GYM JAMS was a high tempo clash of art and sport at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre. Working with people around Atherton to explore how technology can be used to bring the worlds of sport and culture together, Re-Dock provided a mixing ground for cultural activities at the leisure centre, exploring Howe Bridge as a space beyond a workout.
The jam packed day (September 24th 2016) had skate boarding lessons, a mass dance showcase by local groups from Ashton, Golbourne, and Hagfold with special choreography from Dance Manchester.
Gym Jams was the work of many coming together for a common goal – thanks to our partners in Wigan – Helen for taking a chance and Simon for being open minded about what can happen in a fitness centre.
The RoboGames consisted of three sporting-like exploits that took the form of traditional fitness activities with slight tweaks. Overseen by head coach Neil, soundtracked by Germanager, commented by Dan & Dave and filmed from above by OLO the floating robot.
A slow motion version of rugby in which participants move robotically on the beat, only ever turning at right angles. The game forces players to slow down and restrict their movement, turning rugby into something closer to a game of chess or a computer algorithm.
Fill the Board
A frantic game of group tag in which teams of players charge around the BMX bowl, trying to press buttons on players from the opposing team’s backs as often as they can within 3 minutes. The rules are simple but the dynamics of the game become very complex very fast, as players form packs, fake tiredness and creep up on each other, constantly torn between stalking and watching their own backs.
A mass choreography, inspired by computer simulations of birds flocking in which over 60 participants in different coloured party hats followed simple and restrictive instructions to move around the skatepark. The workout started simply with instructions such as “walk forwards in a straight line, turn right 45 degrees if you bump into something.” but group movement soon became more complex as dancers were asked to follow and avoid people wearing different coloured hats. The instructor eventually lost control as the participants, mostly young people from community dance groups, took the opportunity to wander aimlessly around the ramps and bowls of the skatepark.
GIFs created by Sam Meech.
Thanks to artists Neil for RoboGames, John & Chris for OLO, Patrick for soldering on, Alex for the tunes, Dan & Dave for commentating, Sam for the GIFs, Tim for the filming, Stef and Laura for help with the hats. Read a blog post by Stef describing her experience of the day.