Commissioned by the Arts Office of the University of Limerick and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, THE STEPS is a unique sound artwork undertaken with members of the 7pm-8pm Step Aerobics Class at the University of Limerick Sports Arena. This class is a long-established health & fitness facility for students at the University and the general public in Limerick. The class has been running for over 10 years and has a large regular public attendance (up to 150 participants).
In September 2008 socially engaged artist Sean Taylor undertook a series of creative workshops based on introducing members of the UL Aerobics Class to contemporary film works from the IMMA Video Art Permanent Collection during their one-hour workout class times. The videos were screened during the class to instigate and stimulate discussion about contemporary art practices with the group. The result of this relationship is the realisation of a new collaborative sound/performance artwork, entitled THE STEPS.
The artwork is based on the vocal/whistling instructions of the aerobics instructor, coupled with aerobic and fitness-based patterns /movements. The finished artwork is located within the existing workout routine and became a feature of the group’s workout.
The performance was documented by filmmaker Robert Corrigan, sound engineer Dave Carugo and Sean Taylor and this documentation accompanies a publication. the publication includes an interview with Sean Taylor by curator Karen Normoyle-Haugh, together with an introduction from Patricia Moriarty, Arts Officer University of Limerick. It also features an introduction by Lisa Moran, Johanne Mullane and Geogie Thompson, Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).
A limited series of THE STEPS catalogue and DVD are available from the artists and the bookshop at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.
The full video of THE STEPS performance is available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93WLBS8eohc