It was so cold that evening, and we were running late because of other topics in our meeting, so we pushed the making and filming of the performance right till the last possible minute. I got all my Sharpie pens out and we hurriedly made a fortune-teller device from leftover paper in my studio (just like the donkey ears). Even so, I think we left after sunset and it was sleeting at that point. I remember us dithering about whether we should really go as we looked out the window into a scene from Game of Thrones. We decided it might be interesting if the paper fortune-teller disintegrated while we were performing with it—something about the failures of writing things on paper—so we needed to go, quickly! While there was still a little light!
This was our first site, the smaller duckpond at Queen’s Park—the one with swans, not the seagull one. As soon as we arrived, it stopped sleeting and we looked around at the new context of our performance, where the paper would stay intact but the temperature would plummet. We pitched up on a bench in the dimming night, setting my phone up against your reusable shopper on the floor. Next to the water so we could get multiple camera angles. There’s a moment in the film where you can hear how close the swan is to the phone and we both spring into action, laughing nervously. The image here is a film-still from my phone—the camera slightly patchy when it comes to nighttime. It’s a shame the films we made this time didn’t work out. We tried playing with the new fortune-tellers over Zoom but it didn’t really feel the same—maybe we were too comfortable?
A literal, off-the-cuff, interpretation of energy and performance. The energy maps are supposed to be daily exercises that come about while moving around our lives in the week of 17 April 2022. It’s probably the most obvious energy, electrical energy—that costs us so much every day.
EXTRACTS FROM ENERGY MAPPING EXERCISES 17-29 APRIL 2022
Gordon Douglas is a performance artist in Glasgow. He plays games with organisational staff and their stakeholders, celebrates birthdays amidst austerity, and holds it together before breaking down in offices. He is currently cardbearer for Good on Paper.
Cicely Farrer is a curator on the North East Coast of Scotland. Day to day she facilitates artist residencies, pedagogical events and workshops and supports artists to create new work including performance. She invests her time considering the invisible support structures for artists.
Good on Paper is a research project initiated by Gordon Douglas and Cicely Farrer looking into the futures of performance art making in Scotland. They are working with MAP Magazine on a series of texts through spring/summer 2022.
Click on links below this article for the second invitation appendices.