"Soon people started to gather. It was not just a visual impression – it was designed to be interactive. People are given wireless headphones. They seem to be very much insular now while focusing on the narrative coming to them through their ears..." Yusuke Tsutsui (Photography - Blog)
Credits Premiere Season -
Director / Co-devisor - Melinda Hetzel
Design - Rainbow Sweeny
Sound Design - Steph O'Hara
Lighting Design - Paul Lim
Co-devisors/ writers - Henriette Kassay-Schuster, Hermione Merry
Voice - Fiona McLeod
Production Management - Em O'Brien
Stage Management - James Lipari
Photography - Pia Johnson and Devika Bilimoria
Horticulturalist - Claire Hetzel
Urban Cocoon is where audience becomes performance. Under the canopy of a old tree, participants put on headphones and for a few minutes enter another world. Their movements, gestures and expressions become in turn, a performance for another audience altogether, those looking on. Whimsical and humorous, this interactive installation evokes memories of a natural landscape and raises questions of loss, longing and the passing of time.
A free public event, Urban Cocoon premiered in Melbourne City Square 14-18 May 2013, joyously embracing the city at the turning of the season and the mortality of its inhabitants.
Part installation, part participatory performance, Urban Cocoon creates a momentary incursion into public space. It forms a whimsical and transformative space within the bustle of its surrounds.
The work is conceived of as a transferable, site-responsive model which can be installed in any large tree. It uses the branches of the tree to rig interactive lights and sound, whilst the bulk of the experience is delivered via wireless headphones. The installation elements are easily adaptable, comprising miniature trees encased in transparent spheres, suspended in netting, which form glowing 'droplets' and a single 'moon'. The audio content can be workshopped locally and tailored to each specific site and community.
If you have a tree where this project might work, please contact us to discuss your ideas.
download original promotional postcard (pdf)
Photo: Pia Johnson