Bubble Nation!

Magda Sawon

Happy Gallerina

Man Bartlett’s

Balloon Burst

The third week in and there are so many good and different strands to the #class project – too many to do justice as they actually happen (I mean around the same time here) not literally blogging as they happen – multitasking way a step too far, not that I’m prone to juggling, logic being I’ve only got one pair of hands.


Anyway, would be a bit too much of a pit stop, so I will pay more due to some of the discussions in later posts. Suffice to say that Madga Sawon’s truthful  Q&A delivered from a plethora of questions sent by various forms including twitter, was a riveting, insightful and humorous look at her views from the perspective of a gallery/art dealer, more of that gem in detail in a later post…..


Happy Gallerina joined, as the balloon fest grew but unhappily for me I couldn’t catch her dialogue over the stream – would have been interesting –she joined in as ‘an employee’ of the gallery with her take on The Gallery Assistant – the lynch-pin in the structure that is the artists bread and butter. I did see a tweet that said she was scary! if I come across a link to her ‘performance’ I will add to be sure.

But the event that seemed to take the live biscuit this week so far was Man Bartlett and his balloons.

I can’t remember what the actual hashtag blog description was but it became obvious that whatever we had imagined – it was never going to be like the actual thing as it happened.

He ensconced himself in the gallery 24 hours before the big popping or bursting balloon event took place, with a huge pile of the uninflated  type.


NB; to self on getting a bit chicken egg with the definition of the word pop and burst, one meaning to burst out of, implying a mass ‘escape’ the other requiring an outside force to enable the ‘burst’.  Nuff! for the moment anyway.

So, from small beginnings he began to pump each one with air, tie it and place on the floor. This then took on the look of a pile of high wobbly things, as more and more were added. While the early evening events happened more were appearing – I say appearing because as the evening wore on and day became night and day again Man Bartlett disappeared behind what was now like an emerging massive balloon sculpture. Check the photos here by An Xiao as it happened.

I know I’m not the only one who thought similar, but as I tuned into the live stream in the wee small hours with my head set on I felt like Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Muhe) in The Lives of Others, very clandestine and voyeuristic, watching art as it happened, and now, ‘informing’ on it.


Balloon 24 hr
Balloon burst


Later in the day as the Big Loud Bursting Event drew near, people were tweeting to the Man in the gallery as he added the final balloons. The whole event taking on a different kind of live performance art as the artist interacted with the ‘audience’ as the event took place. The tweets snagged here show a snapshot of things unfurling.

Tweets for balloons

Balloons film of film

Tweets 3

The time came and went very LOUDLY! (someone mentioned over my shoulder, unaware of the event visually ‘sounds like a drive by’) it took about 5 – 10minutes? I wasn’t counting, too busy watching and then Man held up the first balloon he blew up, to pop as the last one.


11-03-2010 21-40-54

the first balloon goes pop!


Tweets end


And, as Man Bartlett said, “it was my home for the past 24 hours”, the scraps were swept up and gathered so he could take his home, home.


Ready to take his home home

Good on you Man Bartlett! Was… amazing!!….. it truly was!

More in a couple of days….

On the horizon for in depth posts later; Magda Sawon, Market U and The Feminists Tea Party

Schedule and live stream here

Schedule mid march