by Jason 528 days ago
A Participatory Installation with associated rituals, performance material and action...
From a distance the audience will see an astonishing and beautiful sight. The Ship o'Fools is a spectacular skeleton structure: a 28m long keel with 21 rib sections supporting 21 hammocks - a structure as big as a bendy bus. It is destined to play in large civic squares, festival settings and open spaces.
People will be welcomed into the circle, invited to take part in the associated activities, listen to the musicality of the work, lie in the hammocks and spend as little or as long time as they wish. We expect each individual's interaction to be approximately 20 minutes, with up to 300 people in the circle at any one time - with many more amassing to witness the spectacle.
This slowly rotating fairground antithesis becomes an intimate and contemplative experience. It is about being differently oriented in the world, being rocked gently and turned around. It is about how we value ourselves and each other on a voyage to a fairer future…
It is about slowness and conversation, thought and consideration. It is both a sight to behold and joyous to be held by. It is about participating in the world - differently.
The keel is on a rotating and tilting disk. It aims to create a thoughtful, active and compelling space: arresting people's attention and enticing them to engage in a transformative experience.
It is constructed from sustainable materials (including: oak, world timbers, iron, steel, rope and canvas). It is a rotating participatory balance: an object to look at and look from…
ASSOCIATED MATERIAL / ACTIVITY:
The site is managed by the ICD crew: they generate a feeling of welcome and openness, sparking conversation and interaction. The following activities, actions and figures provide talking points and provoke curiosity:
Upon the trestle tables to the North, South, East & West of the structure are provocations and questions with regard to: migration, trade, sustainability and ethics. There are also ink pads and stamps on each table. The audience-participants are given a simple passport when they cross over the heavy rope perimeter. Before they can embark upon the ship they need to acquire a N, S, E and W stamp in their passports.
The Never-Ending Plank: durational performance - one performer walks along a plank whilst holding an identical plank aloft. At the end of the first plank, the second plank is laid down. A step is taken onto it, and the first plank is lifted aloft. The walk continues. And so on…
Musicality: the aural texture of the work is derived from real-time amplification of the continuous creaking movement of the keel and peoples voices. This is complemented and contrasted with live music provided by the ICD crew.
A solitary figure - the skeleton of Crusoe - sits by a fire on an island mound of sand, outside the heavy rope perimeter.
A lighthouse - or neon sign - in the distance flashes a beacon of HOPE.
the Institute for Crazy Dancing is a performance company and collective of thinkers, do-ers, dancers, musicians and clowns. We collaborate with people, councils, museums, galleries and venues in order to create unexpected experiences in familiar and unfamiliar places.
We have created numerous site-responsive participatory performances - notably: TREASURE HUNT - Leeds: a participatory journey & extravaganza through the city at night; and DEEP WATER (in collaboration with Exponential Aerial Theatre) - Goole: an immersive, spectacular and intimate event over three sites (Nature Trail, Waterways Museum and Coal Hoist) along the Aire & Calder Canal.
We aim to create work that provokes curiosity, engages people in conversation and changes the way we look at the world.
ICD / SoF / Articulations: Audience Experience
Curating the audience experience is crucial to the work.
As audience-participants approach the site of slowness and contemplation they will cross over the circle of heavy rope that defines the space. Each person will be given a simple 'passport' as they cross into the circle. Before they can embark on the skeleton ship they need to collect 'N', 'E', 'S' and 'W' stamps in their passports.
The trestle tables are situated to the North, South, East and West points of the circle. The tables are each staffed by a member of the ICD. Each of the tables has the relevant ink-stamp and pad, and is dedicated to a different category: Migration, Ethics, Sustainability, and Trade.
On each table is a collection of papers - each sheet with a simple question / short statement / cartoon / diagram / chart or essay pertaining to one of the four categories. Audience participants are asked to respond to the four subject areas in some way during their voyage through the installation - posting their responses either in Crusoe's letterbox, as they depart; or later on the SoF dedicated website.
[we are currently soliciting professors, judges, politicians, economists, and people of all persuasions to contribute to the paper-work]
As well as the slowly rotating skeleton ship, there is a performer walking the never-ending-plank(s), the image of despair and the beacon of hope - all within sight. These images and figures aim to provoke questioning and curiosity about what sort of journey is slowly unfolding…
There will be no compulsion or singling-out.
The experience of the audience is intended to be gentle and contemplative, rocking and slow turning. The paper content / material is required because people will talk about almost anything when they are relaxed...
The aural texture of the environment is provided by real time amplification of the creaking keel and voices, as well as moments when the ICD musicians play. One key element is the manner by which the ICD crew interact with the audiences. As well as being (variously) accomplished dancers, musicians, physical performers, clowns and choreographers, the key skill that unites the crew is that of being able to engage & improvise with (the many and varied) members of the audience.
Amongst the ICD crew we have first language speakers of: Portuguese, French, Spanish, German and English.
Note on Set-up and duration: We expect the construction / choreography of the Keel and mechanisms to be part of the event. Once the structure is complete we expect to operate on a 24 hour-a-day basis for 3 to 7 days. There will be ebb and flow times of staffing and activity contingent upon the site of the work (ie: busy at lunchtimes and evenings, less so through the night and early morning).
ICD / SoF / Articulations: Design
The vision for the main keel and ribs is one of oak, a range of world timbers, canvas and rope: no straight edges - all curves. The design and construction of the rotating-tilting mechanism is crucial to the success of this installation. It needs to remain low to the ground for easy public access to the hammocks.
(I see it as a see-saw on a roundabout... but the weight, forces and dynamics involved make it slightly more complex than that).
The entire installation needs to break down into pieces and fit in the back of a 7.5 tonne van: Max Length: 8.38m / Width: 2.50m / Height: 3.44m. The construction and deconstruction time for the installation and site is part of the presentation of the work. We are aiming for a time frame of between 4 and 7 hours with a team of 7 people.
The installation is an outdoor piece - and therefore weather consideration is vital. It needs to work on different surfaces: hard-standing and grass (in city squares and at festivals). It also needs to rotate in both anti and clockwise directions as some sites will not be able to accommodate full 360 degree rotation.
Access and Health & Safety Issues need to be considered at every stage of the process.
The overall size of the installation: Some sites that the work is destined to visit may not be large enough to accommodate a 28m long rotating keel. We plan to be able to remove a section of the keel (for smaller sites) to make it 21m long, with less hammocks - without adversely affecting the overall beauty of the work.
The material used for the rotating-tilting mechanism contrasts sharply with the wood of the keel.
This project has been supported to date by:
Arts Council England, Theatre in the Mill, Wakefield Theatre Royal & Opera House, West Yorkshire Grants, and Yorkshire Dance.
With many thanks to:
Alison Andrews, Graham Bailey, Mark Ball, Iain Bloomfield, Sue Broadway, Clare Clarkson, Chloe Dear, Ralph Dartford, Anthony Dunn, Rhiannon Ellis, Wieke Eringa, Simon Fanshawe, Mickey Finn, Henry Fisher, Vannesa Grasse, Lelia Greci, Claire Greenwood, Leonie Hart, Bradley Hemmings, Jannine Heseltine, Mark Hollander, Tim Joel, Rachel Kaye, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark Makin, Bruce Mowson, Sam Murphy, Molly Nicholson, Andrew Ormston, Dan Rollings, Gabrielle Russell, Corinne Saunders, Simon Shepherd, Amanda Smith, Rommi Smith, Lynn Thomson, Chris Thorpe, Mairead Turner, Maggie Virtue, Caroline Wallace, Jude Wright and all the people who participated in the work and development process…
For further detail / conversation please contact: email@example.com / +44 (0)7887 681 598
to the funders, festivals and organisations who have made this project possible...
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First snap shots..
of the Life Boat...
Life Boat Touring...
a participatory installation...