Last night Steve Hollingsworth and I staged what we termed a performance/sculpture using neon, sound and our own bodies. We called it ‘RUINS’.
We moved very slowly on our hands and knees amongst a scattering of thin neon tubing, with devices strapped to our chests enabling us to ‘interfere’ with the neon directly and therefor producing a series of sounds as proximity with the tubing waxed and waned… I have no idea how it seemed to the audience because crawling slowly amongst the neon and fiddling with the controls on my chest took all my energy and attention.
The performance began in darkness until a timer switch turned on the neon and Ben our CCA sound engineer (he done a great job by the way) manipulated the volume etc. Steve and I had decided to crawl slowly for half an hour whilst interacting with the neon tubing, but really there was a practical consideration too, because if we had accidentally knelt on and broken it we would have received a very nasty electric shock… After the half hour was up the neon automatically went off and the sound slowly faded.
An audience member described the performance as ‘erotic’. I suppose watching to 40 something male artists humping some neon infinitely slowly could be . . .