Amphibious Trilogies

Masters’ workshop #3

OCTOPA’s Toolkit: Voicing the future through personas

On 15 May 2020 we held the third of three workshops for Master students in choreography at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO). Due to the restrictive policies concerning COVID19 virus we get together in ZOOM.


This activity aims to:
– Position the choreographic project in relation to the as yet unknown and imaginary futures.
– Exploring the use of words and metaphors in shaping concepts in a master’s project.
– Taking up the persona called OCTOPA in relation to climate change.
–  Supporting development of choreo-design fictions with new personas and scenarios.

Following up on Workshop #1 and Workshop #2 we take another look at movement-verbs and verbalising. We play with these words, and how we can make personas that can shape our futures choreographic project. We also include words from 50 FUTURES DESIGN WORDS/ FUEL4DESIGN. To do this we use the example of Amphibious Trilogies’ persona, called ‘OCTOPA’. In collaboration with Andrew Morrison and Bastian Kerspen we are further developing the concept of OCTOPA as persona and OCTOPA as device. OCTOPA has two versions; digital interaction (online) and printable, each giving instructions on how to proceed. We use the printable version.

OCTOPA masters’ choreography workshop needs source materials; 50 FUTURES DESIGN WORDS, FUTURES DESIGN DISCOURSE MOVES/FUEL4DESIGN. OCTOPA’s MAP (see below), OCTOPA’S CHOREO-DESIGN SCORE (printable version). Scissors, paper, glue, marker pens and uncluttered table or floor are essential.

This is an experimental meta-cognitive exercise, much like memory games. We start by writing a short project description (max 5 lines).

Map by Andrew Morrison

Placing OCTOPA’s MAP on table/floor, cut out the edges OCTOPA. Cut out CONTEXT and QUALITIES along the lines. Place them vertically on the left and right edges of the table/floor. Cut out OCTOPA’s arms. Cut off OCTOPA’s head along her beaded necklace. One by one, flip OCTOPA’s arms. One by one, choose words from the lexicon that relates to your projects and place them alongside CONTEXT and QUALITIES. One by one, write the chosen words on OCTOPA’s arms. Shuffle them. Without peaking try to remember which these words adheres to CONTEXT and QUALITIES.

Reconfiguring OCTOPA. She listens and speaks to you. Flip OTCOPA’s arms (1-8). Did you remember which words adheres to the categories of CONTEXT and QUALITIES. With glue, stick OCTOPA’s arms on her body and head. With this new constellation, think about what your project looks like now? OCTOPA poses a question to open up a group discussion: What (if any) has changed your stance as future choreographers design projects in times of climate change?

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See also: OCTOPA’S Journey

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