Hobart Current (2020) Hobart, AU
An installation based on the ancient tool used for sounding liberty or the threat or loss of liberty: the bell.
For the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) and City of Hobart Biennial Exhibition, Hobart Current 2020 Liberty: from Here to Here
The bell is an ancient tool for sounding liberty or the threat or loss of liberty. Each bell has a clapper and sensor inside, which swings with the bell. The bells are each attached to a wooden wheel, which has a rope running round it. The rope drops down into the ringing circle below. The coloured part of the rope is called the “sally”. Each bell is rung by a different person. When the ringer pulls on the sally, the wheel and the bell rotate by 360°, and the clapper then hits the rim of the bell, making it ring once. On the second rope pull, the wheel rotates by 360° and the clapper hits the opposite side of the bell. This action of “handstroke” and “backstroke” is repeated until the ringing stops. A full peal on 8 bells demands ~5040 different changes: rung continuously and without fault. Only then can it qualify as a performance. Bell Ringers are not allowed visual aides, they must commit the entire method of complex mathematical permutations to memory. Ringing Change, 2020 liberates the method. Actuators on the 3D-printed bells interpret participant interactions in real-time to visualise and record the public peal. Research for the interactive performance installation will include creative development and experimentation with the digital Federation Handbells Signalling Signs of Life [Working title], 2020 as proposed to the City of Melbourne Arts Council.
Inspiration and research into campanology, bellfry, ringing and chiming performances informing the creative development of Ringing Change, 2020 for Hobart Current, 2020.
Creative Development and Research Notes:
Archeologists have found evidence of bells as early as ~2000 BC in China. Bells are either struck with an internal “clapper” or external “hammer” to cause a resounding vibration. The study of bells is called Campanology. Bells ring for spiritual liberty (call to prayer, to celebrate marriage, support the soul in funeral rites…). Bells ring for political liberty (chimes to herald victory, independence, remembrance…). Bells ring for social civil liberty (to mark time of day, warn of danger, incoming messenger alerts…). Bells ring for operational navigation (rail signal bells, bell line emergency signals, bicycle bells…). Bells ring for social communication (telecommunications incoming message alerts, game design, doorbells). Bells ring for local attendance (cattle bells, dinner service bells, servant bells, stop bells, and even panic bells…). The first bells introduced to Australia were ships bells: a lifeline for sailors and treasure for pirates. Holy Trinity Hobart holds the oldest ring of bells outside England. Recently refurbished, the silently inspire this work. Nearby Port Arthur holds the oldest Chime of Bells in Australia. These nine bells have not rung for decades. They sit in a glass box seen but not heard. What connects them? The Southern Tasmanian Semaphore Signal system: inspiration for the creative development of a parallel public artwork Forgotten Not, 2020.
Hobart Current is presented in partnership between the City of Hobart and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Curator: Rosie Dennis. Commissioned Artists include: Jagath Dheerasekara, Suryo Herlambang, Jacob Leary, Uncle Wes Marne, Sinsa Mansell, James Newitt, Brigita Ozolins, Sarah Jane Pell, Nadege Philippe-Janon, and Dexter Rosengrave. For more information, including updates relating to the COVID-19 impacts, please visit: www.hobartcurrent.com⇐ Return to Performances ⇐ Return to Exhibitions