Golden Ticket, 2009.
For my Image, Text Narrative project I decided I wanted to send a message out into the world and decided to take inspiration from Sara Watson who sent a hot air balloon up last year for this project and H. Drescher who sent postcards to dead celebrities and thought I would combine the two so rather than sending message using post I decided to send messages using the air by way of balloons Because buying a tank and buying balloons would be a very feasible way of sending messages via air. so my project was to send balloons up with a couplet from a poem about travel and they would email me what couplet they found and I would post them online in the order I received the emails.
I did this because I thought it would be nice for people to find something on the floor that wasn’t litter for a change that would make people feel special for a day because if I found something like that I would feel lovely and would cheer me up because I would feel a part of something. This project ties in with my aims to be experimental, I like to further ideas maybe Other artists have had or think outside the box and this project have my the first chance to work outside and think on a bigger scale.
The balloons I used are latex balloons because they decompose naturally as they are made from tree sap and if they end up in the ocean (and some probably have) and whales end up eating them it won’t kill them because they can digest it. For the ticket I used pearlescent gold paper with the edges scalloped in an elegant pattern. My inspiration for this was the Charlie and the chocolate factory tickets so hopefully when people find them, it will instill a sense of winning and being selected for something.
When I set off the balloons I had the gold balloon with a non-metallic ribbon (in case they end up on power on phone lines and it would interrupt the lines) about a half metre long with the ticket attached to the bottom with a bell on, so people could hear it and well as see it and the ticket was covered in plastic backing to make it water-resistant. I Blew up the balloons with a disposable helium tank I bought online at home so I could release them from anywhere and it would be released as soon as it got blown up so it could travel the optimum distance. I had many issues when making the balloons first when I got my helium tank I could figure out how to close it and lost a lot of helium at once so I had to buy another one. another problem I didn’t encounter until the very last batch was why I attached a long ribbon at all because I am just asking for it to get tangled up in trees and 3 got stuck on my telephone line but did get released after a few days when the wind changed direction so now their in Preston somewhere. The main problem I had with this project is weight, the balloons couldn’t even manage a weight of a single ribbon on it after the ticket and bell so the original plan of sending them off in envelopes fell through when the balloon couldn’t handle it’s weight. So in the end I had to send it on it’s own, so t could be mistaken more for litter. The final piece problem however is that I haven’t got a response from any of the balloons sent out so the poem the public assembled doesn’t exist, so all I have is my calculations and documentation. I knew when I started the project I could end up with not having a final piece at all and that’s how it turned out so I put on the wall the balloon I have sent up with the map of where I have calculated where they have dropped. As an artist practitioner I’m not entirely sure how it fits in other than fine artist as I like experimental projects, and thinking quite scientifically towards art and this work ties in with what I like doing.