ESSEX OLIVARES / EVE ESSEX & JUAN ANTONIO OLIVARES
“Office Riddim” is an installation and performance that takes place within the office of a hypothetical emerging startup company. A staff of three—User 1, User 2, and a moderator—occupy the office throughout the workday. The group convenes hourly to enact a 25-minute score of five choreographed movements. Each five-minute section is titled thematically, exploring Traction, Surrender, Transparency, Cooperation and Reflection.
Throughout the space, signs, diagrams, texts, and a live video feed provide visual references for the group. Furniture, objects, and office supplies serve as props. The scenario unfolds to a script narrated by the Moderator from an iPad. This text leads User 1 and User 2 through all actions in real time, and an electronic soundtrack with audio cues dictates the progression of movements.
The Moderator is also tasked to monitor and document the Users’ execution, with the iPad camera, and by taking notes on, for example:
-When Users are most engaged
-What actions are struggled with repeatedly
-Semantic disjuncts between the script and realization
The script is peppered with suggestions to the Users to encourage their physical and psychological execution of the tasks, which the Moderator is encouraged to elaborate and ad-lib on during the performance.
In the final movement, Reflection, the Users simultaneously respond aloud to a series of survey questions evaluating the effectiveness of the score:
-“The information is effective in helping me complete the tasks and scenario“
-“Whenever I make a mistake using the system, I recover easily and quickly”
Office Riddim was staged 21 times during August 2013 at Lisa Cooley Gallery, NYC, with performers Jake Becker, Nova Benway, Benjamin Faust-Weber, Natalie Galpern, Arthur Gobillot, Ian Horowitz, Zachery Holbrook, Catherine Kron, Nicole Louie, James Mercer, and John Swartz.