Fono Balono (2010)
Conceived by You Nakai , Ai Chinen, and Earle Lipski
Premiere: 3 July 2010, Group Exhibition "Weather and Lifetime," Asahi Art Square, Tokyo
Performed by You Nakai
“There is a piece performed inside the elevator: a blindfolded dancer is dancing, and the audience (deprived of the usual safe distance that enables one to appreciate dance) is forced instead to move, dodging the dancer. Because all public activities inside the elevator are prohibited for security reasons, this is a guerrilla performance. The piece continues outside of the elevator, where the dancer constantly tries to maintain a prescribed distance from a given audience member. As a result, the dancer is always out of sight. In other words: inside the elevator the audience is forced to run away from the piece; outside, the piece conversely runs away from the audience. In either case, movement is created by disrupting the usually presupposed, 'adequate' distance for appreciating an art piece.”
Seven or more groups of 50 to 60 helium balloons (assorted colors), each carrying a portable radio.
The size and the material of the balloons is calculated so that their ‘life-time’ would correspond to the length of the exhibition. The number of groups is calculated according to the size of the exhibition space. The exact number of balloons is calculated according to the weight of each radio.
The balloons are released right before the start of the exhibition, and should land near its closing time (bombarding onto other pieces in the exhibition in the mean time).
The balloon groups are themselves divided into two or three large groups. All radios belonging to the same large group is set to the same frequency. The exact number of large group is calculated from the size of the exhibition space. A wireless microphone is attached to one of the balloons in every large group.
One narrator carrying a wireless microphone.
During the exhibition s/he talks to as many audiences as possible. The narrator improvises: (a) descriptions of ‘collaboration pieces’ which verbally connects two or more otherwise non-related pieces in the group exhibition, and/or, (b) description of a ‘ghost piece’ which verbally constructs an otherwise non-existent piece within the group exhibition. Descriptions should preferably contradict each other, and vary every time.
ghost piece example
System A + B
The utterance of the narrator (along with any audible responses from the audience) is picked up by the wireless microphone, delayed for, (a) 20 minutes, and (b) 40 minutes, and sent respectively to each one of the large balloon groups (if more than two large groups, add necessary number of delay times). The narrator's description of some time past is thus played aloud on a floating PA system.
The sound coming out of the radios is picked up again by the wireless microphone attached to another balloon in the same group, and transmitted to the same delay unit as the narrator's wireless microphone. As a result, a constant recycling phenomenon is enacted, whereby the initial sound is looped over a long period of time, gradually deteriorating its quality and filling the environment with noise.
When more than half of the balloon groups touch ground, all delay times should be synchronized.