Creating Spaces / by Lenni Sanders

A lot of what we do at iOrganic has to do with creating space for thinking, for play and for interacting with language and ideas. Doing this means that I spend a lot of time considering what type of spaces I create when I’m doing other things. Like reading.

When I’m really looking forward to reading a book, I plan when to read. I give myself a period of time to read and I make a cup of tea and I lie down. I like to have a window near by. Then, with a cup of tea, the door closed and a book in my hand… I watch the cats mess about in the street for an hour. I do much more reading when I’m on a bus or when I find out I’ve got to wait an hour more than I thought I did. Even in the 10 minutes I normally arrive early to work. This week I read whilst the football was on with people chatting.

So what is it about creating space that makes the former so unsuccessful? I think it’s because the space you need to make to read isn’t physical. It’s about creating space in you mind to be open to ideas and in which to slowly turnover sentences as you re-read them again and again in awe at their music. Sometimes that space is there, sometimes it isn’t. To some extent you can’t completely control the experience that you’re going to have through trying to determine everything. Instead, its much more to do with capitalising on a space that’s been made accidentally. Sort of improvising with inspiration as it comes.

This relates to iOrganic in one main way, we don’t try to create performances that we control completely but instead we create shows that offer as many hooks and ‘ins’ as possible. Yes, we can be the book, the main focus, but we also want to be the cats messing out on the street, as well. We want to have lots of stuff happening to allow for all of the different ways that people engage. We want to present something that will grow in the space of thought and bring someone into the rest of the performance. That space that isn’t necessarily there all of the time and doesn’t have a single route to it.

I’m sure I can train myself to have that space on more often, I’m sure that the way to do that is by reading more, so I’m off to a busy road.