Saturday, February 14, 2009

UNDISCLOSED #12 - 28th December 2008

Undisclosed #12 – 28th December 2008
Early morning sometime, I think around 9am.
I am standing in front of the War Memorial.
There is a man made pool in front.
I am walking around this.
I am now at the end facing back towards the huge cenotaph.
I am lying down with my feet facing towards the memorial. I am dressed in a red shirt and red pants. I have a pile of ice cubes to each side, which I pick up and place around my legs.
The cubes are tracing my outline.
A couple are walking in my direction, they are in there mid 50’s.
They look down at me with interest and then look around trying to figure if there is something or someone else around that will give a clue to this. They sort of smile at me but don’t engage.
I am now up to my upper torso. It is pretty swift work.
I am tracing my right arm. It is getting a bit tricky here, but I figure if I trace one arm then remove that arm to trace my other, then I will lie down grappling for the remaining cubes to place around my head.
I have just placed the last of the cubes above my head and I am now settling my arms inside their ice-cube outline.
I am lying in my outline imagining the ice-cubes are melting. I don’t know how long this will take. It is a warm day so I am supposing not too long.
I wonder if I will get told to move on before they are finished melting.
There are a lot more people around now. I hear them and see some of them pass.
Most seem to just look at me quizzically.
I am waiting for a bunch of loud party revellers to stumble across me on their way home but so far so good. It is a tricky thing, you can never be sure which way it could go with them.
It is interesting this early morning crowd have been quite polite, so far. Maybe it is a Sunday thing. Sunday the day of visiting great monuments, gardens, galleries, churches…
I think I must have been here for an hour, I feel very calm amongst the city din.
I can see that the ice-cubes are mostly melted.
I rise and step out of my watery outline.
From my pocket I pull out a tiny needle. I am now pricking each tip of my fingertips on my left hand. I squeeze and encourage a droplet on each tip.
I am bending down and leaning over my outline I imprint each finger on the ground inside my outline to form a half-cup shape in the vicinity of my womb.
I am now repeating this with my right hand. I imprint my fingertips on the ground to complete this cup shape. They look like faint dark blotches. A sort of join the dots.
I am standing at my outlines feet and I take one last look at this trace.
I leave, I am walking away along the avenue with my back to the memorial.
I cannot know what this trace will be by mid afternoon but each cube was infused with a large amount of salt, so in my minds eye I can see a barely perceptible salt stain. A fleeting ghost.

UNDISCLOSED #11 - 30th November 2008

4pm outside a popular bank.
In front of the entrance I place one 5 cent piece down, now another next to it.
There is a line of twenty 5 cent pieces next to each other.
I start a new line.
Now there is two lines of twenty 5 cent pieces.
I start a new line.
There is ten rows of twenty 5 cent pieces.
They look like a shining welcome mat.
Two hundred 5 cent pieces equals $10.
This is what I have to pay to the bank each month because I do not earn enough each week to keep my balance above $5000.

Some people have been watching me. They look at the welcome mat.
As I leave they clap.
I smile, say nothing and walk down the street.

UNDISCLOSED #10 - 26th October 2008

It is about 7am and I am walking up a stretch of road in the country.
I am dressed in black.
I pick up a scattering of glass shards.
I pick up a bottle top.
I pick up a white plastic lid.
I pick up a yellow top.
I am walking along this road and in a bag by my side I have trinkets that I keep finding on my way.
I pick up a rusty screw.
I pick up a piece of rubber, old and brittle.
I pick up a piece of cardboard from some sort of packaging.
I pick up a feather.
I pick up a yellow flower.
I pick up a water damaged and sun dried soft porn mag.
A car goes by and the wind whips me in its wake.
It is quiet, not many people moving yet on the road.
A cockatoo squawks, rosellas are chattering.
In the distance I hear the caw of a crow and now another and another.
There is a pleasant expectancy hanging in the air.
I pick up a purple shard of some plastic.
I pick up an old bleached bone, maybe from a bird.
I pick up a small silver cylinder.
I pick up red reflector shards.
I pick up a weathered cigarette butt.
I pick up a mars bar wrapper.
I pick up a broken pair of sunglasses.
I pick up a deteriorated thong.
I pick up a piece of black tube.
I pick up a mangled sweater of some sort, maybe once a forest green.
I pick up a cracked pen.
I pick up a squashed can of coke.
I have walked about 3 kms and my trinket bag is becoming laden.
I am at a siding in the road that is clear and has some space, somewhere a car can pull off the road if it needs to.
A cow bellows in the distance.
I am placing the trinkets down. I place them to start to form letters.
I have formed three letters they are about 50cm high.
I am forming links between the objects.
I am putting some colours together.
I am putting clothes and shoes and accessories together.
I am putting rocks and bones and flowers together.
I am putting consumption rubbish together.
I am putting parts together.
I am putting glass together.
I am putting it together.
I have finished.
I look down at my two words formed from the detritus and the flora of the road.
It is the story of the road.
“Remember this”
I look back towards where I came from and go.

UNDISCLOSED #9 - 28th September 2008

It must be around 8.30 am and I am on a Spring beach.
There are a few people around maintaining their early morning fitness regimes.
I find a spot in the sand that is firm but not too dry or wet, somewhere in between.
A place where, if I dig a few feet I might start to get water seeping up but am not in danger of waves coming in – yet.
I start digging.
The hole is over a metre long and around three quarters of a metre wide.
This seems easy work to begin with and I imagine just looks like I am someone playing in the sand for the sheer joy of digging.
It must be about 15 mins on and it is starting to get serious, I am going deep. I am trying for at least a metre and a half. It starts to get a bit tough because I need to start maintaining the walls to prevent them from caving in.
I am at about half a metre and I sit inside the hole and start digging from this position so my movement does not disturb the edges as much.
I am excavating the part of the hole in front of me, in effect creating a seat where I can dig from.
I am getting somewhere and the sand is moist enough and the air cool enough that it does not dry quickly, so it adheres together nicely. I am pounding the walls to make them hard and solid.
I am standing in the deeper part of the hole, which I think is getting to the depth I want and I start scooping off layers from the higher part. I am actually creating a seat.
I think I have now been going for what seems a long time but I am sure it is probably only about 40 mins or so.
The seat is patted down now and I can sit on it.
The bottom of the hole is a little soggy with water seeping up.
My head and shoulders just come above the hole from this seated position.
I am patting the sand around the perimeter of the hole making it nice and smooth.
I write on one side
and on the other side
I draw an arrow from both sides meeting in the front like the bow of a ship.
I sit down and look straight ahead.
I watch my horizon.
I watch my horizon.
I watch my horizon.
I am still.
I stand up, climb out and leave walking in the direction of the arrow.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

UNDISCLOSED #8 - 31st August 2008

It is 11am.
I am armed.
In my bag is a wad of envelopes.
Each envelope is addressed to a need.
Inside each envelope is a suggestion or word of advice or a tried and true method passed on from my grandmothers grandmother and the grandmother before that, or disclosed to me by a wise old woman in a Turkish bathhouse in Budapest.
I survey my options and decide to sit just outside the train station. There are no buskers here yet and no one asking for money. They must be having a sleepy Sunday in. I seize my place while the opportunity allows. There are plenty of people around and they are all going about brunch or lunch or shopping. I sit on the milkcrate, left over from last nights performance no doubt.
Then I lay out my merchandise.
Not that I am really asking for money, I just want to see how the transactions will be negotiated.
The various envelopes read ‘Need More Money?’, ‘Want to be more Sexy?, ‘Looking for love?’, ‘Need a good recipe?’, ‘Don’t know how to remove that stain?’,
‘Wish you could erase last night?’, ‘Need new pants?’, ‘Lost your mobile?’,
‘Want a second life?’, ‘Need a pet?’, ‘Don’t know how to clean the toilet?’, ‘Looking for your Mum?’, ‘Want a new job?’, ‘Wish you could go to Finland?’, Not sure what your next move should be?’, ‘Wish you were good at sex?’, ‘Lost your shoe?’, ‘Not sure which coat to wear?’, ‘Don’t know how to swim?’, ‘Want to give up eating chocolate and drinking coffee?’. And there are more.

The first few people to walk past just give me a brief glance, not sure what to make of what I am doing. I can see that they are thinking something like, She doesn’t look like a beggar but where is her instrument?
Oh that is one too – ‘Need a new instrument?’

Then a small girl with her mum passes, she is about 9 years old and is attracted by my bright clothes and the coloured envelopes. She looks up at her Mum for a second as if gauging whether she can stop. The mother gives me a quick once over, I smile and she relaxes a little but encourages her daughter along.

Next a group of four friends pass in there mid twenties. They are happy and jovial. One asks “What’s all this then? What you doing?
I reply that I am giving away answers , is there anything that he feels rings a bell for him and point at the various envelopes.
He laughs and jokes with his friends as the ‘Erasing last night’ one catches his eye. I offer it to him. “Go on take it, it’s yours”
He is not sure but opts to take it from me with a brave laugh, meanwhile one of the other girls is studying the envelopes a bit more seriously. She says ‘What, are you just giving these away, can I just take it?”
I nod, still hesitant she says “Really?”
“Yes, go on”
She picks up ‘Not sure what your next move should be?’
Meanwhile the guy has ripped open his envelope and is chuckling away
“Get this it just says ‘It’s Erased!’, Ha Ha the jokes on us. Good one. Come on guys, have a good day!”
They all follow him up the street, bemused but a bit unsure what has just happened, the girl is still clutching her envelope, she hasn’t opened it, I see her slip it in her bag.

Not long after this, a man in his late 30’s stops and smiles, he surveys the envelopes and then asks me how I am?
I say fine, he asks me if I am like a tarot reader or fortune teller or something.
I say of sorts, I have advice and he can either take it or leave it.
He asks if I do this sort of thing often and where else do I do it?
I say whenever the urge takes me and it could be anywhere.
He really wants to chat to me, I can see. He is doing nothing particularly and has found me doing what he perceives as nothing in particular so thinks it is a good opportunity for a chat.
That’s ok. It is interesting to observe him, I see that he actually has no interest what so ever in the envelopes or picking one up, he just sees it as something that is drawing attention and he wants to be a part of that. He encourages people to look and jokes with them to pick up an envelope. “Come on” he says to one girl “Don’t you want to know how to remove that stain?”
She looks at him slightly horrified, she looks at me and I can see she is trying to work out whether he is part of this.
Another guy walks past and he almost bullies him into picking up an envelope
“Come on, bet you need a new recipe to impress your girlfriend” he says. The guy is not sure what is going on but goes along with it and accepts the offer.
This goes on for a while and he actually moves about eight envelopes for me. It is almost like watching a spruiker at work. He is loving it. Loving the hype and the opportunity it is giving him to interact with passers by. Then I think ,wow, it is almost like being upstaged in a way.
After about half an hour, he turns to me and says “well that was fun, nice meeting you and yeh well I got to get moving now, Yeh ummm have a great day mate, good luck, do you need anything? A bottle of water or something? Ok, well, see you around. Cheers!” and off he goes, never having picked up one envelope for himself.
I take a big breath and have a bit of a chuckle.
A lady in her 40s passes and stops, she smiles and then looks at each envelope.
She asks if she can buy one and how much?
I say there is no price. She looks at me a bit unsure.
I smile.
She looks at the envelopes again as if trying to make a decision.
“Could I take these three, is that ok?
I could pay you, I know that is a lot.”
I say to her she can do whatever she feels is right.
She is still struggling with it, I can see that part of her feels she should pay me something especially because she wants more, but a part of her just wants to take the free ride, because she just doesn’t know whether it will be worth anything.
Eventually she stoops down and picks up two – ‘Need new pants?’ and ‘Don’t know how to swim?’
She gets up and leaves me $2 thanking me and wishing me a lovely day.
She holds her precious cargo with both hands and rushes off.
I have been here for about an hour and half now and have 7 envelopes left.
I am contemplating leaving when a man that came past at least 40 mins ago stops, he says “you know that envelope I picked up, well your amazing, I feel so much better now, thankyou so much. I bought some cake, its chocolate, do you like chocolate?”
I say “yes”, he says “please have it and thankyou once again.” I thank him for his generosity and he brushes it off saying “no no thankyou this is a good thing you are doing here.” Then with another goodbye he leaves.
I am so touched, I rack my brains to think which envelope he took but can’t work it out. It was round the time that my spruiker was working the crowd and I lost track a little of which envelopes went where.
I try and guess but decide that it is better left a mystery.
It is 1.05pm
I have three envelopes left and decide that it is time to leave.
I get up and place the envelopes on the milkcrate.
I walk down the street.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

UNDISCLOSED #7 - 27th July 2008

It is 11.55pm.
I am dressed in an off the shoulder red party dress with a full skirt.
Tall, elegant black shoes.
My hair is swept up high on my head.
Around my neck is a diamante choker.
In my arms are a dozen red long stemmed roses and a red box of chocolates, the flat box kind with a tray inside containing, also, a dozen chocolates.
I stand at the foot of the staircase leading up to the entrance to the Town Hall.
There are a few people around mainly rushing past. Cars drive by.
A wolf whistle sounds from some direction to my left.
But mostly it is quiet, for the city. It is a Sunday evening.
I start my ascent.
At every third step I leave a rose.
I hear some people behind me. Their tone suggests they are watching and wondering what I am doing.
Again some passer by, a male, yells out some remark I cannot quite catch.
I reach the top of the staircase and turn.
There are a few people peering up from different parts of the street.
There is a bus stop across the road and I can see that there is some curiosity.
I however, have business to attend to.
I sit down and carefully open the box of chocolates on my lap.
I take one out and place it in my mouth.
I write a note on the paper that covers the chocolates
“The last time…”
I slowly start to consume each chocolate and in each ones place I leave a piece of paper with a date…
The dates span over three decades.
Below me some late night revellers look up and cheer and joke.
One young man runs up the stairs and grabs a rose then runs off.
Mostly people are quiet and curious.
I wonder if a security guard will appear and ask me to move on.
So far, so good.
I am down to the last chocolate.
I do not eat this one.
I leave a small note next to it
“This one is for you…”
It is 12.27am
I stand up leaving the box of not quite empty chocolates on the stairs.
Casually I proceed down the stairs and quietly leave the scene.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

UNDISCLOSED #6 - 29th June 2008

It is 9.10am, I am sitting in a café and my early morning coffee and fruit toast has just arrived.
I take out my mobile and take a photo of this early morning breakfast.
I then scan for any bluetooth devices, within 30 seconds I have five.
Adding the words
“Thank God it is here!” to the photo of my breakfast
I send it out to these bluetooth devices.
I turn my bluetooth off.

It is 11am and I have moved to another café. This time my order is a hot chocolate in a tall glass adorned with a large marshmallow.
Taking a photo of this I add the words
“Time to enjoy”
Scanning for bluetooth devices I discover 3.
Out my message goes.

It is 1.30pm
Lunch in another café.
A bagel with smoked salmon, capers, cheese.
A side of rocket
My photo is accompanied by
“it’s fishy”
9 discoverable devices.
Out goes my message.
Two fail.

4.15 and a latte with a chocolate brownie sit in front of me.
“Warm and happy”
6 devices.
All are received.

Sitting at a bar overlooking the street at 6pm.
Before me is a tall glass containing a long island ice tea.
“It has been a long time”
12 devices all messages delivered.

7.30pm finds me in an Italian Restaurant.
Before me is a plate of Spaghetti Neopolitana.
“mix it up”
4 devices, 4 messages go out.

9.30pm, in a re-vamped pub.
The place is vibey and there is lots of laughter.
I have a glass of red wine.
“Last one”
13 devices.