CHRISTOPHER BRADDOCK

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Dialogue, 2018. Chris Braddock and participants. AUT University, Auckland, NZ.

Dialogue suggests “a stream of meaning flowing among and through us and between us. This will make possible a flow of meaning in the whole group, out of which will emerge some new understanding. It’s something new, which may not have been in the starting point at all. It’s something creative. In this shared meaning is the ‘glue’ or ‘cement’ that holds people and societies together” (David Bohm, Schouten & Nelissen: 2).

In these Dialogue Workshops participants try to have an open ‘dialogue’, as proposed by the quantum physicist David Bohm; where people need to try not to take the lead or to dominate, or to begin explaining about things they know and so on. We attempt, in the words of Bohm, “a stream of meaning flowing among and through us and between us” where something new and creative may emerge. If we defend opinions we may not be able to have dialogue. We may have to use tacit knowledge (like that required to ride a bicycle says Bohm) which tends to be a shared process in common.

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Chris Braddock & Olivia Webb, Skull Acoustics (collaborative live performance), 12:00pm, 7 October 2017, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand.

Skull Acoustics is a performance artwork made in collaboration with Olivia Webb. Performers face each other and are joined by a PVC acoustic hood-like device that sits over their heads. This acoustic hood references the artwork First Workset (1963- 1969) by sculptor Franz Erhard Walther. By leaning back slightly and pulling the hoods taut, the performers negotiate a balance between both their bodies and the object. Maintaining an equilibrium, they simultaneously hum one note at the pitch of their own speaking voice for a 30-minute period. Humming the sound of your own voice was a direction given by musician, composer and musicologist Pauline Oliveros when teaching participants in her own works how to ‘listen deeply’.

In connecting two hummed notes by way of a physical hood/object, and one that captures and transmits sound waves through its materiality (the type of PVC fabric it is made from), the performance demonstrates a social exchange of sound and voice through physical sculpture and performance.

Skull Acoustics was first performed as part of PSi#22 in Melbourne, Australia in July 2016.

Review of Skull Acoustics by John Hurrell, EyeContact. 

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Skull Acoustics (2016) [performance still]. Chris Braddock & Olivia Webb. PSi22. Melbourne 07.07.16. 577 Skull Acoustics (2016) [performance still]. Chris Braddock & Olivia Webb. PSi22. Melbourne 07.07.16. 569 Skull Acoustics (2016) [performance still]. Chris Braddock & Olivia Webb. PSi22. Melbourne 07.07.16. 564 Skull Acoustics (2016) [performance still]. Chris Braddock & Olivia Webb. PSi22. Melbourne 08.07.16. 625

Chris Braddock & Olivia Webb, Skull Acoustics (collaborative live performance), 12:30-13:00, Thursday 7 July and Friday 8 July, University of Melbourne Law Quad, Melbourne. Performance Studies International PSi#22

Olivia Webb is a Ph.D. candidate at AUT University. Her research combines her experience as a choral singer with various time based art forms.

Olivia and I had been discussing the First Workset (1963- 1969) of 58 objects by the sculptor Franz Erhard Walther. He was creating objects from fabric and other materials that spectators could interact with, sometimes in pairs or groups. We were looking with interest at a long fabric ‘hood’ that covered the heads of both participants.  At the same time we heard news items about how the Queen’s plastic umbrella ‘acted like a satellite dish’ and amplified her rebuke of ‘rude’ Chinese state officials, reported by Australia’s Daily Mail on 12 May 2016. Apparently, her majesty was clutching a clear plastic brolly in the drizzle which amplified her comments and sent them towards a sensitive directional microphone belonging to her BBC cameraman. An insider told the Telegraph: “Because it’s plastic, it reflects the sound like a satellite dish.” Olivia and I went immediately to Smith & Caughey’s department store on Auckland’s Queen Street and tried out identical clear plastic umbrellas imagining that we might use them to reflect the humming voice in Skull Acoustics. They didn’t work! It was not the umbrella! But what transpired was a hybrid of a Franz Erhard Walther First Workset object and the Queen’s umbrella.

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Repeating Silence, 2015, performance with live stream video, in ‘Performing Mobilities’, Melbourne, 8-11 October 2015, RMIT & VCA. Project assistants Ziggy Lever and Travis Cox. Curator Mick Douglas and shadow curator David Cross.

Repeating Silence 2, 1.00-2.00pm 9 Oct 2015, performance with live stream video, in ‘Performing Mobilities’, performance location RMIT University Gallery, RMIT & VCA, Melbourne. Video documentation: Travis Cox.

Repeating Silence 4, 2.30-3.00pm 11 Oct 2015, performance with live stream video, in ‘Performing Mobilities’, performance location riverside by Federation Square, RMIT & VCA, Melbourne. Camera: Travis Cox.

Repeating Silence 3, 1.30-2.00pm 11 Oct 2015, performance with live stream video, in ‘Performing Mobilities’, performance location Flinders Lane, RMIT & VCA, Melbourne. Camera: Travis Cox.

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Repeating Silence 3, 1.30-2.00pm 11 Oct 2015, performance with live stream video, in ‘Performing Mobilities’, performance location RMIT Design Hub lecture theatre live streamed from Flinders Lane, RMIT & VCA, Melbourne. Photo: Monique Redmond.

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Repeating Silence 1, 9.00-10.00am 8 Oct 2015, performance with live stream video, in ‘Performing Mobilities’, performance location RMIT Design Hub, RMIT & VCA, Melbourne. Photo: Travis Cox, Monique Redmond.

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Repeating Silence 2, 1.00-2.00pm 9 Oct 2015, performance with live stream video, in ‘Performing Mobilities’, performance location RMIT University Gallery, RMIT & VCA, Melbourne. Photo: Travis Cox.

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Repeating Silence 5, 3.30-4.00pm 11 Oct 2015, performance with live stream video, in ‘Performing Mobilities’, performance location Flinders Street Station, RMIT & VCA, Melbourne. Still from video – camera: Travis Cox.

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Repeating Silence 4, 2.30-3.00pm 11 Oct 2015, performance with live stream video, in ‘Performing Mobilities’, performance location riverside by Federation Square, RMIT & VCA, Melbourne. Still from video – camera: Travis Cox.

‘Performing Mobilities’ is the 2015 Melbourne response to the worldwide Performance Studies International event ‘Fluid States’. There is a strong emphasis on performing in the public realm and relationships to passage and circulation i.e. how does public mobility manifest and operate?

Chris Braddock performs live at RMIT University Gallery and the busy lane ways of Melbourne’s CBD completely stationary and with his eyes closed for an hour at a time. He turns his head very slowly from left to right as if surveying the scene. Video images (from above and close up) are live streamed to tablets in close proximity, lecture theatres and to christopherbraddock.com.

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