Working Systems (diagrams)

Three working diagrams that underpin the working process of this collaborative project.

1. A M D

An illustration of the in-flux relationships between architecture, movement and drawing, operating in both constraining and generating modes.

2. Constraining to Generating

In the initial point of occurrence Architecture, Drawing and Movement are each present in a constrained relationship (each one is equivalent to the others). As information is lifted from this initial point the system moves from a constrained relationship to a generative relationship. The generative capacity of the system increases as detail is reduced.

3. A / B

Pay attention to the areas of overlap between two identities. There is a slippery futility to naming and an impossibility to clearly defined boundaries. Our neat labels will always shift and change gradually. Where are the edges of our own body?

This is an ongoing collaboration between Benjamin Forster and contemporary dancer Rhiannon Newton, this project is a series of experiments investigating the relationships between architecture, drawing and movement. This project is currently in development.

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Work in Progress (cia studios 2011)

A selection of documentation from Benjamin and Rhiannon’s three week residency at CIA studios in October 2011. Utilising their own disciplinary frameworks and expertise as initial starting points, they began to construct simple experiments in order deconstruct the boundaries between architecture, drawing and movement, and at once learn about each other’s practice. The aim was to simultaneously develop multiple possible direction’s that can be selected from for future development. Everything is very much still in the stages of becoming, nothing is static.

Below are a selection of the experiments that occurred during this first stage of development.

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Critical Point Studies


Ageing is the slow transition of multiple stable systems coming to critical points until an eventual fatal shift in form. — death is not a known point — skin flaking — prosthetic insertions — artificial hearts — metal knees. Where is the line between body and not body? Think about the edge of this page — the windows of building and the pores of our skin.

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Stable Systems (Studies in Gradual Flux)

Choreography: Benjamin Forster and Rhiannon Newton.
Thank you to Carly Armstrong and Jessica Lewis from Unkempt Dance Collective

A system or an identity may appear stable for a time, however nothing is ever still. There is always movement. Gradually dancing, small variations constantly shift the system until a threshold is reached. This is related to the idea of a critical point. It is the point, or the moment, that a stable system shifts and becomes another. Identities break, and in turn are reapplied, but for a moment the groundless ground is revealed. Two stable systems collide, each shifts dramatically, splintering off into multiple possible forms, or maybe only for a moment each returning to its own predictable stability in time.

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Pencil Examination

// a short historical lesson

ZENO: In order to walk out of this room you must get halfway towards the door. However in order to get halfway there, you must get a quarter of the way there. Before traveling a quarter, you must travel one-eighth; before an eighth, one-sixteenth; and so on. In order to move anywhere you must complete an infinite number of tasks. This is impossible. In fact this trip cannot even begin. As you need to perform an infinite number of small trips in order to make any trip, travel over any distance cannot be completed or even begun. All motion is an illusion.

// Diogenes walks away.

Benjamin Forster and Rhiannon Newton, Pencil, 2011

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Active Diagram ( Architecture ›› Drawing ›› Movement )

Drawing is always slipping and fading. Light traces intensities on your retina –
flickering across a network of nerves, leaving a moments residue glowing.

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Mapping (study)

An experiment in reconstructing the mapped architecture through movement. Imagine forty bodies articulating the facades, establishing rhythm and form. Now imagine after a time they blindfold themselves, repeating the movement from memory. Slowly shifting until the accumulation of errors result in complete break down. Or imagine another group of bodies ignoring the implied architecture, walking straight lines through the established structure.

Thank you to the dancers from LINK dance company for helping sketch this idea.


1. Use an entrance or exit as the starting point.

2. One person is the measuring device. Choose whatever body part is appropriate to the distance of the surface being measured (for example small distances can be mapped with finger lengths and larger distances with body lengths).

3. Measure the distance of each surface of the space, including permanent fixtures, sequentially in an anti-clockwise direction.

4. Record the distances as amounts of the chosen body part and notate the direction of the surface in relation to the previous measurement (for example 5 forearm lengths 90° left).

5. Record any opening on a vertical plane (for example window, vent or door) as a gap.


1. In a new space mark a point spatially relative to the starting point of the first space.

2. Sequentially map out each of the listed distances and directions using another person as the measuring device.

3. Mark the lengths and joins with materials that work well in the new space (for example pegs and string for soil or masking tape for concrete).

4. Leave gaps where notated

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Motion Studies (Critical Points)

This is incomplete and lacking //
Not a perfect mapping.

An experiment capturing and analysing in parallel points of collision and the consequential duration/trajectory. Impact until rest in perpetual motion. Time! Syncopation! Rhythm!

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