LAST is a series of interventions in public space, dealing with the emotional state of paralysis in the face of crisis, extinction and loss. The pieces are built around both fugitive and futile matter and movements: Minimalist rituals in the spirit of Sisyphus. How to last? It was first shown in Merihaka, Helsinki (FI), during the week of the 2.-7. May. The project featured also a radio station broadcasting the names of species that are threatened by extinction, and a spamming bot sending out e-mails.
For one it is awareness and for the other, revolt; in both cases the absurd has disappeared. There is so much stubborn hope in the human heart.
(Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus)
2.5. 12:00 last: song
The performance will last until the tone is lost.
In Merihaka garage, at one end of a long aisle, a singer in a raincoat will pick up a tone from a tuning fork which is tuned to the frequency of the earth (194.18 Hz) as invented by Swiss mathematician and musicologist Hans Cousto in 1978. The singer starts walking and attempts to emit the tone every 3 minutes from her memory, trying to stay with the tone as long as possible. A LED counter is counting the time. The audience can check the original sound with the tuning fork if they decide to do so. The time at which the tone has disappeared will be noted.
with MILENA KNAUß (song)
3.5. 15:00 last: wood
The performance will last until the pencils have disappeared.
Five women in raincoats stand in a small group of trees, each one with a sharpener and an IKEA pencil in her hand. The sharpeners are amplified. It is possible to walk through the forest. A LED counter is counting minutes. The women start to sharpen the pencils until the pencils are used up.
The time for the last one to finish will be noted.
with ANNIINA ALA-RUONA, LOTTA HALINEN, HARRIET RABE, ARLENE TUCKER, JOLIJN DE WOLF
4.5. 18:00 last: bird
The performance will last until the gulls have listened to all my ideas.
I will sit on a table of the carpet washing station in Merihaka. A cassette recorder stands beside me, a pile of cassettes is nearby. I have one pocket of my raincoat full of salmon and the other full of bread and will try to attract seagulls. A LED counter is counting minutes.
As soon as one or several seagulls have arrived, I will play a cassette, making the bird(s) listen to one of my ideas I have had for this part of my series LAST, “bargaining”. Every time the birds go away, I will have to stop the recording and give them more fish and bread, hoping for new ones to come.
Once I have played one idea out loud, I will put the cassette on a second table where it lies for sale. A new cassette is played to the gull witnesses. The time until the last idea has been listened to will be noted.
with HARRIET RABE, SEAGULLS
5.5. 21:00 last: chirp
The performance will last until G. campestris have left the tent.
I will sit in a transparent tent on the grassless spot near the sea. With me, I have a box with crickets and a mobile phone. I will open the box and set the crickets free in my tent. The crickets can escape through holes in the plastic.
I will read poems in English, German, and French, that mention crickets. I keep reading until the last one has escaped from the tent. It is possible to listen to my reading from a nearby bridge as well, where headphones and binoculars can be found. A LED counter is counting minutes. The time needed until the crickets have gone will be noted.
with HARRIET RABE, G. CAMPESTRIS
6.5. 24:00 last: sign
The performance will last until there is no advice on how to last anymore.
During the week, I have collected written advice on “how to last” – how to continue, how to hold on to something, – from audience members of the previous days and friends and colleagues online. At midnight, I will start transmitting the advice how to last through using morsecode towards the city. A LED counter is counting the minutes. New advice can be left to an ‘office’ where my collaborator translates the messages to morsecode and hands them over to me. People can sit on blankets nearby, tea is served.
I stop morsecoding only when there are no more new advising messages, finally emitting the words the French Navy used when ceasing to use Morse code on January 31, 1997: “Calling all. This is our last cry before our eternal silence.” The duration of the performance is noted down.
with HARRIET RABE, OTTO ROSE
7.5. 18:00-21:00 last: evening
in Vapaan Taiteen Tila (+ sparkling wine)
The exhibition lasted three hours.
It consisted of screened GIFS of the five performances (video: Jolijn de Wolf), some objects that had appeared during the week (LED counter, plastic tent, green blankets + binoculars) and SISYBOT:
SISYBOT was programmed to generate random e-mail addresses and send out random sentences of Camus’ “The Myth of Sisyphus” to them. Until it manages by chance to generate a valid address, no e-mail will ever get through.
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broadcasting the possibly last ones from 2.-7.5.2017.
thanks to Regina Behre, Rainer Behre, Monika Dettke, Dieter von Froreich, Christa Löwenbrück, Anna, Markus, Irmtrud Schweigert and the anonymous readers
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how to last?
if you have any advice, idea, information or hints in regards to this question, please leave them here.