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Composition from Afar

Another way of utilising the audio functions of the mobile phone is to use it as a medium to facilitate synchronous communication between two or more partners without them, however, having to share the same space. The easiest way to do this is to ask partners to exchange numbers and then once they are in their starting positions, one person can call the other. If there is WiFi connection and the students have Skype on their phones, the exercise can be done in bigger groups.

A space that offers some kind of vista or elevated viewpoint works quite well. Alternatively, an indoor space that has windows to an outside accessible area can also work. The group is divided into two smaller groups and each person has a partner in the other group. One group stays in the playing area and the other group goes to the viewing area. When everyone is in place, the students in the viewing area call their partners and begin to give them instructions. These can include actions, movements, engagements with the surrounding space and should be given in a clear and succinct language. The aim of the exercise is to facilitate the development of composition skills and visual literacy as well as enable the ability to give and respond to clear instructions. It is also a good exercise to develop the students' ability to recognise and work with affordances, both those present in the environment as well as those that emerge from the work of the rest of the group. It is thus an exercise in 'comprivisation', a mode of composing on the spot and in response to both fixed and unfixed co-ordinates.

Instructions for this task can be found in Exercises