A weekend of follies Part IV

Follie  III, Simulation Device

Location: Anglesea Foreshore, Victoria
Date: 12 March 2011
Materials: string

The device acted on an existing parasitic relationship between a tree and climber, simulating the growth and movement of the parasite. Aiming to reveal and intervene in the relationship between the strands of the plant, I mimicked the nature of the parasite in the attachment of the string.  The simulation occurred in two ways, both through appearance and performance.

Conscious of the light-weightedness of the parasite being the reason that the plant was able to move so freely [I had observed it swaying gently in the breeze prior to my intervention], I used a fine guage of string. Its attachment follows the ‘rules’ of attachment that the parasite has set up already. The growth of the parasite appeared to follow three stages: massing, dying off, and extension. The device operated in extension, forming a mass as it developed.

Initially curious as to how far I could intervene before the movement of the parasite was impeded I continued to grow the simulation downwards, simultaneously monitoring the growth through a series of photographs. Though the breeze that day was light, the extension swayed as the parasite did. This was deliberate, the intention was not to transform the movement of the parasite, but rather to engage with it.

Strategically I wished to extend and engage with the parasite through the simulation, marking its territory more obviously. The device provided a medium for this, as well as broaching other questions – such as:

  • If appearance and performance are two ways in which the simulation device operates, what others are there?
  • What are the other ideas of territory and boundary the device conveys?
  • Can a mark sometimes be invisible as well as transient?

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