Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Part in the HyperKewl Relics Project

Last Friday before the Our Lady of Perpetual Beginnings, Henry and I had another adventure together: the HyperKewl Relics Walk. A little bit of backstory for you first... HyperKewl "initially a sound and video show in Chicago, IL, the heart and mind of Hyperkewl has become a collective of people interested in community endeavors and collaborative creation. Hyperkewl exists as an online information hub, a monthly event, and takes on various projects that we come up with. The identity and endeavors flux and are open to new ideas from anyone." (Source)

My friend Rosemary Barria came up with this as a way to "work outside of [the] ownership system and see what happens when we work under a name, rather than our own" (from a post on the fb HyperKewl Project page). The most recent project is the Relics Project which I and several of my friends took part in. And since I can't say it better, here's the project overview I was given:
People were asked through facebook, email and by word of mouth to fill a provided reliquary with relics. A relic is traditionally important to many religions, including to Buddhists, Christians and Hindus. They are typically remains of saints, bones, and pieces of clothing or other objects, placed in a church, a temple or shrine. Pilgrimages are made to them to give honor or to receive magic from them. Hyperkewl re-appropriates the power of reliquaries beyond traditional religious context and asks the participants to place their own magic inside and to gift it to a place of importance to them, regardless of what it is. Each participant leads their own walk and decides if a ritual or some other delivery is appropriate. After the walk, a map will be available online for the community to revisit these reliquaries. Each reliquary, becomes a new point on a map from where our special experiences are acknowledged. We are re-accessing our environment and imposing our personal relics. This is magic.
So now that you know about all that, I can talk about my relic! I, and all the other artists, were given smallish wooden pyramid shapes that were open on all sides. Our job, as you just read, was to make them over with our own personal magic. I had no inspiration on this for a while, but after buying a couple of weird basket things that looked to me like birds' nests at a garage sale, I had a sudden vision of what to do... I took what I call my fairy crown - a wreath of dried roses and other flowers, plus ribbons and feathers, that I've built up gradually over several years - and put it on top of the "nest" where it fit perfectly. You might remember the crown from my first performance art experience because I wore it then.

My next step was to paint the basic relic shape a light blue. Then I took a large dried flower I'd glued feather into for an assemblage that my cats later broke (which is why it didn't make it into my "Meditations Manifested" show with its sister piece) and placed, and the inverted pyramid, it in the center of the nested crown.

 I called this one "Pathway to the Sanctuary of the Avenging Goddess"

Lastly I added feathers to the 3 corners of the inverted pyramid. I called my relic, "Flower Nest" and, to me, it symbolizes the peacefulness and creative adventures that emerge from feeling safe or secure with who you are.

Friday, November 2nd, was the day we delivered our relics to our chosen places. So I took Henry for a walk in the stroller, put my camera around my neck, and recorded the journey from our new place north of the river to local WaterWorks Park. This is a significant place to me because it's one of the places Matt and I first made out and such way back when we were 19, and it's also the location of a recent picnic we took together. It seemed a place that symbolized both my past and my present.

And I taught myself some video editing, which I've wanted to do for a while, to compress the 35 minute walk to a 5 and a half minute video. It turned out super shaky since I was wearing the camera around my neck, but I'm glad I recorded it anyway. (Click here to see embedded video)

I used a thin wire to attach my relic to the bench so it wouldn't blow away because it's very light. I wonder how many disc golfers saw it before the rain got to it?

 Henry grabbed a petal from the rose I added during the walk
(as you can see in the video) as we were leaving.

This was a really interesting experiment in community, self-expression, and impermanence (a lot of us placed our relics in outdoor locations). Rosemary is currently en route to the MDW Fair in Chicago to present the results of the project. You can also view the map marking each relic location with pictures on the HyperKewl website. AND if you're interested, check out this great blog at The Junk Revival about the HyperKewl Dia de los Muertos altar that some of the HyperKewl members built recently. HyperKewl also has a Tumblr.

Related posts:
What the World Needs Now Is Love (Performance Pics)
"Meditations Manifested" (Show Pics)
Our Lady of Perpetual Beginnings at the Slap-N-Tickle (Performance Pics)


Superdave said...

Interesting story.

And Sir Henry is getting so big.

Byron said...

Henry looks very well. A baby's face tells everything ... he looks very contented.

May said...

Thanks, guys! Henry is the happiest baby I've ever met. Such a sweetie! :)

123 said...
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