Friday 27th June 2008, 5pm – 9pm
Co-curated by a.a.s. and Ensemble Interakt
I really, really, really, really enjoyed this.
Just as the audience started small in number and gradually grew until there were about 40 people peering over the church gallery, the Fluxconcert started with a few simple actions and then grew through soap bubbles being blown from trumpets and naps being taken on tables to a thoroughly absorbing, multi-layered spectacle of sight and sound.
Although the architecture of the venue (St. Paul’s Church, St. Paul’s Square, Birmingham) could have meant that we as audience could have remained very detached from the main action happening below us, enough of the 40 or so scores brought the performers up into the gallery space that the two levels never felt particularly segregated.
There were also scores that required members of the audience to play an active part in their performance. An example of these being Ice Trick:
pass a one pound piece of ice among members of the audience while playing a recording of fire sounds or while having a real fire on stage. The piece ends when the block of ice has melted.Lee Heflin. Date Unknown
which I particularly liked for the way it allowed the audience to participate in a very low-key and intimate way that was almost 1:1 micro-performance with other audience members.
I managed to leave the house without re-charging the batteries for either my camera or my phone so my photography was limited, however, thanks to this man’s marathon ice-holding session, I was able to turn my camera off for long enough for the battery to recover enough to eventually take this image that sums up the event for me:
Even more so perhaps because he then asked me to hold the ice when he could do so no longer. Honourable mention also to David Miller who I ambushed as he first came up to the gallery and gave the ice to him before he’d even had so much as a chance to get a cup of tea and an apple. (Shame though on the entire representative staff of VIVID, none of whom would agree to taking the ice from me before that!)
Being phoneless also meant I was unable to take part in the live-documenting of the event by MMS sent to the Re:Flux Flickr account. It was really interesting to see the performers pausing during the middle of sawing up an electric guitar (for example) to snap a picture and then continue with slicing up the woodwork. I think the flood of incoming photos may have proven a bit to much for the relay to Flickr and the photostream is incomplete, but this is definitively an approach I’d like to play with more in the future.
I’d also like to see the Fluxconcert become a regular event: with permeability in the group of performers and people taking up the challenge of inventing new scores…
In the meantime, here is a slideshow of some of my photos – if you go to the pages on Flickr, the descriptions include the scores for each action shown.