ashdenizen: flowers on stage: the daffodil

In the second in our summer series of blogs, the artist Sue Palmerwrites about the daffodils and the desk fan in Mary Southcott’s ‘Let’s get some weather in here’

One moment – a movement – remains with me. I can remember none of the content now – it is about 8 years since I saw the theatre performance and the stories are blurred, fleeted. What I do remember is Mary performing her solo show, and one moment within it has fused itself onto my memory.

Just off centre in the performance space is a window box, a white plastic window box, and facing the audience are a row of daffodils, yellow and bright in the studio lighting. They are looking perky and buoyant as only daffodils can, and very yellow, the trumpet variety. At one point in the performance, Mary switches on a desk fan that stands behind the daffodils and a deeply satisfying event takes place.

As the fan turns its automated 120-degree span, so the daffodil heads respond – bobbing, nodding. The bobbing heads in the breeze are met by collective warmth and delight from the audience – our attention is absorbed by the responsive movement of the flowers that is so familiar, so recognisable.

Mary’s simple creation of a small ‘weather system’ in the studio is utterly captivating: the outside is suddenly on the inside. The relationship between the wind and the flower is placed at the centre of my attention, so I can see in absolute detail the architectural brilliance of the flower at being able to both receive and resist the wind. Due to the travel of the fan, the breeze interacts with the flowers over an arc of time so the daffodil heads respond to the beginning of the wind touching them, nodding vigorously as the full fan passes over them, returning to a small stillness before the process loops to a return.

The articulation of the flowers and their ability to work with the wind ‘speaks’; their ‘heads’ work with receptivity, capacity, intelligence. The daffodils have performed for us.

At ‘Presence’ Festival, Dartington College of Arts, Devon, June 2002

Photo: Ed O’Keefe

See also flowers on stage: the poppy. Next: flowers on stage: the lotus.

via ashdenizen: flowers on stage: the daffodil.

Planet Plus Funny: Auto Tune the News.

If you thought Melissa Etheridge was heart-wrenching in An Inconvenient Truth, wait until you hear Katie Couric sing.

Seriously: Auto-Tune the right clip of  Couric, and you’ve got a new song of earth-savery. Or so prove the antics of Auto Tune the News.

Auto-Tune is that glorious software that makes Britney spears sound like a robot Ella Fitzgerald. It uses a phase vocoder to make singers sound more on-key (and futuristic) than they actually are.

The brilliance of Auto Tune the News is applying the technology to news anchors and their stories. It could be a simple prank illustrating how easy it is to sound like a pop star, but the editing of the “songs” actually illustrates how intertwined and interdependent the issues are, from climate change to race to drug regulation. All of the issues blur together in a hilarious top-40 tune.

For a different kind of hilarious reality check,  watch the Keep it Green Girls ride the bus. They do tamer things on Planet Green, but if you ever hunger for some green-meets-concrete, here ya go.

Go to the Green Museum