New connections, strange directions – Kviss Búmm Bang on Real Time Arts - Sandpit

New connections, strange directions – Kviss Búmm Bang on Real Time Arts

Press / 1 January 2016

Near and Far is the first public project of Performance & Art Development Agency (PADA), founded by Vitalstatistix Creative Director Emma Webb and Country Arts SA Creative Producer Steve Mayhew. “Exploring distance, time, communication and personal agency” (program), the event—held in Adelaide’s heritage-listed empty shell venue the Queen’s Theatre—presented four new works of wide-ranging and resonantly contemporary form and theme by Australian and international artists, as well as an experimental criticism project and artist talks. Mayhew’s keywords at the event’s opening were “corroboree” and “minimalism,” suggestive of an inclusive, ritualistic celebration of community and live performance in what are increasingly attenuated times for the arts. Webb was more blunt, signalling her prevailing desire for Near and Far to “engage with the fucked up-ness of the world.”
Kviss Búmm Bang
Icelandic participatory art makers Kviss Búmm Bang were not present for 101.IS TO 5000.AU, its running ceded to collaborators Daniel Koerner and Sam Haren of Sandpit. The title references the postcodes of Reykjavik and Adelaide, the two cities the work is designed to bridge through a set of instructions to be completed by audiences. Our first task was to collectively produce a map of Iceland on a large sheet of paper, felt-tip markers and imperfect memories our only aids. I contributed a wild guess as to the location of one of Iceland’s famously large and powerful waterfalls while others doodled the country’s airports, volcanoes and other icons. Meanwhile, audience members were randomly selected to use a rotary-dial telephone to place calls to various Icelandic establishments—hotels, restaurants and so on—for the purpose of discovering more about the country, each caller given a card that suggested a particular line of questioning. The work neatly exposed our ignorance of distant countries. At its conclusion, we bagged up the map for postage via snail mail to Iceland. I can only hope that its recipients’ laughter at our inept effort to map their homeland is cut short by their own realisation of how little they know of ours.
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