Bruce Barber

Mount Eden Crater Performance (1973)

9 min 18 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Black & White / Silent

Documentary of a 1973 performance event, with photographs by Bryony Dalefield.

Procedural notes and description of roles

Documentation of  performance from dawn to dusk on the shortest day of the year, Saturday 23rd June 1973.

Personae from four disciplines (sculpture - w, cooking - x, medicine - y, anthropology - z) move slowly clockwise around the rim of the crater reading from individually chosen texts (see list below) through four phases, each echoing and being echoed in return: i.e. persona x reads short phrases whilst stationary and w echoes whilst moving towards his/her opposite number. The readings are amplified through megaphones, the microphones of which are taped to the readers’ mouths.

A 5th participant, a Blind-master (hooded for the duration of the performance) spirals clockwise down into and anti-clockwise out of the crater with his guide’s assistance recording audio stimuli from the environment around him.

Two diametrically opposed cameramen begin recording audio-visual material at the base of the crater and then moved clockwise and anti-clockwise respectively in the same plane towards the rim of the crater.

Drummers find a position anywhere in the crater and attempt to remain there drumming for the duration of the day. Drummers randomly disposed.

Documentation to be shown at a later date.

N.B.: The actual performance was not as restrictive as the procedural notes and diagram would suggest. The situation was rather more fluid and a large measure of freedom and spontaneity for both active and passive participants was encouraged.

Texts read

Fine Arts (Sculpture) Guerilla Television, Michael Shamberg of the Raindance Corporation
Cooking: Secrets of Chinese Cooking, Lin Tsui Feng & Lin Hsiang Tu
Medicine: Clinical Psychiatry, Davies
Anthropology: Purity and Danger, Mary Douglas

Other works by Bruce Barber

CIRCUIT is the
leading voice
for artist moving image
in Aotearoa New Zealand,
distributing works,
critical review and
which reflect our unique, contemporary
South Pacific context.