To be done with one other person for the optimal experience.
Share a happy memory with your partner. On the canvas, they should draw a flower in response.
Grow your garden until the canvas is filled.
Exchange light touches.
Take the canvas with you on your way.
This piece was a culmination of many parts of the class. One significant inspiration was Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit. A lot of the works contained within seemed to offer unconventional instructions for happiness. For example, I quite enjoyed “MAILING PIECE I”, which goes “send a sound of a smile”. I liked the sort of intangible synesthesia aspect of it, and I wanted to take that sort of mixed up positive feeling and solidify it. Hence – envisioning memories as flowers. It’s here where I tried to incorporate the material I read in the first chapter of Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life. “Art […] is experience” was a quote that I agreed with a lot, as well as how Fluxus as an “anart” phenomenon reflected the existence of an ever-changing self in an ever-changing world. I wanted my piece to have a self-reflection aspect to it, where the participants could take a moment to really think of what kinds of solid moments from their pasts brought them joy. I also wanted my piece to be able to bring people together, since I think that a piece of both games and art that is often overlooked is the interaction of people through them.
Positive growth from games and art is something that I really wish for others to achieve after experiencing any kind of artistic piece I create. I want people to be able to love each other and themselves more! And I thought, “Okay. Well, how do people grow closer?” Through shared experiences! So I decided that the participants of this score should share their best experiences with each other. I thought it would also be very interesting for the person listening to portray how they interpreted the event, since everyone experiences things differently. The storyteller may have thought of their own memory as a passionate red kind of experience, but the listener might connect it to a different color or texture. This is why I left the “canvas” portion of the instructions vague and unspecified. I hope that people who attempt to do this with each other will experiment with materials are used to create their shared memories.
Since I was so focused on growth, I decided that a good way to represent this piece was through flowers. Everyone can create a simple flower and can use the basic concept of a flower to create something new. I thought that it would be absolutely lovely to have a physical, tangible garden of happy thoughts.
I added on the second to last step, because I wanted to increase the intimacy of this piece. Throughout the enactment of “Growth”, it is unlikely that the participants would actively seek to touch each other, unless they already knew each other very well. I wanted to end the piece with a sort of culmination of the physical. From intangible thoughts to interpreted creation to simple touch between people. A closing of the distance, in a way.
Then, the last step. I myself am uncertain of all of the different ways that last step could turn out! I want to see how people interpret it, how people choose to part ways after such an intimate meeting, how people choose to bring this new memory with them. I really hope that this game piece seems full of love!
I performed this in class with Marina. We were limited by time restraints, but I was still very pleased with the results! I shared two of my happy memories (going to the beach this summer – leftmost flower, and Chinatown a couple of weeks ago – rightmost flower), and Marina shared one of hers (getting her puppy – center flower). She brushed my arm very lightly at the end, and I returned the gesture. Marina took the paper with her to keep.
Even without performing the piece in its entirety, it was still a very joyful experience!