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onsens

Responsive Environmentがオーストラリア・シドニーの湾岸で制作を計画しているインスタレーション+ワークショップ[onsens](現在助成申請中)のためのメモランダム。


[onsens] is an intercultural project to create a series of site-specific ‘onsen’ installations, experienced collectively as a sensory tour within Sydney.

In Japanese culture the 'onsen', or outdoor hotspring bath, has evolved over the centuries to become an icon of sensory pleasure. Every onsen is different, and each offers some unique attraction - a hidden mountain location, a rare architectural feature, an exquisite view framed by cherry blossoms - such that the experience of each new onsen can be likened to an ongoing 'tour of the senses'.

The [onsens] project aims to bring this notion of the onsen to the Australian context, and with local creators to design and build a vernacular onsen tour of the senses. Its objectives cover both aesthetic goals of art installation and cross-cultural goals of exchange and collaboration, contributing to the 2006 Australia-Japan Year of Exchange. The project consists of two main phases:

1. [onsens] Workshop
Members from RE will lead 3 or more concurrent one-week workshops in Sydney, working with local participants to design and construct an onsen for each site. Sites are chosen for their vernacular qualities (e.g. an ex-convict island such as Fort Denison, a rooftop overlooking Sydney's urban icons). The interpretations of 'onsen' in the Australian context could be diverse, however the aesthetic character of the installation is the central concern of the work. Ideas will draw on RE's theory of 'soft architecture', a philosophy of installation that uses minimal intervention to achieve the maximum aesthetic transformation of an existing space (c.f. DVD portfolio).

2. [onsens] Festival & Tour of the Senses
For the 3 days following the workshop, a Festival of the [onsens] will invite the general public to experience the installations, and to visit the sites comprising the [onsens] Tour of the Senses. Presentations and performances will highlight the spaces, deepening cross-cultural exchange. The installations will also be open for the weeks following, although consideration will be made about the water component.

The concrete outcomes of the project include: 3 or more site specific art installations, a 3-day art festival event, media coverage and academic publications in Japan and Australia, a web page documenting the project, and a small brochure for circulation during the festival. Funding will be applied with priority for: materials for installations ($5000-$10,000), public liability insurance, promotional materials ($1000), flights for RE members ($5000), accommodation and local logistics. Artists and collaborators will not be paid wages.

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