Reading from Roger Callois, Man, Play, Games from MA:AP studios 13th March 2018

As a response to this reading, I want to attempt to relate an aspect of my artistic methodology to the points that Callois has made in  Chapter 1 of Man, Play and Games.

Callois categorises play in Chapter 1:

  1. Free: in which playing is not obligatory; if it were, it would at once lose its attractive and joyous quality as a diversion;
  2. Separate: circumscribed within limits of space and time, defined and fixed in advance;
  3. Uncertain: the course of which cannot be determined, nor the result attained beforehand, and some latitude for innovations being left to the player’s initiative;
  4. Unproductive: creating neither goods, nor wealth, nor new elements of any kind; and, except for the exchange of property among the players, ending in a situation identical to that prevailing at the beginning of the game;
  5. Governed by rules: under conventions that suspend ordinary laws, and for the moment establish new legislation, which alone counts;
  6. Make-believe: accompanied by a special awareness of a second reality or of a free unreality, as against real life.

The research aspect of my process could be described as Free play of sorts; the topic or context of my research is not obligatory ie. I can choose what I wish to research, If I did not choose to research or have an interest in what lines of inquiry I was taking, I think that it would, in fact, lose its “attractive and joyous quality”. Of course, this is work for me and not just play but I can draw some parallels with free playing in the beginnings of both material exploration and conceptual research. The former can be seen as free play at the beginning stages if I have not set any parameters for myself before the material manipulation begins, It can sometimes yield interesting results.

This kind of research play is also a little like what Callois describes as Uncertain: the course of which cannot be determined, nor the result attained beforehand, and some latitude for innovations being left to the player’s initiative. 

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The morning reading led nicely into our lunchtime lecture from Torsten Blume, Bauhaus Dessau


Torsten Blume – SPACE GAMES The Bauhaus stage and Bauhaus approaches to Pedagogy 1-2pm Tuesday 13th March 2018, ROOM:  D.L.T. CIT Crawford College Art and Design, Sharman Crawford Street

TORSTEN BLUME (Research Associate at Bauhaus Foundation, Dessau, Germany) will present an introduction to Bauhaus as an artistic laboratory and playground for exploring the motion space in full body explorations. This talk will explain historical concepts and backgrounds of the Bauhaus stage in the context of the general Bauhaus pedagogy and also show examples of actual project activities, and current international projects collaborations he is curating for Bauhaus 100. Torsten Blume is an academic and artistic member of staff at the Bauhaus Foundation Dessau, Germany. He started the ongoing series of workshops and dance installations “play Bauhaus” which is re-addressing the stage perspectives of the historical Bauhaus stage workshop in a contemporary and playful context.