difficult, and in struggling to perform in the extreme cold and difficult environment we were not attentive enough to the quality of the footage.

The initial failure of our first draft became a blessing. Andrea urged us not to film again, but to instead edit more attentively. However because we stayed true to our standards we were able to approach the filming process in a more careful, attentive, and supportive way. By trusting our abilities we got much better footage, which unlocked a more compelling structure in the editing process, and greatly improved our final draft.


Ultimately I feel deeply satisfied with the final piece. As a group we were honest, supportive, and kind. We leaned into our abilities, stepping forward in areas of strength, and supporting each other consistently in areas of weakness. We managed to investigate a complex but deeply relevant idea in a visceral, unignorable manner. Our final piece became a brave experimentation in the fields of movement, performance, costume and makeup, and considered pressing issues of nature, industry, and intimacy.