Tomorrow starts off Week 2 of Fields of Decay with a stomp! But before we Suzuki train ourselves onto the scene early on a Monday morning, a recap of Week 1:
Sophia arrived in Brisbane on Saturday March 26th from Delhi, India, while Leah was beachside performing absurd cabaret for the Brunswick Picture House‘s opening weekend. The two met on Australian soil on Sunday and settled in just enough to get moving again on Monday.
Day 1 was a slow roll in, as it was a public holiday for Australia. We felt like troopers for showing up to work and also proud of ourselves for not going too hard and easing into the process. We brought over our gear, grounded in the new space and stretched our bodies as we put our minds together on best practices for us to begin our work together.
Afterwards we took in a broader view of Brisbane at Mt. Coot-tha, christening our new collaboration with sips of champagne as we pin-pointed our places in the city and our perspectives on the universe at large.
Day 2 we refined process. Leah warmed us up with some contemporary dance moves, yoga poses, and more grounding—as we work with electrical impulses, we begin each day with grounding.
We attended to administration, setting up meetings with scientists, researching experiments and tools we may be able to model and use. Sophia is reading “The Field” by Lynne McTaggart and even though McTaggart is not a scientist discussing quantum physics, it is still a heady game. We teased out relevant passages and picked them apart further, using markers and big paper to turn the studio into a science classroom for artists.
We powered through our scheduled chunk of ‘Make’ Time, opting instead to deal with logistics and setting up systems for success. Afterwards, we went out for an intense Vinyasa Yoga class at Brisbane Yoga Space, did handstands, and returned home to cook up a vegan tofu stir-fry using fresh herbs and yummies from the backyard garden. Leah even skilfully made gluten-free lemon tarts and Sophia stayed up too late staring into the computer screen.
Energy Enthusiasts Unite!
Day 3 and 4 we tapped back into our shared trainings, and did improvisations that may have gone overboard (especially when Sophia got locked out of the building). We’re getting physically in touch with the space, while studying how the space between particles is a hive of activity. Our minds are buzzing with activity—still attempting to understand the Zero Point Field and how it may be an endless renewable energy source we can tap into. We are mapping out sites of interest for field visits and defining our terms and criteria for the project. We met with Kieran Swann, Program Manager of Metro Arts where we are gloriously and gratefully housing our residency, and bounced our ideas off him and received feedback on what resonates.
We also delved into ‘Make’ Time! We got out our slew of cameras, projectors, recording devices and started to trial-and-error capture any waves we could find. We got back in touch with our projection inspirations (both in our own work and in others’). We did field recordings of the sound and light (or lack thereof) in our basement residency space, preparing to head out with our experiments into the world imminently.
And we did that night! We had our first meeting with a scientist, Skye Thomas-Hall of Schenk Lab which specializes in Algae, Plant, and Microbial Biotechnology. Despite having trained together with SITI Company and working together on a Superhero Clubhouse project in NYC, this is our first devising collaboration together. Thus, we are in the very early stages of figuring out how exactly this collaboration will function as well as the content we will produce. So it was really great to go from talking about expected outcomes with Skye (because we know but we don’t know yet—this is the time for experimentation!) to being able to bounce ideas around on a more fluid and free level. We discussed everything from sites to tools for measurement to more ephemeral psuedoscience approaches to the subject.
We have been discussing how we are dealing with two different realms within this one project—the tangible, biological earth and our human bodies’ relationship to it and the more intangible physics behind the superstructure of our universe that interconnects us all. So it was really nice to hear a scientist devoted to matter that can be tested whip out a statistic that 68% of the Universe is made up of dark energy, dark matter is 27%, leaving our observable Universe at a measly 5%. There is literally a lot more than meets the eye here. time to explore the other side of the story as well as hug some trees and Reiki some animals.
We also bid on an aura photo camera on eBay, just in case that’s where this project is going.
Day 5 Friday’s warm-up commenced levitation training!
Okay, Friday was April Fools’ Day, but “The Field” implies that it might be possible. So the day became all about energy. Sophia gave Leah Reiki as an energetic warm-up, and we both stream-of-consciousness did a riff on energy, blind-folded and to the jams of Jay-Z and Beyonce.
On Thursday night, Sophia stumbled upon some toxic sites near Sydney (virtually tripping on them via the internet waves and Google keywords). of particular fascination was Sydney’s “green Olympics” being built on a toxic dumping site.
We pondered some new criteria for choosing our sites of interest: what about places where you can’t necessarily see the damage but it exists very presently underneath? Leah found some local Brisbane sites where the toxic sludge is oozing out from beneath parks built on gold mines turned dumping sites.
And what will we use as our baseline studies? can we compare sites over time? Or is it more feasible to compare the beautiful vs. the disturbed?
The week left us with a lot of open questions and we left the studio to attend the intense, entertaining, and educational play reading of fellow Creative Development Writer/Director Emma Workman Bolt. We also went to Qld Poetry Festival’s ‘Couplet’ event, a poetry and sexy parody fiction reading at the Brisbane City Library. We felt ready for the weekend, which would bring us another scientist meeting with Evan Stephens, and a day of rest.
we believe there are some connections between the things we know and the things we don’t after this jam-packed week of learning and processing:
From Lynne McTaggart:
But there was also a larger implication of a vast underlying sea of energy. The existence of the Zero Point Field implied that all matter in the universe was interconnected by waves, which are spread out through time and space and can carry on to infinity, tying one part of the universe to every other part. The idea of The Field might just offer a scientific explanation for many metaphysical notions, such as the Chinese belief in the life force, or qi, described in ancient texts as something akin to an energy field. It even echoed the Old Testament’s account of God’s first dictum ‘Let there be light’, out of which matter was created.
Leah waxed poetic and profound post-Reiki and so we unwittingly co-crafted a poem out her observations.
there is something about that sense of touch—
exchange of energy
that is identity affirming,
it feels like Love.
i don’t use that word a lot
earth all around you
echoes of sensation
a ripple effect
in our bodies
memory of touch
or nearly touched.
aware of where we are
channeling the Earth
into a lightbulb,
strung into filaments,
of the lo-res images,
light and movement energy
imprinted into sound—
we are training in studies of levitation.
We are energetically enthusiastic about Week 2 and the adventures it will bring. We are riding the waves of fate to meet with a scientist in Mullumbimby and then further south to attend the Hacking the Anthropocene Symposium at University of Sydney—another full-on week where we attempt to understand the mysteries of the Universe! lucky us and wish us luck 😉