strange pearls: the way friday is different from monday on this particular week

(Notes following a residency with Chris Goode at the University of Roehampton, Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance; week commencing 19 January 2015. For more context to this residency, see here.)

The room is thicker now with less of a flutter. Not as transfixed by the dead flies and the constant air travel overhead. Let’s not do something about flight safety and house flies or why haven’t we.

Calm is here and the quiet of the room is aloud. Loud enough all by itself. The listening is more and less. The space in my head is wider and more directed. We know a bit more what we don’t know about what the work might be.

Testing is the only way to know what we are as two. As two we can imagine or try to imagine what might happen or we might be hesitant to think about it because setting something down in brain matter in a linear explainable verbalised way might pave the way for entrenchment or disappointment or unnecessary disagreement—the kind that gets hung up on a technicality. So maybe we didn’t know what to expect or didn’t know what we expected and then what actually happened has cleared that up to some extent.

And the people who have stepped into the room on one or more than one occasion during the week have left a residue and we carry what they said and how they breathed in here, we carry that  with us when we think about what we are doing or what we have done in this room.

So it is thicker. It is thicker with the stones and with the 20 Jesus smiles and the hands as puppets and as if something were happening and if we say it is it is and if it’s happening it is something but we do need to figure out what and we have done some of that. The failure of communication has risen as a main concern in the material. The what of the matter of the piece might be solved by the smiles and the names of them and that the smiles have names. And now we know that we must catalog the smiles and that when they are fully ordered and named then we will have finished the work.

Ten feet tall with the list of things to be punished. We need a box. How does it end up? as if we were pointing something out to you. Something about punishment and something about smiles and something about a comparison to Jesus. Je suis Jesus. And something about where to look and how these people turn their gaze and look or don’t look we look at them and see or don’t see everything that is there to see and overtime more and slower it looks like something else or more like itself but slower and more room for conjecture and puncture and rock up to the truck and “smoke’em up here boss!” and stay where you are because there are rules and everyone makes a rule to live by or looks for one and if you haven’t got one it is mayhem or if you have got one but not the right one it is mayhem or if yours is different from mine it is mayhem.

[and then I go to wikipedia and find the following]
Mayhem is a criminal offence consisting of the intentional maiming of another person.

Under the common law of England and Wales and other common law jurisdictions, it originally consisted of the intentional and wanton removal of a body part that would handicap a person's ability to defend himself in combat. Under the strict common law definition, initially this required damage to an eye or a limb, while cutting off an ear or a nose was deemed not sufficiently disabling. Later the meaning of the crime expanded to encompass any mutilation, disfigurement, or crippling act done using any instrument.

This article is outdated. Please update this section to reflect recent events or newly available information. (August 2011)

The most significant change in common-law mayhem doctrine came in 1697, when the King's Bench decided Fetter v. Beale, 91 Eng. Rep. 1122. There, the plaintiff recovered in a battery action against a defendant. Shortly thereafter, "part of his skull by reason of the said battery came out of his head," and the plaintiff brought a subsequent action under mayhem. Though Fetter is also known as an early example of res judicata, it is most significant for expanding the ambit of mayhem to include "loss of the skull."

Some information has been removed by the cut-and-paster for the sake of brevity.


Both the noun "mayhem" and the verb "maim" come from Old French via Anglo-Norman. The word is first attested in various Romance languages in the 13th century, but its ultimate origin is unclear.[4] For one theory about its origin see wiktionary:mayhem.

Other uses

Mayhem can describe a person going on a rampage. Popular misunderstanding of the common journalese expression "rioting and mayhem" caused the common usual modern use of "mayhem" to mean "havoc and disorder", often with humorous overtones.
[ . . . ]

And then I think about the thin line between using the word and knowing what it means, between using it and questioning that use, between finding out that it means something different than you thought but finding out that everyone that heard you use it had the same misapprehension you did, and then what does the word mean? and then remembering how grateful you are that someone, some many ones, made this language that you use and gave it to you.

Tags: strange pearls, residency, Chris Goode, University of Roehampton, DTP

Posted on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 by Karen Christopher

we try to set up an atmosphere

Ideally a residency takes place in a dedicated spot, a spot where those involved, in this case, the two of us, can set up an atmosphere dedicated to the work we hope to do. This work is not yet imagined. If the work can be represented by a photo perhaps there is a corner of the photo that is developed and in focus while the rest of the photo is still being developed. So we try to set up an atmosphere that is conducive to a good working climate. It is alchemical, it is a kind of magic combination of protection, collection, deliberation, and discovery. It is a container for what might come. We don’t yet know what shape it will take so it helps if it is somewhat expansive. It needs to be open and without a sense of oppression. It needs to be without distraction and yet somehow open to contamination. It needs to be stimulating without being overwhelming. It needs to be quiet enough for listening but with something to listen for.

We’d like to have a combination of cloister and gathering. We’d like to be alone and to be visited. We’d like to work hard and have it feel like play. We like to focus so that ideas will come to distract us. We’d like to stay inside and travel very far away.

It is often when we are looking intently for one thing that we find another. The one thing we are looking for cannot be merely a shill for the eventual discovery. This original focus is very influential and governs the direction of our gaze and yet it is what appears out the corners of our eyes that is often what takes over to become the ultimate focus and the centre of our attention. A kind of virtual snooker match, a set of ricochetting foci, a series of new angles and knock-on effects. We need a set of surfaces to bounce off.

The residency places us in a context offset from our usual habit. This newness is engineered to unlock routine and find possibilities in a shape becoming ours while we attempt to inhabit it. It is a place to be a tourist and see with unaccustomed eyes. It is a brand new outfit that requires us to reconsider our parameters. It is a break and a hollow place, it is a cradle and a bridge, it is a state of mind and a solid shape.

There are two residencies planned to take place at University of Roehampton, Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance. Practically this means work in the studio for 5 to 6 days followed by a public-facing presentation for the DTP community.

The two residencies in January and February at Roehampton will involve Chris Goode and Lucy Cash respectively:

January (week commencing 19 Jan) with Chris Goode


February (week commencing 16 Feb) with Lucy Cash

Tags: residency description, residency, Lucy Cash, featherweight, Chris Goode, strange pearls, University of Roehampton, DTP

Posted on Sunday, 11 January 2015 by Karen Christopher