PETER

No choice, don’t watch this. A description by Peter Mills.

No choice, don’t watch this, is an ontological discourse into meaning and value. The aim of the piece is to look at choice and how it shapes our reality. Either we rebel, or we conform or we act somewhere in between, but what we do not have is choice. We are enslaved by the proposition of No choice, don’t watch this, a warning of the conversation to come.

In the large dark empty room there is no distinguishable difference between audience and performer. A DVD starts by introducing itself, This is Google translate, speaking to you from the past… Free from a divine author, the past informs the present, unavoidable and without choice. The word Stand repeats, the audience participation is not with the piece but with the decision making of how to act in a theatre. To stand or rebel, they all must engage and be aware of their responsibility. A pause, then Do nothing pulsates through out the space. Reminding, not just about the placid spectator in the theatre but also the bystander of exploitation within the world. Responsibility is force upon us in the room, engaging us with choice. This impossible task because of breathing, thinking, heart beating, staying still and trying not to think brings the philosophy about the creation of meaning within our meaningless existence into the performance. As the performers struggle with anxiety from attempting to meet the ideological end to Do nothing, the audience hopefully, through observing or their own internal struggle to conform, also feel the exploitative nature of creating meaning where there is none. The room goes black, before Copy the recording of the copying process is announced. A recording of a person dressed all in black is played. The performers/audience attempt to copy the recording to their best ability. The performers move on impulse rather than associative shape, their bodies thrown into a trance like obsession reacting to every movement from the screen, mistakes are unavoidable. The person in the recording moves as if they too are copying a recording, as if they are not the creator. The audience are conflicted of where to watch, the wall with the recording playing or the audience/performers copying the recording. Are they the spectator of others or the spectacle themselves or is it the game of conforming, rebelling in their own minds that is the spectacle?! The noise stops, performers returns to be audience members. Do nothing but copy each others mistakes at attempting to do nothinginterrupts. Attention is now on themselves and the people around them. The slightest movement caught by the eye of a performer is copied. The copying of these movements, can in no time become a virus, like an infection of movement. There is an emphasis for the audience on their contribution, confronted with their choice. As the audience control the situation for the frantic and anxious reacting audience/performers, because of their belief in the dictator’s fake meaning and choosing to conform to it, faith in meaning manifest itself as inequality and exploitation. The piece ends with Copy the recording of the copying process, and each other. Filling the room with movement. Half way through an advert is played, before the words LEAVE NOW flash over the recording and the doors are opened and the audience is advised to leave. Meaning and creation influenced by the recording as the past and the copying as the present, create an experience of choosing. Questioning choice in the theatre and in society, and belief in meaning and in value, having observed its affects.

My intention is to create a situation to experience the created constructs of reality and the effect of choice within it. We should justify why injustice happens, by justifying our choices. No choice, don’t watch this is the warning to be aware of ourselves.