Save Me (a conversation across the city)
-bristol based performance duo, Pete Phillips and Jodie Hawkes.
-spoke to each other over a harbour
-silent against the bustle of the city around them
began when invited to create a performance piece outdoors in response to a set of rules devised for White Night in Brighton.
rules-get lucky, illuminate brighton and engage with an audience.
They did this by standing apart and using nautical searchlights powered by car batteries to speak in morse code.
Various reactions from the people passing by, complaints, compliments, flirting stories, and even people trying to cause them to argue.
In 2010 were commissioned to do the same during the day time, and so they learnt Semaphore. (google explanation)
In 2011 were commissioned to do a development of this, which would become part of the landscape and would be missed when it was gone.
Allowing the public to become directly engaged allowed them to have a little glimpse into other peoples lives through personal sadness and love, they were taken aback by it all.
people were invited to record their seperations on yellow tags,and tie these to the frames of the towers used by the pair.
Many of the contributors were from Bristol and many more were not, however people were still happy for their tags to become part of the scenery for the time the project went on.
I think this is a brilliant book for this project, it shows the power of public engagement and just how much is going on in the world behind closed doors that we don’t realised or many people don’t even think about because they are concentrating on their own lives. It shows the power of separation and within the yellow tags you can see the differences in the speech of those who know they will never see their loved ones again and those who will see them within the very same day and its incredibly interesting to see. Its lead me to consider ways in which I could include public participation within my own public art piece.
Ordinary characters, moulds made from his friends and family, nothing unusual about them and this makes them more relatable to the public. It allows a different level of engagement, which at its more extreme saw a couple having sex on one of the pieces.
Some pieces drawn from personal experience as much as news of the eras they are set in, for example commissioned pieces for the FDR memorial in Washington. A line of down and outers, 3 men ‘Depression Bread Line’ immersing himself In photos of the time.
The rawness of the characters he creates, in comparision to some of the backgrounds and bright colours he uses is a really interesting contrast and could change the way people engage with pieces.
I think the style of the work shown in this book is most interesting to me because it gives more of an identity to individuals, but at the same time takes it away. Someone (other than the artist) looking at the sculptures knows nothing of the individual other than the set up situation before them, from which they are able to make their own story up to, they don’t know if these people are married, homeless, foreign, rich or poor. But it gives more of an identity to the people than an abstract sculpture of a barely recognisable body does.
It could be worth looking into how I could include something along those lines in my piece, as I would want a high level of public engagement as opposed to someone walking past it and thinking ‘oh yes that’s a lovely colour’ and continuing.
This book was particularly interesting because it shows the development of ideas for public art pieces and you are able to see how the artists ideas changed and adapted over the process in order for the project to work best. Its made me consider how I can develop the piece from the initial idea and this could be through making smaller versions in order to gain an idea how the finished piece may look and will help me to iron out any details which need to be completed before the end of the project.
Another thing I need to think about is scale, how small/large would I want the piece and how would be best to create it regardless of the scale, taking into consideration my own abilities and space available.
Overall I’d like to create something which does involve some form of public involvement, or is based on an issue which is important to the people around it when it is put up. Taking into account public involvement and how the piece will be received by viewers is going to be very important to my development and especially where controversial issues are involved is also going to be incredibly important to take into account how people may view the piece as some people could be confused or even take offence.