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full body contact: installation day 1

it's a weird and wonderful thing this installation business. i think it's a lot like being a director/producer for a film - you plan it all out, you do all the preparation work you can, draw out plans/storyboards/ideas and then ultimately, when it comes to shooting, you have to just roll with the punches. there are just some things you just cannot plan for.

photo thanks to sarah mosca

with the best-laid plans, sarah mosca and i set sail for melbourne town at the charming time of 3:23am on friday morning to install entropy, the time-based, site-specific work i had been working towards for platform 2. my little 1990 model charade was packed to the gills with rolls of contact, bags of cornflour, food dye, our clothes, snacks for the road, my laptop and two large speakers (that sufficed as a car stereo, given the state of my current one) and we were function on an OK amount of sleep, but mostly hepped up with adrenalin and excitement (or fear).

i was hoping to make the trek in record time 'cos i knew that we would be pressed for time and every hour would count. i don't think i could have been more accurate - in fact the whole weekend was about making each hour as effective as possible and sometimes it worked, others it didn't.

out timing on the way down was pretty good really. we played road mind games with a bored truckie who decided that scaring the shit out of us in our little car was a good distraction at 4:30am, we watched the sun try to break through a cloudy sky at gundagai and tried to not sing that stupid song, we cursed roadworks and school zones at albury and dumped our uneaten apples at the ol' chiltern rest stop. finally we rocked up at the ranch (my friend carl's place) at 1pm exactly - approximately an hour after i would have liked, but still pretty good timing. after a cup of pep tea, a feeble attempt at a lie-down and a wicked, wicked shower, it was time to hit the road again. i had a meeting with jeff from next wave at 2:30 and we were making great timing, until spencer st happened. no dramas, just a shit-load of traffic. changed the meeting time, screamed into degraves st just on 2:30 and almost got a parking fine, saved by some sweet charm by sarah and those NSW number-plates of mine :)

after dumping all our stuff in the cabinets, which had just been vacated by Ben Ernst, it was time for a much-needed caffeine fix.

the cabinets needed to be covered in contact to prevent staining, so i started sarah on that while i got another caffeine fix and had my meeting with jeff, which was ultra productive! it was a bit of a rush-job for both of us, but certainly managed to set me on the right path. but that's another story.

i headed back to the gallery and where sarah had been working and realised that the measurements given for the size of the cabinets was based upon the visual measurements (ie from where the lights begin, to the bottom of the cabinet) - not the actual size of the cabinet. this was quite a bummer, to say the least. in fact, had i been able to do anything at all about it, i might have panicked. seeing as there was fuck all i could do, we just decided to run the contact from the bottom up and have space at the top and trusting that it would look OK. trust, or something resembling too-late-to-care.

photo thanks to sarah mosca

between the two of us - me in the cabinets and sarah yanking the backing off, we got the cabinets mostly covered by about 6:30pm. we had a small glitch, in that we were fast running out of time and although we could have stalled for time, we also discovered that some of the contact i had bought from a large supermarket chain, which shall remain nameless, was shit and kept fucking up. by this time, i was completely wrecked and decided to just fuck it, and leave it for the next day. otherwise i was going to have a coronary, or a major tantrum in a public place and frankly, i haven't quite made it to diva status so couldn't get away with that one.

photo thanks to sarah mosca

so after we squished everything into cabinets, packed up and headed back to the car to get changed, or at least spruced a little, we headed to ACMI to the opening of their Eyes, Lies and Illusions show, which Jaki had given me an invitation for. I was meeting my mum there and all three of us were going to check it out. Thankfully mum was running late as well, thanks to traffic - or at least that's what i gathered from her text saying 'I HATE THE CITY!!' but we all managed to make it in time for the speeches. Great. Actually, i'm assuming they were speeches, 'cos there were so many people talking, that i really couldn't work it out.

the foyer was packed so, once they'd opened it, we snuck downstairs to check out the exhibition. i was too off my face tired to really take anything in properly, but there was some bloody amazing stuff there! camera lucidas, stereoscopes, daguerrotypes, lenticular photographs, an amazing print of the cross sections of st. pauls drawn from a crows nest set up specifically for the artist to draw from, those circular moving plates which make your eyes go wacky, wacky eyes that follow you - but were just blinking on the night, jaki and david's piece the sound before you make it and one of those rooms that looks like a square when you look at it through a hole(lens) but is actually a trapezoid. heaps of fun! i really could go back and check it all out over a whole day - and recommend that everyone do that - there are some wicked, wicked things in there.

after that we went out to dinner with the rest of my family and started to wind down. unfortunately, i was so exhausted by this stage, that i could only eat rabbit food and had to slunk off early before it became ridiculously dangerous to drive back to my friend's house.

thankfully i had good hugs at the ready when i got back there and was able to crash reasonably early, say bout 11pm.

total time awake: 20.5 hours.
total ability to function: 1 star
stay tuned for day 2.


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