Tag Archives: nottheatre

Metaphorically speaking

For some reason, today in staff meeting I started listening for the metaphors people used when they were talking. I’d been in a discussion earlier in the day where a way of working had been described as ‘orchestral’. i.e. a group were teaching something and each individual would pipe up when needed, adding to the picture and therefore the learning. I’d been extending the metaphor. We were about to continue a piece of work that I thought would change our usual ‘rhythm’ of working from fast and dense with information, to a much slower pace where each idea would be able to be examined. (Each idea was a musical theme. It would be laid down in the first (fast) movement, in the second (slow) it may be chopped up or flipped upside down, then in the third (fast) it would be reincorporated to reflect both the first and second movements, in the fourth (slow) the theme would be changed, reflecting all three movements, and so on.)
Then I became aware of the metaphors other people were using. The three I remember best are:
*hunting – this was accompanied by grasping gestures. Both stalking and running after something were indicated.
*journeying in a waka – travelling the ocean, each person on the waka knows their role, knows how it contributes to the journey, and just gets on with it.
*a kotare sitting high up, watching the stream, then darting in to get the fish when it is sure of success.
Metaphors are not exceptional at my work. Weaving, especially of tukutuku panels is often used. I like to talk about the Slinky Theory of Evolution. I do not know what it was about today that made me take notice. But it was interesting.


What’s your story, e hoa?

1. At the Webstock launch, @polarbearfarm talked about his desire for different stories for New Zealanders. His classmates were all headed to jobs in companies and he wondered why they didn’t consider working their own stuff. 

2. Kim Workman came and talked to my organisation about the work he does with criminals and the criminal justice system. His presentation was a series of stories. He said that many people end up in prison because that’s the story of their family.

3. A similar thought occured to me while I was watching Awhi Tapu. The characters seemed to be following a path that had been set down by the mythologies and stories they had grown up with. 

4. However, a conversation with a couple of people on the weekend made me question whether it’s the stories or the way they are told that makes a difference. Both men (and the mother of one of them) went into careers that didn’t have much of a relationship with the careers of the rest of their families.

5. Therefore, my new question is – is it the facts in the story that matter, or the way it is told, or the themes that have the most impact on our lives?

6. What’s your story, e hoa?


Wellington is built on rubbish


Inspired by Te Radar’s Eating the Dog, I have found this photo of the progress being made on the “Winter Show Association’s extensive buildings and grounds”, a building I now work in. It was published in the Evening Post, 4 June 1928. According to other articles, it was originally a gully but was filled in by refuse from the tip just down the road, and spoil from the construction of the Mt Victoria tunnel. Reading other articles there’s a theme of land being landscaped with rubbish, and spoil in order to flatten it out. Now I wonder just what Wellington looked like for the early settlers.

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Brooklyn Museum

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Via Brooklyn Museum

To accompany the exhibition Vishnu: Hinduism's Blue-Skinned Savior Brooklyn Museum are showing a smaller group of Indian paintings that have been crowd sourced.?? The project was inspired by 'Blink' by Malcolm Gladwell about how humans judge and make choices. The Museum's online community were invited to take part in a three stage process. "The first stage explores split-second reactions: in a timed trial, participants will be asked to select which painting they prefer from a randomly generated pair of images. Next, participants will be asked to write in their own words about a painting before rating its appeal on a scale. In the third phase, participants will be asked to rate a work of art after being given unlimited time to view it alongside a typical interpretive text." According to the exhibition description "this online experiment and resulting installation will explore how our initial reaction to a work of art is affected by what we know, what we???re asked, and what we???re told about the object in question."

I'm excited that the Museum is exploring this. It's something that I'm interested in with regards to how individuals respond to performance. I like to know something about the process behind a show such as design inspiration, costumes or rehearsal process etc. I'd rather not know any detail about the story. I'm undecided as to whether I want to know the inspiration or background to the story (other than the bare bones) as part of the fun is in anticipating what comes next. Having said that I will go to shows more than once. (Yes, I watch movies more than once and I will watch "behind the scenes" and listen to commentary too. #nerd ) What does that say about me as audience? I'm not sure yet, it's something I'm still exploring.?? What about you? Do you know what you like to know before you go and watch something?

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Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead


I have found another movie for my ever evolving top ten list.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.

It’s the story of minor characters in Hamlet and what they are doing when they are not on stage. The script is full of word play. That makes me very happy


For example

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Buskers, Wellington station


“It happens in an awkward and possibly crowded and noisy place – near public transportation, shops or other distractions…there is often no place to sit and standing around can make you feel conspicuous. We do not know who the performer is or if she is any good. This feeds into the anxiety that many people have about their own perceived lack of taste or knowledge. They do not want to be seen by others to be over-enthusiastic about a mediocre performer or under-appreciative of a good one. It is safer not to listen and thus not to betray any opinion at all…And even if we do stop to listen and enjoy the experience, what would be an appropriate way to show appreciation? Clap? Say “thank you”? Make a contribution? …If you give too little you look stingy; if you give too much you look like an easy mark. All of this makes for a very awkward situation and it is much easier not to stop in the first place. Better to get on with your business.”

Why music moves us by Jeanette Bicknell, 2009. ISBN 9780230209893.

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The dog has nothing to do with this

The other night I was standing at the sink when I started laughing. I'd just noticed that I was doing all these things
1. Washing and drying dishes
2. Waiting for biscuits to finish baking
3. Planning my outfit for the next day
4. Listening to the introduction music on the Wolverine DVD (Terrible btw. The Almighty Johnsons has the best looping intro music of any DVD I've ever watched.)
5. Making dinner
6. Making lunch
It was particularly hilarious because I'd had a rough day but at that moment I was feeling calm and serene. Go figure.

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R??aumoko is god of earthquakes and volcanos. He's a very busy boy and we all wish he would just settle down.

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It’s #redshoesday today. I have two pairs – one for walking and one for cute. I love the fact that the purpose of #redshoesday is to inject “some colour, some fun and a lot of cheering up” into wintery days. Confession: I often wear red shoes to work. Today I am wearing them with a black dress, a black cardigan. Grey/red tights and a red scarf.

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The other one about the #rugby

The other #rugby event is coming to NZ later this year. It’s the #RWC2011. There are lots of opinions on this event but I’m choosing to look at it in a postive way.

1. I’m on the other side of town so probably won’t be bothered by #rugbydickheads* (downside – I won’t get to see the parades either)
2. I don’t have TV reception so I won’t have to watch the ads (downside: I won’t be able to watch the games either *sob*)
3. there are bound to be lots of cultural and arts events on at the same time. (downside: I won’t have enough money to go to them all.) 

Remember – you have the choice too.

@kateprior tweeted a link to this TEDxYYC talk by Ben Cameron “The true power of the performing arts.” I’m including it here because I like what he says at 11.45 (ish.)

“The arts, whatever they do, whenever they call us together, invite us to look at our fellow human beings with generosity, and curiosity.”

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*For the record I don’t think that #rugbylover = dickhead. But there are people out there who will use it as an excuse to get wasted and cause havoc. Shame on their eyes and ears.

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