The Action viewers were supposed to find themselves in two different observation positions: the "internal viewers" (3 people) together with the organisers of the Action would participate in the event directly, and the "external viewers" (also 3 people), who would observe the "internal" group and the organisers from a distance of approximately 100 metres, not knowing (because of the distance) what exactly they are doing. Yet for technical and psychological reasons such a division of viewers turned out to be impossible and everybody found themselves "internal" to the events of all the three Actions, which are, as it were, three parts of one unified auditory work.
Amongst datchas in the north-western part of the Kievogorskoye field a fishing rod (with a float, sinker and bait on the hook for the fish) was cast into a little pond covered with duckweed, to the end of which we fixed a portable speaker, reproducing one file consisting of five piano works by Cage – Music for Piano: 21-36, 1955; 37-52, 1955; 53-68, 1956; 69-84, 1956; 4-19, 1953 – performed by Steffen Schleiermacher (the descendant of Friedrich Schleiermacher, whose portrait, among other German romantics, we used in the Action Rope: https://conceptualism.letov.ru/ROPE/slides/11-rope.html#picttop). Having left the fishing rod with the sounding speaker at the pond (we stayed there for about 10 minutes, whereas the phonogram was calculated for a one and a half hours long sounding), we moved towards the south-east part of the field, towards the metallic marker of the underground gas line in form of a gigantic iron mushroom (at the edge of the field on the left side of the entrance to the Nina Hagen clearing).
In the course of 7 minutes S. Romashko and N. Panitkov were hitting on the "cap" of this gigantic metallic "mushroom" with different hammers. The hammer and hit choice corresponded to the score of the Action description texts of CA, arranged chronologically in the text folder, which A. Monastyrski was leafing through standing behind the mushroom, pronouncing instructions, who is hitting with what: Actions that were not made on the Kievogorskoye field were meant to be marked by a hit with S. Romashko's wooden hammer (he had two hammers – one wooden mallet and one rubber hammer, which marked Actions made indoors). Actions made on the Kievogorskoye field and nearby were marked by hits with N. Panitkov's iron hammers (he had three of them: the large iron hammer was for the Actions of the first stage of CA's activity, before the Action "Audience Translation", the medium large hammer for Actions made up to the mid-2000s, and the small iron hammer for late Actions). Virtual Actions, such as "118" etc. Monastyrski marked by a hit on the "mushroom" cap with his fist. Altogether 144 hits were made (corresponding to the number of CA's realised Actions).
After the Action with the hammers, having exited onto the Rogachev road through the southern corner of the field, the participants and viewers moved along the road towards north-west, placing volumes of G. Wells' collected writings (published in 1964, 15 volumes), packed in cardboard and plastic bags, approximately every 100 meters onto the soil of the roadside. Into the last, the 15th, volume (the novel "You can't be too careful" and the essay "Russia in the shadows") a laminated page with V. Mironenko's report on the Action "Place of Action", written by him in 1980, was placed together with an Action photograph depicting the author of the report lying in the "Place of Action"- ditch and reading G. Wells' "Russia in the shadows". A fragment of this report was read out by A.M., after which the laminated page was put into the book (the 15th volume, without cardboard), and the book was left behind on the roadside in a plastic bag.
On the way back after the "Action with Wells" at one of the bus stops situated on the Rogachev road the viewers were distributed factography. First of all among three viewers (who initially were meant to perform the role of the "internal") a draw was carried out, the result of which was that S. Sitar received the main factographic object (which was an old souvenir book of address with a depiction of a fisherman on its cover and with a glued-in reproduction of R. Magritte's painting "The pleasure principle"; all Action participants signed in this book). All the others were distributed small laminated reproductions of Man Ray's photograph "Portrait of Edward James".
20 September 2016
Kievogorskoye field, Rogachev road
A. Monastyrski, N. Panitkov, S. Romashko, I. Makarevich, E. Elagina
Viewers: S. Sitar, A. Kuzkon, M. Gerber, G. Ikuma, A. Atik, V. Osipov, M. Sumnina, M. Leykin, D. Novgorodova (photo), Yu. Ovchinnokova (video).
(Translated by Marina Gerber)
John Cage' Phonogram
Piece for voice and five hammers