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Memory for a Place

The use of audio has been explored in two ways and in both cases the aim is to develop connections between a particular place, personal or collective memory and a text communicated through audio. Different aspects of the phone can be used for this, but each one is likely to inflect the experience in different ways. When the exercise is done in pairs, the two partners can exchange phone numbers and then each can leave a voice message on the other's device. Alternatively, a voice recording can be posted on a shared online space and then be downloaded.

In the first variation, students were first asked to work by themselves and find a place that is suggestive or have a significant memory for them. They then had to write a piece of text utilising the following three perspectives: from a. inside the memory, in the 1st person in present tense; b. outside the memory, in the third person in the past tense; c. from an imaginary frame in second person in present tense and in imperative mood. Once the text is written, they then had to record a set of instructions directing their partner to the place they want them to go and then the actual text.

In the second variation, the students worked in a predetermined space that had a particular history and the aim there was to develop texts and audio recordings that would enable them to bring this history to life.

Similarly to Feel/Hear/See/Do, this exercise is useful for developing sensitivity to site and strengthening the connections between memory, body and place. The first variation invites the students to work with autobiographical memory and can thus offer a means of engaging with autobiographical performance. The second variation works with historical information and heritage and thus can facilitate the students' devising skills. By listening to the material that their partner left on their phone, they can also gain a glimpse of the way an audience may experience this kind of work. As such, the phone can offer an easy way to introduce students to performance work that is exclusively or in part auditory and can get them thinking about the role of the voice, performer-less performance, and the environment as a performance in itself.

Instructions for this task can be found in Exercises