Rules of the Game 

[collaborative project]
Participants: Will Nicholls, Yannik Eilers and Billy Leach 

Part 1

Live from Vienna

Billy Leach - a student of Composition at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and my frequent collaborator - was commissioned to compose 12 minutes of sound by sampling the first three minutes of a Miles Davis performance in 1973, the moments before he takes to the stage. Eerily, this composition appears to have foretold the implementation of simulated spectators in the broadcasting of crowdless football matches reemerging as world wide lockdown legislations lift.

Part 2

Sports day (previously unnamed)

Yannik Eilers, Billy Leach and I communicated via email during Rules of the Game. These discussions are now in the form of a book. The names, initials, personal details and links have been occluded. It reads like a script, and should act as an unusable template for future collaborations.

[Read here]

Part 3

Rules of the Game

I sent Yannik Eilers the proposal for Rules of the Game (title not stated) on 30.04.20. It outlined that he would receive six instructions every five days. The first instruction was to make a set, with the added information 'Set has the most alternative definitions in the English language' and 'Subsequent Things will be viewed in this set'. The proposal stated that he must record two minutes of video of the empty set. The next five instructions were illustrations with no accompanying text. Once he had completed the construction of each thing, he recorded two minutes of the things being installed and removed from the set. Yannik Eilers made and recorded a set and five things in the film in his studio in Brighton, using materials he had available to him at the time the UK government enforced a nationwide lockdown.

The illustrations were taken from a book called Rules of the Game (1974), "the authoritative digest of the official laws and rules of the major sports of the world".

My interpretations of a set and the five things were made using the same instructions to the same time constraints as Yannik Eilers. Without access to a studio, I worked in my London home using what was in my garden shed.

Our two minute videos of a set and the five things run side-by-side in the film. Yannik Eilers’ videos are on the right-hand side screen and my videos are on the left-hand side screen. The first sequence is of an empty set. The next five sequences show us installing and removing the things in a set. Yannik Eilers only saw what I had made once the project was over. He was paid for his involvement. This information is not stated explicitly in the film.

Will Nicholls, Chelsea BAFA 2020