By Amadea, Ryan and Zoe
We’re back with the last project and it’s a group one. Our project titled The Ringing is a performance piece that’s based on the myth about the bell curve and “the bell curve god” as many like to call it. Attached above is the PDF of our proposal.
The bell curve is an essential aspect of the grading systems in most of the educational institutes that we have attended. From Secondary school through to University, the bell curve will mark and affect our grades and thus it is important and a relevant topic to many.
We started with the preparation of the shrine and added on the addition aspects.
In the process of making this installation, there were certain things that we had needed to consider.
As we look for suitable materials for our installation structure, we made a few improvisations to use materials that varied from what we had initially envisioned. Wooden sticks and poles found were mostly too thin. Though we had considered building two diagonal sticks forming a cross at the back of our structure as a stabiliser, we were concern that the sticks may be far too thin to hold the scale of our structure. In addition, having additional sticks may not be as cost-efficient as we would like. After further explorations with other materials, we picked up wooden frames sold in pieces that were very firm in thickness. The measurements of these wooden frames were in consideration of the length and bendability of the canes used as the ‘bell curve’ at the top of our structure. The main bell was improvised in using smaller bells with regards to cost, they were very effective in allowing the audience to create a longer ‘ring’ as the bells were pulled. A thin canvas was used for the base of the structure as other materials did not have a good size to match the length of the wooden frames.
Another concern that we had was the attachment of the bent canes to the wooden structure; whether or not the bent cane will be stable in holding its position upon being pulled, as needed in the process of the performance. Two options that we were considering to use was glueing with wooden glue and drilling. In the attempt in drilling holes into the wooden structure, the bent canes were unstable as the holes made had rooms for the canes to shift. With a smaller drill bit, the canes were able to hold a firm, bent position. The holes were drilled three-quarter into the wood so that the cane will not slip through.
-The ‘Midnight Oil’ Candles
In our first approach in setting up the wicks with olive oil in small jars, wires were first used to secure the wick at a level slightly above the olive oil. Though as we light up the wick, it had were burned off completely in seconds. With cautiousness in a safe area, we then attempt to light the wick partly submerged into the olive oil. The wick lasted longer in this way and there were no troubles.
We took to create a mock session and filmed it for our documentation. In it, you can see the details of the altar and process of a procession. Also, it allowed us to see the difficulties and errors that we might have encountered that was have been reflected above.
We present to you our video here.
During the performance piece, we observed that everyone was laughing and found the project amusing. We acknowledge the absurdity of it and wanted to bring to life something that is seen to be fake and also show the extent to see how willing students are to go to lengths, such as some of our examples, in order to secure and hold on to their grades. We also wanted to perform and end the semester on a lighter note with this performance. Doing something very relevant to students around us helped the performance. Also, seeing everyone participate in this knowing that it was a hoax-ish cult ritual encouraged the performance work and the bring it through to the end.
This performance installation brought to us new light and new experience in creating and doing performance art. Furthermore, we were able to engage the audience and bring them into our entire performance such that they also became performers in their own right. I think this experience taught our group a lot about performance art and installation.