SLAP in a Box

For the next instalment of SLAP we are presenting SLAP in a box. 

SLAP in a Box is an experiment, taking performance out of the Black Box studio and into the White Cube gallery. 

SLAP in a Box is a durational 2.5 hour performance, the same length as a traditional theatre show, but in this instance the audience is in complete control. 

3 Performers will be in a room. 
The audience will be able to see them on a screen. 
The performers cant see the audience. 
The audience will be able to select from a list of commands and actions for the performers, some will have a price. 
At anytime a spectator will be able to replace one of the performers. 

We are creating a performance Jukebox to explore what York audiences want to see and how much live performance is worth.


Thoughts on SLAP #4 

SLAP in a box was an offering of something new, an experiment if you like, putting members of the SLAP team in a gallery space to conduct a live directed improvisation. Looking back the idea was attractive, a performance art jukebox whereby audience members send commands through an IPad, to a second iPad in a concealed performance space. Live streaming was then projected in an adjacent gallery space for audience members to observe their commands turned physical. 

As a performer I found the experiment to be liberating, offering up all responsibility to an audience, they decided what they wanted to see and we gave it to them. Resourceful and chaotic movement, sound, words and disorder all had a part to play in the performance jukebox. It was also interesting to see how differently audience members interpreted commands when they were to eventually replace us in the space. 

In hindsight SLAP in a box was ambitious yet we managed to pull it off after a few technical difficulties. I say a few, but at a point during the night the live stream jittered so much that we had to take down our wall of cardboard concealing us from the audience. It was shame because it defeated the concept of the performance, but it did give the audience a chance to see behind the wall which kept us from them. 

I think it’s safe to say that with a bigger technical budget SLAP in a box has the capacity to be a really interesting and interactive performance model. We have already started planning the next attempt at SLAP in a box.  We would like to give the audience more structure to the experience and host the event at a completely different venue, a Victorian house perhaps? To invite audiences to flick through channels screening performance happening in different rooms of a house watched on a television screen. Watch this space…. 

SLAP’S Sophie Unwin

Lydia Cottrell