so i’ve been having a 20-minute nap at 3:30 every day since the 3rd may.
big deal, you say.
fair enough, i say.
but, the nap is actually a specific artwork – a response to the what lies beneath project as part of the tiny stadiums festival (which is a great festival) and finished today with a fabulous day of radness (or so i hear).
as part of their project, the students and staff from UOW Media Arts 101 designed a series of alarmtrack sounds for smartphones, inspired by trips to the steelworks at Port Kembla.
each day, i climbed up to a little ‘bed’ i’ve made on a landing in a workshop space here at cia. i slept for 20 minutes and woke up to that day’s track. you’ll see i’ve been keeping track of my response to the tracks-as-alarms in the comments here. and a few of them i’ve cross-posted over at their blog (just for a nice bit of rss feedback, yo).
now that the festival has come to an end, i thought i’d post the rest of my comments and some pics from the process here as a full post.
you’ll see that the process hasn’t been clean – it hasn’t worked like clockwork. which is great, because clockwork is pretty simple. co-ordinating a nap, songs, smartphone alarms and downloads into my day isn’t really. well, not as simple as clockwork.
but it has been an interesting process for a couple of reasons.
process has become enjoyable again. i do love doing projects where i do a small thing for an extended period of time, setting up a cycle.
sleeping is an interesting action to undertake within art. there are lots of artists that do it, and i have also, previously, but it still throws up fascinating results.
and what is the relationship between sound and sleep. we have a very different perception of sound in this altered space and alvin lucier has done some amazing works about the relationship between alpha wave brain patterns and sound.
i have been groggy every day. and each alarm fucks with my waking in a different way – some more than others. coming back down to work at my studio desk after an afternoon nap is also a strange action – my cheeks are all red and my eyes are a big blurry. instant work and sociality after sleep is not a usual process, so i end up feeling a bit discombobulated.
and there’s also this great feeling of sleeping with others. no, not in that way you pervs. i mean, i know that there are a bunch of other people all doing the project – we’re all sleeping and waking up to these crazy alarms. it’s almost the same as watching the FA Cup final and seeing on twitter that all your mates in the UK are watching it too – there’s this silly little feeling of ‘hands across the globe’ kinda thing. it’s not absolute truth, but it’s a nice feeling anyway.
and, it has also been a good opportunity to take 20 minutes to not think about art. to enforce the siesta way of thinking into my day. a much-needed meditation time, or something. a model that isn’t really used in art production – we just kill ourselves, or work crazy hours and come into the studio on the weekends. but rarely do we say ‘oh, i’m just going to switch off for 20 minutes’.
well, i don’t anyway. until now.
even though i’ve been all the way across the country from the base of the project, it has been a chance to also show the ‘sharing’ model of art making. i can participate in a project, without having to be on site. that time, or action replication are the only points of connection. it’s something for me to think about too – in current/future projects: the place of reproduction in feeling connected to.
well done to all the media arts students who made some great alarms and to lucas for being the usual thinkin’ man he is. it’s been lovely to sleep with you all.
responding to laying beneath
i’m documenting it too. and today i looked like a puppy on a sheepskin rug. i need to work on it a bit.
but, the track itself was lovely and the tick-tock-tick-tock running through it was a reminder that i was late to a very important date, but with some kind of sloppy saggy clock that was squishing time.
ok, i’ll be back on track tomorrow. and i’ll post pics. this project is starting badly, isn’t it.
but i keep forgetting to write down what i think about the alarms too.
i haven’t been to india, but i imagine the sound of clinking bells and steel cutlery in the morning to sound a little like this. waking to the sound of running water is just mean 🙂
the truck reversing noise matched strangely with some crickets that were in the building. in fact i woke up when the crickets started, thinking it was the alarm. and then the alarm kicked in. it was a confusing afternoon that one.