I learnt a few things on saturday watching the public walk past Viv and I during our Bed-In:
1) I have discovered a whole new world of performance art and I love it.
2) I realised that there giving good lectures and lab practical sessions to students often include elements of performance art. I noticed whether people were being engaged or bored and you get into that ‘zone’ where the audience is 100% with you.
3) Being inside a bed net and sharing a bed with someone is very good for breaking down barriers…..
4) Beds in art galleries and public spaces should be encouraged.
We had a great day in Bed at the Bluecoat Liverpool yesterday as part of the Lennon tribute season. Set up the bamboo frame at 9.30 and all ready for the start at 11. Many thanks to Gina for getting the film together; for me the sight of a harrier jump jet appearing through the cage netting next to a female sandfly was amazing. The juxtaposition of the images of bloodsucking insects and military aircraft combined with the overlaying of the insect sounds, children crying and audio recordings of the war in Iraq was overwhelming. This weekend is a time of remembrance for the war dead. Every day the equivalent of 7 jumbo jets full of children die a horrific death from malaria. We need to wage war on poverty and mosquito-borne disease.
Mosquitoes use sound to find a mate and altering wing beat frequency helps males and females find each other and the same sex to avoid each other. So mating pairs go into synchrony but competing males go into discord. I am using this as a metaphor in our ‘Bednets not bombs’ piece to illustrate the discord leading to war; usually male vs male! Compared to the synchrony and commonality that may lead to efforts to bring peace.
This work has already been used in an installation for the Spark Festival 2009.
Experiments in Mosquito / Machine Communication: Truce from khs frst on Vimeo.
The Science behind this was done by done and published by Gabriella Gibson and Ian Russell
Flying in Tune: Sexual Recognition in Mosquitoes. Current Biology Volume 16 , (2006) pages 1311-1316
Opposite-sex pairs of tethered mosquitoes alter their wing-beat frequency in response to the flight tone of the other, so that within seconds their flight-tone frequencies are closely matched, if not completely synchronized. The flight tones of same-sex pairs may converge in frequency but eventually diverge dramatically.
Yes well the title is a tad ambitious but…
Bed net research in action. Photo Dr J Morgan
We know that there are quite a few people who disagree with the idea of encouraging the use of Bednets for prevention of insect transmitted disease. Is encouraging donations for bed nets just a way of salving peoples’ conscience about helping the “poor in Africa”? Or it about working alongside communities to help them determine their health and wellbeing? We will be having a discussion about these questions during the afternoon of our Bed-In @ Bluecoat Liverpool.
We welcome comments and questions for our discussion; responses will be posted on these pages.
Only 10 days to go until our slot in the Bluecoat bed in…trying to find some good audio files to go together with the film footage. Crying babies, mosquitoes, jack pot, helicopters, machine guns, fighters, sewing machines, foetus ultrasound and laughing babies; should be an interesting mix. Filming today of Anopheles gambiae (the mosquito that transmits human malaria parasites) adult mosquitoes at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine with Gina Czarnecki for use in the film, got some good shots with the lens pushed inside the cage sleeve, they were clustering around the lens trying to get a bloodmeal much to Gina’s consternation! Gina going away to do some black magic mix on the film with Sam Meech.
The project ‘Bed Nets Not Bombs’ is part of the John Lennon Tribute Bed-In at the Bluecoat in Liverpool, England.
The aim of the art performance by Drs Rod Dillon and Viv Dillon, which takes place on Saturday November 13th, is to entertain, promote debate and inform people about the money spent on warfare in contrast to the money that could be spent on positive peace processes that would result in enhancing world security. We will use simple imaging and playful action to inform people about the massive epidemics of tropical diseases spread by insects. In particular how the simple, effective use of a bednet can save countless lives by preventing people from being bitten by infectious insects whilst asleep at night.