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Accompanying the process of making a specific thing

The movement of dancers smeared as streams of light and colour across the picture

Accompanying a process, a project, a production, is work that can span the length of the project from start to finish, or focus on a specific aspect.

This is the accompanying of something that typically involves multiple people working together.

This kind of accompanying is part journalism: some things that happen are written down, some personal observations are noted, and there are often interviews with the people involved. It isn't criticism, though it can be usefully objective. It isn't factual record, though it often captures the journey of the work.

It's part dramaturgy, facilitating conversation about the process in a way that can encourage reflection, deepen understanding, solidify decisions, or raise more questions about the work.

It is part archival. There are often photos, drawings, bits of script with scribbled notes, little pieces of props, scraps of costume fabric, scrapbook stuff that becomes part of the archive of the work. These things might be created by the Accompanist or by the people involved.

Accompanying is part bearing witness, being the  earliest audient to the work made, and a witness to the process of making. It's the holding of a meta-space around the making, so there is an awareness of the making being acknowledged. It's not the same as watching the work, but just about witnessing the work happening.

It is part connecting. Where the work is intending to connect directly with audience members or participants, Accompanying can support that. It often supports connections within the creative process too.

Every piece of work is different, so every experience of Accompanying is unique. The outcome often includes an archive of the work, captured from many who participated in it; a deeper understanding of personal and of collective process; some additional dimension to the work and the making of it; greater connectivity within the work and the sharing of it. My work can be part of the public record, or it can be private.

Accompanying can feed some qualitative analysis into evaluations for funding bodies. It might also refine focus in areas such as creative intentions, and support marketing and so on.

If you'd like to have a chat about your specific goals for a particular project or process, drop me a line to jenifertoksvig at gmail or tweet me @toksvig

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