PhoneHeads is a dance/movement performance created by the CreateA Ensemble first performed at Bendigo Art Gallery in December 2019.

PhoneHeads explores how we can inhabit different head-spaces whilst sharing the same physical space, and how this impacts on privacy. It explores how the use of digital media in public spaces allows us to shift into our own private experience whilst sharing space with the wider community. It is about messages – how we receive them and how we give them, with our bodies and our language.

With the use of smart phones, ear buds and headphones, the gestures of private communication are now made public, part of our streetscape and landscape. At any given time we can be privy to one side of a conversation that would once have been conducted in the privacy of an office or lounge room, witness to the expressive gestures that are a natural part of communication. As we spend most of our time in transit, looking at our phone screens, we miss the details of our outside environment. Outside and inside spaces become confused.

The starting point for the project came from ensemble members playing music through their headphones during breaks, and dancing to their favourite tracks ‘as if no-one’s watching’. Their unselfconscious movements, enthralled in their own private experience, offered an interesting contrast to conventional performance.

The sense of being in one’s own private world is strongly related to the phenomenon of the smart phone, and our physical, social and psychological engagement with these devises. In the time before smart phones, we inhabited our public space as a community, sharing the space, and sharing our lived experience of the events that unfolded through time in that space. In this post smart phone era we increasingly occupy our own private world via the portal of the phone, whilst simultaneously inhabiting a public space. Movements and utterances that reveal and describe that private world have now become acceptable, unremarkable in a public setting, where once they were indicators of mental and physiological instability, representing a threat to the social order of our public world. Throwing our arms around, and speaking in emotional tones to someone who doesn’t appear in space used to make those around us wary. Now it’s a daily part of our experience.

PhoneHeads HorsHam 2021

PhoneHeads HorsHam brings together members of CreateA’s performance ensemble (Bendigo) with participants in Horsham. Together they will present a version of PhoneHeads that takes into account the current COVID safety requirements

The performance will be part of the Art Is… Unexpected Festival 2021 and is being led locally in Horsham by Jillian Pearce from Y Space.

Choreography by Emily Richards-Jones, (Z-Fit Studios)
Original score composed by Jacques Soddell
Directed by Kate Stones