Sunday, March 31, 2019

The 11th Online Performance Art Festival

On the 30th March 2019 I had an opportunity to participate in the 11th Online Performance Art Festival, the second time I have joined this event (the previous time being last December 2018).

The online festival concept was initiated by Sandra Bozic, and this 11th episode took place between 27th - 30th March 2019. My 'No holiday' performance was presented on the final day of the festival.

On this occasion I decided to conduct another episode in my ongoing performance series 'No holiday', this time enacting it in District 7 of Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam, not far from where I had previously created a digital print entitled 'District 7 Strata'. I had also written about this print in the online Journal 'Living Maps Review' and the local publication 'Magazine d'Art De Saigon'.

The live-stream performance was broadcast between 10:00am - 10:30am UTC (5:00pm - 5:30pm Vietnam time).

Once again, the pre-performance arrangements and checks were conducted with Dragan Strunjas, and  once again his prompt and detailed communications removed any confusion and allowed me to focus on my performance.

The camera and live-stream was controlled by Nina Yiu Lai Lei, who walked with me unseen, apart from certain moments when her shadow can be seen. The audience are only able to join me on my walk due to Nina's work with the camera which serves to emphasise how important her work is to the project.

During the performance I walked from Crescent Mall, around the Crescent Lake, across the Anh Sao Bridge and into Half Moon Park. In the late afternoon, as the sun begins to set and lose some of its intensity combined with the refreshing breeze across the river and the lake, the environment is very pleasant. Many families come with their children and take full advantage of the park with its grass-covered, shallow, sloping hills, decorative lilly ponds and tree shade.

The walk in total lasted around 30 minutes and as usual with this performance series, the watching online audience are invited to join me in my unhurried, meditative walk, allowing the ambient sounds of people, the wind, birds calling, dogs barking and the wheels of my red suitcase gently trundling along on the varied surfaces.

Also as usual, the broadcast ended suddenly,  there is no arrival, no end point. The journey is everything. The emphasis is on the experience of the moment, focusing on every observation as if for the first time, and perhaps the last time - who knows? Nothing is taken for granted, nothing is assumed. The forward momentum is maintained, the journey continues...the destination, if there is one, can wait.

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