Video Shakkei: Event-Space, Performance and Time-Based Drawing

Kristen Kreider, James O'Leary

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper draws upon our collaborative research as Kreider + O’Leary, artists engaging with sites of architectural and socio-cultural significance through an integrated visual-spatial-poetic practice of performance, installation and time-based media. In particular we refer to a recent project entitled Video Shakkei (2009), initiated/performed in Japan and completed/exhibited as part of an installation culminating a residency at The Centre for Drawing in London.

Drawing from the Japanese practice of shakkei, or ‘borrowed landscape,’ we visited a number of carefully selected sites in Japan – from ancient Shinto spaces of ritual in Ise to the hyper-futuristic Umeda Sky building in Osaka – where we performed a sequence of actions or ‘live drawings’ in response to the spatial and material qualities of each location. These actions were recorded simultaneously from differing points of view using two hand-held and two miniature high definition video cameras, resulting in a number of hyper-digitized, absurdly choreographed and poetically rendered filmic images of place.

For the purposes of this paper we first look at how these images, edited together as a series of filmic composites modeled on the multi-scaled architectural drawing, relate the landscape or architectural space to performed event, and this to filmic sequence. In doing so we draw from Bernard Tschumi’s concept of ‘event-space,’ and composite drawings from the ‘Manhattan Transcripts’ series, examining this in relation to Roland Barthes’ structural analysis of narrative. How, we then ask, does our specific encounter with Japanese spatiality, coupled with the synchronicity of our performance practice of ‘live drawing’, constitute a superimposition of narrative and drawn ‘layers’ upon the original site, and to what effect? What transformations – and translations – occur between our initial performances at the various locations in Japan, their notation and compilation into the filmic series and their final exhibition and display as part of an architecturally-informed cinematic installation at The Centre for Drawing’s Project Space?

The project intends to explore the theoretical and practical limits of the definition of drawing, and through a series of spatio-temporal turns, to propose a more open definition beyond the limits of the page.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDrawing Out 2010: Festival and Conference of Drawing, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Video Shakkei
  • Kreider + O'Leary
  • Kreider
  • O'Leary
  • Drawing Out
  • Video Shakkei

    Kreider, K. & O'Leary, J.


    Project: Research

  • Drawing Out Transdisciplinary Conference

    Kristen Kreider (Speaker)

    7 Apr 20109 Apr 2010

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

  • The International Centre for Drawing

    Kristen Kreider (Participant)

    6 Apr 201026 Apr 2010

    Activity: OtherPublic engagement, outreach and knowledge exchange - Festival/exhibition

  • TALKS series

    Kristen Kreider (Speaker)

    25 Nov 2009

    Activity: OtherPublic engagement, outreach and knowledge exchange - Public Lecture/debate/seminar

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