Forming resonant situations: engaging the interval in performance and installation practices


My PhD worked with readings of Luce Irigaray’s philosophy of difference to explore forming processes, with an emphasis on undoing habits of imposing form onto matter. I positioned myself within these habits through embodied experiences of body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders. My research found that the relational and ecological were balms that interrupt this imposing logic, and explored ways in which participating in forming processes can connect embodiment with larger forces and patterns, supporting shifts in habit and cognition.

This is a video and audio document of a performance that took place at MADA Gallery, Monash University on January 22, 2022. The performance occurred as part of a PhD exhibition by Benjamin Woods.

Sarah Bunting, performing with the work 'Kelp Cymbal (after Lygia Clark)' 2021-2022.
Niki Johnson, performing with the work 'Interwoven Pools' 2021-2022.
Meredith Turnbull, performing with works from 'Beeswax Flutes' 2018-2022.
Benjamin Woods, performing with the works 'Ghost shrimp burrow flutes' 2021, and 'Beeswax Flutes' 2018-2022.

Elena Betros-Lopez, performance videography.
Natalie Holloway-Reed, photography.
Benjamin Woods, installation videography, sound, editing.


Installation images.


Shelf 1 (left to right):
'Copper melting pots (one with beeswax)', 2021. A set of hand-raised copper pots made by Benjamin Woods (BW) to produce beeswax flutes in the context of a live performance. The performance was held as part of Abbra Kotlarczyk’s exhibition A sonorous draft; a lexicon of windjamming held at BLINDSIDE from Jun 30-Aug 7, 2021.
Beeswax Flutes, 2017-2022. Various beeswax flutes by BW made through a makeshift clay mould-making process.

Shelf 2:
'Beeswax Flutes', 2017-2022. Various beeswax flutes by BW made through a makeshift clay mould-making process.

'Leaves (hope for resonance)/ 葉(共鳴への希望)', 2020. A sonic and sculptural installation by BW presented at Youkobo Art Space, Suginami-ku, Tokyo from January 22-26, 2020. These sounds and images are an outcome of a 2-month long artist residency at Youkobo Art Space from Dec 2019 to Feb 2020.
Edited video and audio recording.
Duration: 9:03m.
Courtesy of the artist with thanks to Makiko Tsuji, Hiroko Murata and Tatsuhiko Murata at Youkobo Art Space.

Shelf 3:
'Beeswax Flutes', 2017-2022. Various beeswax flutes by BW made through a makeshift clay mould-making process.

TV Screen 1:
'Beeswax Flutes 2', 2018. A performance by Benjamin Woods with Geoff Robinson and Sarah Bunting presented as part of Why Listen to Plants? (Week: Why Listen to Bees?) curated by Dani Zuvela in a partnership with Liquid Architecture and the former RMIT Design Hub.
Edited performance video and audio recording.
Duration: 19:05m.
Courtesy of the artist and Liquid Architecture, with thanks to Sensi-Lab for studio recording.
Credits: double bass playing and videography by Geoff Robinson; beeswax flute playing by Sarah Bunting and Benjamin Woods; concept, editing, choreography and sculpture by Benjamin Woods.

Shelf 4:
'Beeswax Flutes', 2017-2022. Various beeswax flutes by BW made through a makeshift clay mould-making process.
[Image: Natalie Holloway-Reed]

Floor sculptures in the middle of the room:
'Interwoven Pools', 2021-22. A set of two plywood and latex structures produced by BW in consultation with Niki Johnson. The structures are made to house water, clay, sand and other sonic devices, including a hydrophone, to produce a range of textured sounds and material minglings.
Credits: artist consultation by Niki Johnson, technical expertise by Dan Truscott.

TV Screen 2:
'Benthic Community Flutes Sketch 1 (Sandy Ghost Shrimp)', 2021-2022.
A video documentation of improvised melodic performances with hand-blown borosilicate glass flutes at various locations along Moonee Ponds Creek, with excerpts of hydrophone underwater recording along Darebin Creek.
Duration: 8:07m.
Courtesy of the artist and Tributary Project (Geoff Robinson, Ying Lan-Dann, Saskia Schut, Benjamin Woods), with thanks to Dr Fiona Bird.
Credits: videography by Elena Betros-Lopez and Benjamin Woods; concept, performance, sculpture, video and audio editing by Benjamin Woods.

Window platform (left to right):
'Ghost shrimp burrow flute' and 'Benthic structures', 2021. An arrangement of various hand-blown borosilicate glass flutes with cast beeswax and layered sand sculptures, installed on a plywood platform with a black rubber mat.


Ceiling sculptures in middle front of the room:
'Kelp cymbal (after Lygia Clark)', 2021-2022.
[Writing and image: Ben Woods, December 2023]
A copper sculpture made towards a sonic performance. First installed and performed by Sarah Bunting for ‘Engaging the Interval’ at MADA Gallery, Monash Fine Art, January, 2022.
Over time the colours of the copper have changed, deepening in tones of black, red, orange. The metal itself breathes the moistures of the air, along with its reverberating movements, it has been sprayed by the sap of plants in our living room. The sculpture reminds me of the cosmic lung that Lygia Clark wrote so enigmatically about: ‘I have become aware of my cosmic affective “lung”. I’m entering into the topological rhythm of the world, just as I’ve felt that the soccer ball at the beach and Mozart are in the end equal within the rhythm of the cosmos… My breath is the cosmos, my lung is the cosmos…’ — Lygia Clark (Nov 1, 1963)

'Thick Leaf', 2019-2022. A bronze cast, produced from a wax cast of a carving produced by BW for the exhibition Leaves (hope for resonance)/ 葉(共鳴への希望), 2020.
[Image: Natalie Reed]
'Kiri', 2019. Wood carving produced by BW for the exhibition Leaves (hope for resonance)/ 葉(共鳴への希望), 2020. The carving was used as a stamp (using green paint) to make take-home posters for visitors to the exhibition.