3. Reflection on the collaboration with TU students
Ana, Meylissa (urban studies) and Luuc (structural design) has joined our events, workshops several times during the dense period of The Roof project in Veem Huis voor Performance. Usually during these meetings someone from the Moha team had a short update talk with the students, which was followed by the preparation and the realization of The Roof events or occasionally the workshops. In the following days after the events, the students have written reports at first regarding to the following questions:
- How do you understand the project, what has been introduced to you?
- What are the most important points/questions from your perspective?
- What associations, inspirations do you relate the project to?
- What other remarks/critics can you mention?
- What other possible research topics/interest are there in connection with our artistic research of The Roof?
As the project grew, the focus has shifted toward the actual realization of The Roof, its urban location, community and design.
We appreciated the student’s dedication to take part in the events, even though most of the times it was in an unusual timeframe. We think this participation is something necessary to understand our work. We also recognized that the students valued these events because it gave a different access to information: direct conversation with the users, multiple points of view due to the diversity of Moha crowd, unconventional methods of data gatherings for example physical practices used for spatial exploration, social games, performances and becoming part of a theatre production.
Generally, we can also say it is very valuable to have a non-artistic analysis of all the events, because it is giving us a mirror to see our project with an outside eye, from a ‘different reality’. Through the reports we gained also new vocabulary and “tool system” how the project can be looked at and discussed.
Extract of some of their writings:
"The Roof was opened by filling the sheet with air and it became a moving cubical. The roof became an object in the public space. With people gathering around it. The Roof worked as a totem pole. Not so much as a roof; it is not a shed and does not provide any protection.
Almost the whole square was used at the ceremony. The people dance, sing, meet and played games together. The event was recognizable by the pole with the white cubical. The big amount of people and the loud music.
Most of the people who passed by, cyclist 17 and cars stopped for a while to look at the happening on the square. A couple of passers-
by looked at the event from a distance. But
all of them moved further after a while. The people who participated in the event were mostly invited by the organisations or had some kind of relation with performance and art.The inauguration of the Roof was a success. Although the Roof did not feel as an actual roof but became an object in space where people meet and gather, have joy, sing and dance together."
"Opening The Roof
Then it was time to official put The Roof into action for the first time. The ropes, which held the fabric of the balloon together, were released and the air blower was put into action. Slowly within a couple of minutes The Roof got into shape. Because this was not such a fast process, people started imagining what The Roof would look like (if that hadn’t already seen the drawings). So the slow process made the participants curious about the final shape and imagined their own perfect shape on this type of square. From the reactions I could tell that people were surprised that the final shape of the balloon was a cube. I think they thought that it would be a flatter shape. But the fact that it was an unusual shape, just like The Roof is an unusual project for the neighborhood, mad eit successful.
The final shape was also different than I thought it would be. Last week there was still a design which involved three IBC containers with each their own column and balloon. But due to limited time for getting the materials and constructing The Roof it was reduced to the final baby prototype we saw during the inauguration. Because it is now a baby, there is room for improvement during the next times it will be used and made. For now it was a small prototype to see what kind of effect a baby propotype can have."