W is a research collective that studies action in a performance setting. What does it mean to act as others watch? What characterizes the relation we call theater?
To answer these questions, W simultaneously develops three complementary approaches: a practice, which builds tools and techniques for the actor; a critical method, which suggests reception guidelines for the spectator; and a theory, which works to define notions useful to the first two approaches.
In particular, W produces games, a lexicon of operational notions, a critical seminar, a theoretical apparatus, articles, conferences, research sessions, as well as school visits.
W-Practice designs and tests tools for action in a performance setting.
The first tool, called an operational lexicon, deals with naming the different aspects of a performed action. When the lexicon is shared by all of a project's actors, it allows them to better express its terms, to more accurately share and define its issues, and to adapt and adjust them accordingly.
The second tool, a notation system, allows us to write and articulate action in the form of "scores." A score is a group of either simultaneous or successive actions organized according to rigorous formal criteria. Scores not only allow an actor to literally record his or her own line of action and combine it with other actors' lines, it also allows him or her to modify it on paper. When shared, this system of notation allows a score to be transferred to an actor for interpretation or expansion.
The third tool, the W-method, consists of an assortment of techniques for performing action as concretely as possible, thus relieving the actor of the responsibility of representing something. To this end, it provides a whole array of imminent criteria and syntactic rules that equip the actor to make choices that guarantee multiple outcomes, to articulate an action dramaturgically, and to priviledge autonomy and openness to the event.
These tools are developed at research sessions bringing together performers of all kinds. They are also practiced as games in which the activity of an actor, writer, or director is formalized so it can become the object of study. (objet spécifique du travail)
Organon est un logiciel libre et partagé qui permet de mettre en partition n’importe quelle performance, action, activité ou processus.
Organon utilise la Notation W, un système qui fonctionne à partir de tâches ou d’instructions énoncées dans le langage courant et organisées selon une syntaxe rigoureuse.
Organon permet de noter une performance existante dans une visée de conservation ou de transmission. Elle est également un outil de composition à l’usage des chorégraphes, metteurs en scènes, performeurs — et de toute personne voulant organiser ou modéliser une action.