This month my practice has been threefold. First, I have been practicing many hours on the wire returning to the high wire after a six week hiatus. I found that high wire walking, at least for me, is not like riding a bike. It was hard to return to and the first week I was very nervous with the exposure and air underfoot. I have to regain the Ekagric focus which I felt toward the middle of July before departing for Berlin. The wire itself now stand at 10 meters high. I raised the truss towers one more section in the beginning of July. In addition there are two crows nests that I built atop each tower which allows me a safe area to stand and step onto and from the wire. This is important because the ends of the wire are beyond the span of the net below so that a fall from the beginning or end of the wire would result in a fall to the ground and not into the net. Each crows nest gives me a platform and railing to use if I lose my balance and unexpectedly must leap to the safety of the platform and railing (thankfully this has not yet happened). Thus the first step off the platform is the most difficult. Not only does one face the immediate need to balance dynamically, but for the first couple of steps one has no safety net below.
It is looking like I am going to host, along with the Santa Fe gallery Axle Contemporary, a performance on the wire and showing of my structure in the middle of October. This summer I gave a small test performance for about 25 friends. The following images are stills from that day.
This performance was a success, I performed well under the pressure of a small audience. I had no idea how my balance would respond to stage fright). The coming performance will be open to the public and will be a progression for me in the live performance element of my project. It will also be an important milestone in my project as it will be the first time I share my project with the Santa Fe arts community and community at large. This means that in the next weeks before giving the performance, my main focus will be choreographing a short routine and, as best I can, mastering its execution. This is going to be quite challenging, but I have to cross the bridge into the realm of public performance. While performing in front of a larger audience I might not be as smooth or composed as I would like, but during the coming preparation time, I will work as hard as I can to develop qualities of virtuosity, artistic, and emotional content in my work upon the wire.
Second, I have begun to weave a smaller rectangular net, of which I am 1/3 of the way to completion. This net will measure 12 x 20 feet when finished. The mesh of this net is much finer than my high wire net. The new net’s mesh measures 2.5” x 2.5” rather than the 4” x 4” of the larger net. This smaller mesh will be more comfortable for the feet and will make it an easier surface on which to balance. In addition, its weight is only a quarter of what my bigger net weighs so it is going to be more portable. A single person should be able to move and rig this net with ease. This is not the case with the larger net which is quite difficult to transport by oneself. The more manageable weight and size of the smaller net is going to be of great benefit if I begin to travel with these structures.
Third, I have be working with documenting and creating a manual for the construction of one of my nets. The following pictures and drawings are from the start of my manual for a construction of an aerial safety net.
“In a world overflowing with beliefs and theories, there is a tremendous need for practical information obtained from firsthand experience.” William Buhlman, Adventures Beyond the Body, pg 54
“You must plant your feet firmly on the ground if you want to jump high in the air.” (Joan Miro)