Choreographies

The three power system, legislation, jurisdiction, executive was first mentioned by Aristoteles, then implemented after the French Revolution and now used in most of the world. All of these powers organised in assemblies, all following the same choreographies first used by the Romans in antiquity. Starting with legislation and the British House of Commons (right) compared to the Roman Comitium (left). Here one can see a room, divided into two sides, each where different parties sit, a speaker at the centre, a mediator and both sides separated by the distance of two swords to avoid physical confrontation. A room designed for a set of strict procedures that account for the correct form of debate.

 

The Roman Hall of Justice versus the current American Law court where there is always a judge as a mediator in his higher position, the prosecutor and the defence that approach a plynth in the centre to be able to talk, question the witness, present evidence. The crowd that in Roman times was spread out in a circular way surrounding the main action, and now where they are allowed to sit behind a clear threshold.

The Greek or Roman theatre (left) versus the current theatre designed during the Elizabethan era. Both with their stage, their proscenium and their surrounding seats for the passive spectators. The action coming in from the back of the fronton, decorated with objects that trigger the memory of the spectator.

 

The lecture hall, the university, where the lecture in Harvard (left) follows the same dynamic as the speech by Cicero in the Roman Forum. The speaker takes a higher position of authority, in a plinth or stage. The Spectator is passive and separated from the plinth. In the case of Harvard there is interaction between the spectator and the speaker, where the speaker asks questions and the spectator answers, yet the space does not fit this choreography.

The theatre of the oppressed (The Machine Act) that starts (left) with a mediator (joker) explaining the rules of this act. Finishes with a shifting stage (red circles) after both actors and spectator (spect-actors) enter the stage at different moments.

 

Leave a Reply