Ye Gods, has it been a week since Cotley already?
Been busy polishing-up a script, trying to fend off a virus, that kinda thing. Anyway, we missed the really bad weather by just a few hours and the sun even came out to play, along with some old friends who it was really great to see. Plus: there was cider.
(Heh. We got off lightly with the "Fart" graf. The cast-iron sign-post pointing to the village got pulled down the week before the exhibition. Bloody thing weighed a ton, but someone chained it to a pick-up, uprooted it and dragged it down through Chard High-Street before ditching it. I don't think Jonny Mugwump quite believed me when I said it was like the Wild West around here. 25 years ago you would've been lynched for putting on an exhibition.)
There was a great turn out for the talks n stuff, despite the dodgy weather and the obscure rural location. A really nice mixture of people, ages, etc. I thought the talks were great - quietly inspirational and heartfelt, not at all dry.
Very interesting Hacker Farm show...quite different to anything we've done before. Actually, they've all been different; different contexts, emphases...
This started out kinda drift-y, ambient-ish; almost (unsurprisingly) a live installation - well, you don't wanna do anything harsh or full-on when families and kids're wandering around chatting, checking stuff out. Anyway, after a while, it started to build...but then my kids arrived, along with Farmer Glitch's, and - before we knew it - all those noise-making toys were just too much of a temptation and we started threading the kids' sounds through the mix...Hacker Farm Junior or V 2.0, as Farmer Glitch described it later.
Then all hell broke loose lol.
I think a handful of adults had just been dying to tinker with some of the Farmer's squelchboxes and so forth, so fingers of all sizes started pressing buttons and folks stared to 'have a go'...'cos, like, well, the kids are doing it....
S'funny, innit, when adults sheepishly use children as a cover for doing something they think that maybe they shouldn't be doing, heh. Anyway, a kind of random ambient jam broke out. We knocked the beats / pulses out of the mix - to minimise potential cacophony and leave space for people to join in, but then a woman told FG to play some beats 'cos she "wanted to dance" lol.
In an art- gallery???...well, whatever next! There'll be letters in The Times about this, I'm sure.
Anyway, I think we probably ticked all the 'inclusiveness / interactive' boxes in our mission-statement with this one. There was no real physical barrier between audience and 'performers', apart from the tables that our gear was sat on.
In the end, we just kinda stepped back and let them get on with it. Ha!
Hopefully, everyone enjoyed the entire afternoon's activities. I def. liked the whole easy-goin' sociability thing that was going on. We got to meet lots of cool new people.
We also got ambushed into doing a talk ourselves, which I think Bren - *eeek* video'd, damn his black west-of-Crewekerne hillbilly soul! I'm expecting blackmail demands from him any second now.
(O-Mon Glitch triggers some very disturbing TG-like synth patches (a chip off the ol' block!), while Kid Kid Kid Shirt calls the Transport & General Workers Union out on strike)
(Despite her somewhat startled expression (that's normal!), here she is doing what can only be described as some uncannily accurate early-70's Gilli Smythe 'space-whisper' impersonations.)
Since the exhibition has now been dismantled, here's a couple of badly-photographed glimpses of work by Liz, Gary and Natalie (who were all, it has to be said, extremely lovely / friendly people. It was a pleasure and an honour to share the space with them and I hope our paths cross again in the future).