Global activity is now possible thanks to the internet and social networking sites, it’s easy to connect people from disparate locations – it’s just a matter of time and labour. I’m spellbound by the idea of a conceptual web connecting people, who might be doing seemingly insignificant activities but on a global scale, which can be put together in film and photographic documentation to view – but it can never be experienced in full – this limitation is one of the attractions. 666_events was my third worldwide performance happening, taking place everywhere from the 23rd to the 28th January 2012. Each day participants were invited to interpret a single short instructional event and perform it 111 times – there were no other rules, restrictions or regulations and performances could be planned meticulously in advance or spontaneously improvised on the day in quick succession or spaced out. If each repetition were to last thirteen minutes, then the participants day would be totally engulfed, however, if each repetition lasted a couple of seconds then ninety-nine per cent of the day would be left free. Participants needed not complete every event, but were free to pick and choose, following the time zone of their country. It was hoped, but not obligatory, that performances were documented, in audio/visual form, or more abstractly in poetry, sculpture or sketch. However, this was not the central aim of the project and no-one need even know a performance had happened. Performances themselves spanned the spectrum from private, unobserved and solitary to extravagant, collaborative and public.
(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.