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Pinchbeck, M., 2022.

Immersive archives: making "Sit with us for a moment and remember"

Output Type:Conference paper
Dates:17/11/2022 - 19/11/2022

In Ways of Seeing (1972), John Berger wrote: 'To understand a landscape you have to situate yourself in it'. In 2020, I created a project entitled Sit with us for a moment and remember at Nottingham Lakeside Arts using its park benches to create an auditorium of commemoration around the lake. I had previously made a one-to-one performance for a bench which toured the UK, Germany and the Edinburgh Fringe called Sit with me for a moment and remember. That version explored how benches are a site of remembrance and invited audience members to consider how and who they remember. For Lakeside Arts, I found four benches facing each other across the lake without plaques and created a audio walk between them. I considered these undedicated benches and how they might be inhabited by different stories told by different narrators. I related these four benches to the four seasons to explore how the lake and the park change over time, so the narrators for these stories became the seasons themselves. The project is available onsite and online as a piece of audio theatre, or auto teatro, a piece designed to be performed by the audience themselves. Andy Lavender suggests that audio theatre is associated with 'wider shifts towards immersion, site-responsiveness and spatial dislocation'. In this paper I propose that audio theatre situates us in a landscape and in archives of its history.