a festival of lying beneath

May 3_24

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.

laying beneath

what lies beneath

what lies beneath

what lies beneath

May 11_12

May 10_09

May 9_05

May 8_12

May 7_0008

May 6_02

May 5_03

May 3_24

responding to laying beneath

ok, so i cocked up the order a bit. i napped, but didn’t really sleep. and i woke up to alex’s awake to a dream instead of snookie. but that’s ok, i’ll fix it up tomorrow.

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.

03 May, 2011 16:11

oh dear, it’s getting worse. i didn’t nap today because there was a fun workshop using displaced vision and baby monitors.


ok, i’ll be back on track tomorrow. and i’ll post pics. this project is starting badly, isn’t it.

04 May, 2011 17:13

yay! today it worked. and the today’s track kinda fucked with my sense of space a little. i went into some weird other worldliness universe as i came to – the cricket=type sprinkle sounding electronica peppered my brain a little. it was great.
06 May, 2011 18:07

wow. i needed that sleep today. i awoke to jessicah haliday’s piece (which was supposed to be the day before..i’m so on this), but it was quite a lovely way to wake up. gradual filtering then quite intense electro wah wah wah. my brain felt quick speckled afterwards.
07 May, 2011 16:05

 08.05.11 i forgot to post about my wake-up, but it was so lovely. i actually wanted to keep lying there. funnily enough, i’m starting to wake up two minutes before the alarm goes off. turns out it doesn’t take much to reprogram sleep in the afternoon ๐Ÿ™‚

holy crap! i woke up quickly this afternoon. three sharp bangs and i was up and stopped the alarm. i didn’t even listen to the rest of it (sorry jamie). and i was so flustered that i banged my head on one of the beams. excellent for waking up quickly. not so great for waking up and still feeling functional.
09 May, 2011 16:28

dammit. i didn’t properly sleep this afternoon. must have something to do with the coffee i had about an hour beforehand. which is a shame, because i quite liked the tick-tock-tocking of the alarm
10 May, 2011 16:00

google erased some of my comments in their fall-out
but i keep forgetting to write down what i think about the alarms too.

i havenโ€™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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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.

today’s the last one was great – a slippery slope of something rolling down brought my mind rolling with it from subconscious to consciousness – like a bowling ball rolling back from the pins.

15 May, 2011 17:19

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