Prototype 2: navigating-x
“[The city] can be understood as a living organism. By their nature, living organisms can die when mistreated, or starved of resources, including people. At the same time, a city that is full of life is capable of endlessly adapting, flourishing in different circumstances, and with different inhabitants.”
- Devan Sudjic, The Language of Cities (p. 219)
Physical infrastructure and architecture play a prominent role in tangibly shaping the city-inhabitant relationship. Using each prototype lycra-enclosed box as symbolic of various urban infrastructure, the performers’ movement exploration inside the boxes reveal that these seemingly rigid, unyielding structures are also malleable and responsive. As such, their individual and interactive explorations shift our initial assumptions of the city as a concrete grid that dictates how each inhabitant must maneuver themselves in the city. As body and box impose upon and grapple with each other, a new hybrid emerges, with inhabitant and city blending into a collective singular.
Cardboard boxes and Lycra (See links to Phase 2): two prominent materials experimented with from Phase 2 are retained and integrated here. The potential for the combination of the two to be framed as a semi-rigid, semi-malleable symbolism of city infrastructure that the individual performer maneuvers through in their idiosyncratic negotiation with the multiple cities of their personal lived experiences.
In terms of design, the live presentation prototype contains lines inspired by Le Corbusier's Modular (See: Key References) with the inclusion of diagonal and dash lines to disrupt the convention of fixed and ideal systems of conceptualising cities.
The performing bodies explore various personas as inhabitants of their own "xity" prototype, each with distinct qualities of movement identities developed by each performer.
In the given space, they alternately manipulate the edges and interiors of their boxes from within. The resultant amorphous and transient movements thus embody moments of harmony and disharmony in their individual xity-inhabitant relationships.
Eventually, the two xity-inhabitants encounter each other in a dialogue: what happens when each distinct xity-inhabitant of different identities begin to interact? The performers will test their encounters and record their observations (See findings on observation-x.)