Image credits:Benedict Johnson
Choreography of pendulums, mathematics,
Execute Now began as research at the time of deep economic austerity after the financial crash of 2008, amidst increasing public outrage and heightened social tension manifesting with the Tottenham, Lewisham and Brixton riots.
Ben continued his developing practice of working with materials and objects, in this example the Pendulum, that serve no particular outcome as tools themselves, whilst demanding a precise relationship when existing in action with them.
Referring to Plato’s mathematic principles, relationships explored simple units of 1, 2, 3.. a Shepherd’s counting system using joints of the fingers, not a decimal score ‘Onery, Ickery, Ukery, Uery’ being ‘1 2 3 4’
Research was supported through residencies at The Place Choreodrome, South East Dance, The Basement Brighton and Lakeside Theatre University of Essex. A collaboration with video-maker Tony Wadham created a study of pendulums with experimental camera.
Commissioned for Place Prize 2012 Execute Now, the theatre piece, was a meeting point for a critique on conventional economics and their detrimental impact on humanity and the environment. It explored this through a situation that employed 5 pendulums a catalogue of measuring activities to a live wall of sound activated by the performers on 2 record turntables. They sought to ‘Chase the Devil out of Town’ though an alchemical unravelling of mathematical formulae, expressed through the motion dynamics of the patterns of the pendulums.
The title Execute Now expressed both a statement of disgust at the state of affairs, and an invocation to action.
supported through Escalator Performing Arts
Performers: Ben Ash, Seke Chimutenguende, Robert Clark, Matthew Morris, Luke Birch
Filming: Tony Wadham
Lighting design: Guy Hoare