Cumulator 12, Echo Echo Dance Studios, Derry 10 December 2016

There is time for time, and as such, time for the highs and the lows of energy at home in it. Such are the polarities of performance, and of life.

Peaking lulls and lulling peaks, putting forces in motion.

Layers of time intersect with layers of meaning, and in these instances, mobilised forces settle. These are the connexions that both sustained, and gently forced open, the ceaseless protraction of time.

Habit comes under fire. Truths that seem so self-evidently concrete begin to dissipate, and others creep up, under the nose, to gently overwhelm in moments of exhausted reach. And in both are found poetic cadences higher than the sum of their parts.

All lulls and all peaks all the time, and there is time for time.

Despite all of its varied and often contradictory anthropological definitions, ritual can be said to involve some sort of shift in how we habitually experience things. Something similar might be said for art. Through attentiveness, our rituals, whether private and singular or socially evental, offer us non-normative and sometimes transformative possibilities. We are afforded new becomings, no longer constrained by the representations we habitually produce in our everyday social spheres. A shared work-time gives way to an aesthetic ritual-time, that just so happens to look a lot like play-time.

Cumulator 12 was the final iteration of Cumulator, a series of performance events organised by artist James King with support by Bbeyond Belfast. It aimed to provide minimal and unadorned frameworks of time and space to facilitate performative action. The series, which took place over a period of twelve months, began with one person performing for an hour, and saw the addition of another performer and another hour’s duration added in every subsequent event. This final instalment saw twelve performers from varying artistic backgrounds performing simultaneously for twelve hours in Derry’s Echo Echo Dance Studios. Individual gestures involving objects, movement, voice and dance expanded over time, becoming collaboratively shared moments of improvised association and exchange. The performers were: Teresa McCormick, Jagoda Kiciak, Brian Patterson, Philip Kavanagh, Léann Herlihy, Shiro Masuyama, Rachel Rankin, James King, Oona Doherty, Hannah Woodside, Jennifer Hanley and Christoff Gillen.

Written by Philip Kavanagh

Philip Kavanagh is a writer on art based in Dublin.

Cumulator 12, Echo Echo Dance Studios, Derry, 10 December 2016.