Earthman – 1976-1977
Earthman was a test of endurance and self-discipline performed in a two-person version (Exeter College of Art, June 1976 – Ron Burr was my collaborator) and a solo version (Sculpture Centre, Sydney, Australia, August 1977). Each performance lasted for 8 hours and involved very slow movements.
The score/description for Earthman was as follows: Bodies daubed in mud. Slowly slither forward lying face down on silver sand, pushing an inch or two at a time with toes. Reach a pile of leaves. Roll over. Handful of leaves on faces. Lie still. Shake off leaves. Slide along on back, pushing with heels. Very slowly. Reach a boulder. Place boulder on stomach. Lie still. Feel the weight of stone, its age, its persistence. Replace boulders. Slowly get up, until standing. Slowly extend arms, hold on to suspended branch, arms outstretched for as long as possible. Let go. Retrace steps, sweeping away all trace of previous activity. Repeat the cycle of activity. Try to maintain a steady rhythm.