Building The Bardo

For the past 5 years we've been investigating an unusual type of interactive, site-specific installation we call Territory Landscapes. The term Landscapes is important because the space itself is large and complete and has its own particular story expressed in a visual way. The term Territory is necessary because these Landscapes aren't located in the everyday world, but exist in another place just beyond what we normally see where emptiness takes on more form, and form becomes more empty.

Our previous presentations include Maya Wood (1998) and Garian's Mandala (1999 - 2000). As you can see, our installations include many components that are installed directly into the space. String is stapled floor to ceiling and intermingled with other structures made from various natural materials. This takes time and space and there's no way that we can see to sell any of it at all. Which makes the enterprise difficult - we have to rent a large enough space and work for a long, personally defined time. We've started to sketch in the first empty forms for the next Territory Landscape . It'll take a good while to finish it all, so a grant would help to defray the costs of living our lives as the work unfolds.

Actually though, the story contained and expressed by the installation is what takes the most time and care. For our next installation we've started to work on a story about the bardo. Now according to the Buddhist way the bardo is known as an inbetween place between death and rebirth. We think this is true, but what we'd like to do is invite viewers in to visit the bardo without dying first. They could take a peek and maybe see what's coming up later, or even retrieve the memory of their last visit there before. It also seems true that the whole of our lives are divided up into distinctive periods that are experienced much like previous lives. As we move from one period of our lives to another it would be personally useful to return to the bardo and remember our empty selves.

When the Bardo landscape is finally finished in 2002 we'll open the doors and have a show, more than one most probably as we like to invite the public in to see the work as it grows. We like to include events in the space as part of the viewing opportunity. This time we'd like to have a Dangerous Dinner as part of the Bardo experience. Interested viewers would receive invitations to eat and be merry with various indigenous characters that inhabit the bardo plane.

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