»BEHAVE« by Alan Sutcliffe | i |
creators: Alan Sutcliffe
title: BEHAVE

Computer Generated Instruction based Performance.


Each member of the audience was given instructions printed on an address label stuck to a piece of card. Each set of instructions had the same form but was different in detail. There were six lines on insructions on each card and the lines were labeled with the letters B E H A V E. This was a refernce to the poem ofthe same name by Lewis Carroll, which mocks the authoritarian behavior of adults towards childrens , with couplets such as

_Close doors behind you
Do n’t slam them, mind you _

The poem could be read in whole or part, before or after the performance. Each instruction consisited of a body position, a gesture, and a vocal sound qualified by adjectives for tempo and dynamics: all were expressed in short words. The labels arose from a program which selected terms from from a vocabulary roughly at random but weighted to ensure that, generally, later instructions would result in more movement than earlier ones: In the first line most labels were SIT or STAND, and in the last were WALK or RUN.

For a performance, a Leader would explain the procedure, and shout out the intial alphabets in response to which the members of the gathering were expected to obey the tasks mentioned on that line or remain seated (if they were too embarassed). Sometimes the leader was replaced by the output from a computer screen. _BEHAVE _was often performed at CAS talks and other events.

All text extracted from Pages 186/187/188 -Chapter 14
‘Patterns in Context – Alan Stucliffe’ . White Heat Cold Logic : British Computer Art 1960-1980

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