(A collaboration with Andy Ingamells)
The Q+A below is an extract from an article in Issue 20 of Blankpages, which can be viewed by clicking here
Why ‘66’ and why the particular date?
In the middle of 2007 I decided I wanted to do something with event scores, which turned into six_events, performed in 29 countries across the globe over six days in January 2008. The 21st January to the 27th January, with the 26th as a rest date. The idea (if there had to be one) was to turn ordinary events into performances. Six simple activities, getting on a bus and not thinking about the duration of the journey, walking down a road and clapping, entering a building and closing your eyes, buying an item in a supermarket and giving it away, ordering water in a pub but not drinking it and standing in a park looking up at the sky, were to be presented or performed, at a rate of one per day. Each event also contained internal tasks. I had wanted to repeat six_events the following year, but put it off as I wasn’t happy with simply repeating. Near the beginning of 2009 I decided to simply add a ‘6’ to the event, creating sixty_six_events with the decision that every subsequent two years another ‘6’ would be added. So, in 2012 666_events and in 2014 6666_events. There was no special reasoning for choosing the dates, as there was no particular special reason for choosing a ‘6’ to begin with.
What made you come up with the idea?
As a composer, trying to define what music is, I often came back to the following conclusion that music occurs when an instruction is given and followed through, giving a result however conceptual or minimal. Everything is music, instructional or non-instructional. Living a life full of Cage, Dada, Fluxus, experimental music/writing and happenings led me to start thinking about a global event. Doing six_events brought me close to a number of amazing minds and ideas of people across the world, leading to many conversations and collaborations. Having the opportunity to work with Andy Ingamells on this project has being a stimulating and joyous exercise.
In terms of evidence, did you see any trends in what you got back from the public? What did people do? And then yeah, talk about the evidence you’ve received.
Generally speaking, most of the events were interpreted literally, with small differences coming from the person performing the event. There were several cases of group performances, which of course, was great to hear about and see. More elaborate and detailed interpretations inevitably came but the majority seemed to be performed with ease, by that, I mean, I got the impression that people looked at the events, quickly identifying which ones they liked and which they think their own ideas could be applied to. A few hardcore eventers performed the whole set of sixty-six events. In total we had close to a thousand items of evidence (videos, photos, texts, recordings, found items etc)