Influenced by the instructional text scores of composers Cage, Cardew, Wolff and Tenney which I've been performing as part of my work with A Scratch Ensemble, ACTS starts as extremely short scripted pieces for performance which either generate, utilise or arrange collections of objects. Performances that generate sculpture and sculpture that generates performance have become a focus of my work lately in an attempt to look at what I see as the somewhat diminished the role of the actor/performer/maker.  I've been using models from composers that allow a great deal of autonomy within these roles as starting points

The performances were recorded as simply as possible and edited end to end, they were presented on three seperate screens all playing out of synch so that the soundtracks would combine into one loose overall composition. The work is not however the video, the performance or sculpture but exists somewhere between all three.

The ACTS are below feel free to perform them yourself, I'd love to see any documentation you generate.

  1. Fill a hole/gap/space with a balloon.

  1. Imitate the sound of squeaking balloons (you can use an instrument).

  1. Drum along (to a song).

  1. Blow up a balloon inside a bag (variation on ACT 1).

  1. Breathe into a bag.

  1. Shotgun a can (you might have to google how).

  1. Make a ramp, jump an asprin into a glass, drink.

  1. Make a corner out of foil (on a table, plinth, block).

  1. New national anthem: replace each pipe on a trumpet with different pipes, play the national anthem.

  1.  Fill a balloon with paint, pop.

  1. Stab with a drumstick.

  1. Push a pipe through a block (of Styrofoam).

  1. Make a cup of tea, dip the tea bag in plaster. Now you have a sculpture and a cup of tea.

  1. Shower yourself in ping pong balls.

  1. Highlight danger with a red t-shirt

  1.  Fountain: drill into a full bottle of water.

  1. New national anthem: make a xylophone which only plays the national anthem, throw it on the ground.

  1. Make a picture frame, clean it, shave over it, seal

  1. Test your safety glasses

ACTS - Nathan Gray - 2012
Utopian Slumps, Ground Floor, 33 Guildford Lane Melbourne, from 17 November to 8 December 2012.

Made with the assisstance of Arts Victoria with thnks to Jeph Neale, Julia Sylvester, Julie Burleigh, Helen Hughes and Jason Heller.