Bruce Barber

Whatipu Beach Performance (1973)

8 min 42 secSingle channel / transferred to Digital Video / 8mm / Colour / Sound

A film made from a performance on Wednesday 25 April, 1973, 1.00 p.m.

The quote and instructional information below are both taken from new art (1976), edited by Jim Allen and Wystan Curnow.

"I believe that I am working towards a position where paradoxically... in the act of overloading or the deprivation of sensory (physical) and intellectual experience, I am thereby enlarging my own and others capacity for sensory and intellectual stimulation... Although I may use the words 'performer' and 'audience' in reference to my work, I prefer to see these terms (because of their attendant traditions) exchanged for a notion of 'active' and passive' participation. Both performer and audience, to be considered participants, must co-exist within a given space."

Artist's statement


  • two walkie-talkie transmitter/receivers

  • two megaphones

  • one tape recorder with three-minute loop tape

  • one super 8 camera


  • one walkie-talkie receiver/carrier

  • two megaphone operators

  • blind-master (blindfolded for the duration of the performance) and his assistant

  • camera men still and movie (to be considered as active elements of the performance).


Walkie-talkie transmitter B1 receives information directly from a three minute loop tape giving a list of technical data, read in typical BBC news-reading fashion (RP), pertaining to loop tape length, width, speed etc. The information received is then directed diagonally across a space of approximately two hundred meters to walkie-takie receiver who moves towards B1 in a slow deliberate fashion.

Megaphonist A1 interprets verbally and in short descriptive phrases his responses to his immediate environs and relays them across a two hundred meter distance to megaphonist A2 who echoes the information using if possible the same intonation in voice. The blind-master and his assistant move freely throughout performance area recording sounds at will. A sound would provide the stimulus or cue toward  which the blind-master would move.

The cameramen (movie and still) move as freely as possible through the performance area recording visual stimuli at will.  The performance ends when both A2 and B2 have reached their respective partners A1 and B1. The whole to be as freely articulated as possible.

Other works by Bruce Barber

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