The methodology of PreFliux was based around research conducted in a performance laboratory for 6 hours every couple of weeks using the Video Overlay System. The sessions would include Brian Curson and Robyn Stuart. One person would improvise onstage, while the other improvised with the joysticks controlling the movement of the virtual camera in the computer model. We soon elected Robyn to stay mostly onstage (the dancer) while Brian controlled the virtual (the cyber-dancer).
Between the lab sessions Brian would develop the Video Overlay System software from notes made during the lab sessions. Robyn would critically analyse the video of the lab sessions and then formulate choreographic ideas, which would be developed in the next lab sessions. Through this feedback process not only were the virtual and the physical brought into close dialogue through their real-time interaction in the performance laboratory, but the development of the software and the creative performative process also were brought into close dialogue. This alternate work pattern of improvising together followed by technological development and creative analysis was intuited by us as vital to our creative process upon reflection of VRIPas described in the final report.
The Typewriter-Graveyard sequence
In a specific experiment in PreFlux Stuart, in performing had alternated between two models, The Stairs and The Graveyard, while synchronously switching between two very different dance phrases. To Stuart, the positioning of the viewing ‘self’ flipped temporally within one performer to suggest the same character at different times or places rather than the same performer playing different characters (although in another experiment the latter could also be possible). This experiment showed there was the potential for a single body on-stage to flip instantaneously back and forth in time between two events.