by Harriet Gillies & Marcus McKenzie
A sprawling maximalist epic. A utopian expo. A Dionysian Revelry.
8/8/8 will be three distinct 8 hour works entitled WORK, REST and PLAY, culminating in an epic 24 hour performance triptych, reflecting the structure of the 8-Hour Day, which was first lobbied for and achieved internationally by Stonemasons and the Labour Movement in Melbourne.
The 8-Hour Day, which promised 8 hours on-the-clock, 8 hours of sleep and 8 hours of recreation, was a crucial human rights milestone for the working class and became the rhythm of 20th century capitalism.
#9-5 #40hourweek #realjob #stability
In 2020, however, on the brink of huge economic, ecological and geopolitical shifts, we find ourselves questioning the validity and equity of this rhythm as the power of unions wain, share and gig economies blossom, COVID-19 disrupts entire industries and exploitation remains rife in a now fully global economy.
The boundaries between work and recreation are more blurred than ever, the private and public self fusing into one clusterfuck of peak productivity and personal optimisation. #werkbitch
We live and work inextricably connected to devices whose parts are mined by six year olds in Africa and assembled by forced labourers in Chinese factories surrounded by suicide nets – all of us digital slaves to tech empires that know us better than we know ourselves.
Enter 8/8/8: a sprawling, rhizomatic work which aims to critique and disrupt the flows of this gargantuan assemblage from a decentered position, and provide space to look beyond these structures and imagine a possible future.
In WORK we build a ritual space that takes the form of a vast, laborious machine for an audience to step in and out of. A multilayered, semi-participatory score will incorporate the audience as individuals and as a collective – picture an immersive corporate megastructure to be repositioned and dismantled in the following chapters. A large ensemble of diehard performers and facilitators build an absurd tapestry of moving assemblages, narrative machines, and Multi-Level Marketing schemes.
If WORK explores the external, material character of Capitalism, then REST shifts gears by delving into its unconscious: a murky dreamscape where capitalist models of success are rejected and individual identities are dissolved into the greater organism. We reframe the politics of our environment in favour of an intuitive, embodied space for madness, hallucination, fragmentation and collective emotion.
In PLAY, the apparatus established in the first chapter is transformed into an all-night party of hedonistic bliss. Guest DJs and artists will provide an evening of pure revelry and communal fervor with the rave building to the final moments in which everything is stripped away and our egos are dissolved.
Each section will act as a giant container, following its own logic as it builds a unique parafictional universe. These three universes will accumulate to offer profound insight into our contemporary existence, and collective empowerment for the future. Each universe will create for the audience a chance to experience a mode of consciousness outside of the status quo.
Marcus McKenzie & Harriet Gillies
Lara Thoms & Aphids
Thom Smyth / Unfunded Empathy
This production is currently in development for RISING. All three parts will be developed during 2021 for world premiere in 2022.
It can be performed as three separate parts, or ideally as a 24-hour immersive experience