Alison Clouston & Boyd

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Body of Water

Body of Water comprises a series of coracles, (small circular river craft used in Great Britain and other parts of the world for centuries, traditionally made from skins stretched over a basketry of wooden lathes.) For Body of Water the coracles are framed with recycled irrigation polypipe. Some are covered with a “skin” of recycled inner-tube rubber. They are black and sleek as a water-rat, their basket forms a network of tight joints. A few are provided with a single polypipe and carved wood paddle.

Two coracles are drawn on the stream bank under Willow trees – these mark the listening spots, providing cover for small powered amps and headphones. They are connected to the stream by waterproof wiring, and suspended from ball valve floats cross to a moored coracle, before descending beneath the surface to the hydrophone.
The hydrophone is a very sensitive waterproof microphone that picks up sounds live from in the river – tiny clicks and buzzes of minute life forms, the stirrings of turtles and macro-invertebrates, fish and aquatic mammals, people swimming, the movement of water, at Peats Ridge Festival the throbbing Bass from the distant music stages! There are a series of coracles adrift on the current, moored in a pattern on the river’s surface. These coracles are skeletal in black polypipe, constructed with proprietary fittings that are air and watertight, allowing them to float lightly, sensitive to the breeze and current but unable to capsize.
Another landed coracle marks a second listening place nearby. This hydrophone enables you to hear the sounds of your own body (or a friend’s). By holding the hydrophone to the abdomen, and placing the headphones on, you can hear strangely wild and mysterious sounds. Borborygmi or perstaltic bowel sounds are the medical terms for these abdominal rumblings. Womens bodies are approximately 55% water, mens 60%.
Greenhouse gas emmissions for this project were calculated as 862kg. These were ofset by a donation of $100 to www.getup.org.au for their advertising campaign urging voters to consider candidates policies on climate change in the forthcoming Australian federal election.
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