By Link Harris and Amanda Lancaster
Heading into the experience that was AEON, I had very little idea what was in store as all of the descriptions were vague at best but after experiencing it they all started to make sense.
AEON isn’t something that one can easily describe using only words, aside from the brief first meeting with the “guide” and group it is a completely nonverbal experience but also because it is something that must be felt in all forms of the experience – sight, sound, smell and touch all come into play.
Put simply AEON feels like a social experiment relating to flocks of birds and how they work in the animal kingdom – as it turns out people are no different as there is always someone willing to lead the group and there will always be someone willing to follow. This was proven straight away as we were essentially left to our own devices, yet someone chose to move forward and the rest followed.
Creator Lz Dunn, who identifies as a queer artist, said that AEON developed out of an earlier project, Flyway, a cinematic, walking meditation on urban ecology and migratory birds.
“In AEON I was interested in floating together two ideas: queer ecology and bird flocking. Queer Ecology refers to a way of thinking that aims to disrupt dominant ideas around sexuality and nature. It invites us to reimagine evolutionary processes, ecological interactions, and environmental politics from a queer perspective,”
As we were walking sound started pouring out of the portable speakers everyone had been given and almost immediately you could see how what was once some sort of organisation or structure was changed by one simple little thing. People changed pace, grouped together, changed direction or let someone else lead. The chaos that this had led to changed as we progressed, people started listening to each other’s speakers, a sense of togetherness and belonging seemed to connect us all as we found our rhythm each and every time the sounds changed. Looking up ahead another group was heading our way, as we clashed and came together the rhythm we once had as a group was again thrown into complete and utter chaos as we became one large gathering and once again no one seemed to know what to do.
“Bird flocks have a quite mystical quality because they have these fascinating strategies for navigating together using their various bodily intelligences. I think as humans we may have become less attuned to our own.”
Everyone started mixing again, working out a new rhythm or pace in time with the various sounds coming through the speakers and we all started moving again only this time some new elements were at play, people started running, commando rolling, collecting things and giving them to others, playing chicken with stationary participants and doing all manner of odd and strange things, so as you’d expect others joined in. The willing participants dived down the rabbit hole directly into the madness, the unwilling ones were on the sidelines watching all of the craziness unfold with a quizzical look in their eyes and the people like me were stuck in the middle enjoying and taking it all in.
Is AEON for everyone? Maybe not, but if you have a fairly open mind, are willing to inject some craziness into your life and like having some fun then this is definitely worth a look.
WHEN: 26 – 29 October 2017 | Dusk
WHERE: Undisclosed location (near Perry Lakes)
INFO: Tickets $15 – $32 | Location is secret – you will be texted the details closer to the performance | Suitable 15+ | Not suitable for children and babies | Walking involved