Earlier this year artist Alex Wisser took on an unusual task. To dig, by hand, a hole into the earth at The Living Classroom in Bingara. The task was a part of the two year project with the quirky title “An Artist, a Farmer and a Scientist walk into a bar …”(AFS). The collaborative effort between the Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation and the Bingara community sought to apply ‘art’ as a means to engage and to understand the roles of artists, farmers and scientists, to learn about and help heal the Earth.
This September, on Friday 6, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 the Bingara part of that collaboration will culminate with the “PULSE of the Earth” Festival and the “Groundswell” Forum all at the Living Classroom in Bingara. This event will support drought relief and focus on Regeneration, the concept of reinvigorating our environment and our community with a special emphasis on passing on a better planet to our children.
To conclude his project, Alex Wisser will take on the role of the “Earth Oracle” and attempt to answer the questions; “If the Earth could speak? What would it say?”
To prepare himself to answer these and other questions Alex will ‘retreat’ into the three metre deep hole for 48 hours. He will fast throughout that time, drink only water and sleep under the open sky.
“This project is mostly about how we know the earth,” Alex said, “That’s what scientists do, they attempt to know things. Farmers have to do that as well, to come to understand how the soil, the hydrology, the microbiology and the plant life function within a particular ecosystem to create life and produce food and fibre.
But what I have noticed is how little we know or even can hope to know about the earth. If we don’t understand a thing, does that mean we can’t have a relationship with it? This is what I think spirituality and religion does for us, and so I came up with ‘earth oracle’ – as a way of expressing and accepting what we don’t know and allowing that to be…”
Alex will commence his forty eight hours in the hole on Thursday morning, September 5th and not emerge until late Saturday morning. As part of the PULSE program Alex will welcome visitors to ‘look-in’ on him on Saturday morning and pose questions to the “Earth Oracle”. After he emerges from his trial he will make a presentation that afternoon as part of the Groundswell program.
What questions would you ask the Earth?
Please feel free to ‘speak’ with Alex at the Festival and come along with your family to enjoy the two days of presentations, music, stalls, food and art activities. Entry is just a gold coin donation and the entertainment includes top Australian band ‘Things of Stone and Wood’, country star Amber Lawrence and the energetic music of the ‘Screaming Zucchinis’.
For more information go to the www.bingara.com.au or Facebook ‘The Living Classroom’.
Submitted by Rick Hutton for the PULSE of the Earth committee.