[be my eyes] gaip @ testing grounds and here comes jordan

July 12, 2014

[Be My Eyes] GAIP @ Testing Grounds and here comes Jordan.

29, June was windy and rainy. I walked from my apartment towards Testing Grounds, against the winds and rain, wondering if the collaboration would halt due to the weather. When I got there, Ren was stroking his guitar, chatting with another fellow Rob. Rob was a wonderful musician and he became my eyes both bodily and musically, so did Ren.

It's the longest duration performance I've ever had, two hours straight, no resting. Some people from the knitting group in Testing Grounds that day posed a lot of interesting questions. That's another story and I'll write some more soon.

They're all crazy fellows there in GAIP I'd tell you, just see how Ren put me in a trolly and pushed me all the way out of Testing Grounds. Sorry the pic on the right is a LITTE BIG but I really wanted you to see the facial expressions.We had such great fun. I loved the vibe we create and I love how everyone there contributed to each other's works.The terrible weather that day helped us gathered up in an very organic way. Some of the artists were kind enough to offer me a hand to hold the umbrella during the performance. Jordan White is one of them. Jordan is a young musician, a very good guitar player and a very sensitive person as well. Later during GAIP I accidentally became his eyes. We explored the same space, except this time I became the protector. But I have to admit that sometimes when Jordan reached out to seek my presence, I would respond slightly later, just to see how he react. SORRY JORDAN. But he handled it very, very well. And here's his perspective about our little project.

 

Being Her Eyes by Jordan White

I’d heard about Chun-Liang’s practice before, but never seen it in action (or even met her). Witnessing it at the GAIP on the 29th of June was an experience I feel privileged to have had.

 

Initially when told about Chun-Liang’s project, I was slightly confused, and also quite curious. I’m still unsure how I feel about it, and of its significance, but I know that I enjoyed watching, and guiding, and I also enjoyed when we swapped roles later in the day, I myself being guided by Chun-Liang.

 

Chun-Liang was ‘performing’ (for lack of a better word - it’s hard to describe the nature of GAIP for those who haven’t experienced it) in what started as a duet with saxophonist Rob Vincs. Although initially I was just watching them interact, as Rob sang through his saxello a gorgeous soundtrack to Chun-Liang’s hesitant, child-like exploration, I soon became a closer part of the ‘performance’ when the weather intervened and Ren Walters and myself were forced to take up umbrellas for the two ‘performers.’

 

This was when things got really interesting. I’d noticed that Chun-Liang appeared to be acting like a child underneath the blindfold, and I remember wondering why. However, once I started taking responsibility for Chun-Liang’s movements, making sure she didn’t fall, trip, or walk off the edge of something really tall, I noticed in myself strong feelings of protection, and quickly realised the inherent vulnerability in Chun-Liang’s project (this later became even more apparent to me when I went under the blindfold myself).

 

I think this almost total reliance on the person who guides you is a hugely interesting aspect of Chun-Liang’s project. Similarly, when blindfolded, both one’s awareness of and reliance upon their other senses become drastically heightened . This was most apparent to me when Chun-Liang was later able to recognise me simply by the zipper on my jumper, something to which no sighted person would ever pay the slightest attention. 

 

Although I’m still quite confused about the project (and Chun-Liang assures me she is too), I definitely enjoyed watching and taking part. Perhaps more importantly, I think I’ve learned from it, too.

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I acknowledge that I live and work within, and am a temporary custodian of land that belongs to the Wotjobaluk people. I pay respect and homage to Wotjobaluk elders past and present on behalf of all GAIP participants. We also acknowledge and pay our respects to the original inhabitants of the lands we pass through during our performance collaborations and do our utmost to care for these places.