Litter Bun

We had decided that we needed to take all of the toxins we had been absorbing out of the city to purify it, and although we set off for one place, somehow ended up in another by bending the map. We saw an echo of La-Lah again, but interpreted the message as saying we needed to throw something away.

Geode-face

We asked geode-head for advice, and she suggested we should go to the Beacon Toposcope, following map-face as a guide.

Woodland Gapping

The woods provided some opportunity for gapping, but the feel of it was very different. Even though the structure we found was technically man-made, we didn’t seem to be activating unused space the way we had been in the city. Instead, we were a little like animals taking over a burrow.

Tiny Castle

We reached the top, where the little castle stood, but something made us wary of going onto it. On the vision quest we had also avoided a castle, perhaps they stood too much for stucture and control, things we’re trying to avoid.

Portal Keys

We followed map-face into the woods instead, where we found a tree in between three paths. This seemed the right place to leave the Lex Cube transmitters, which we had transformed into portal gates by our chanting. As we slotted a branch into the tree to guard them, we felt a pull of power where it pointed.

Portal Ripples

We started to feel that we were waking from a dream and as the ground started to ripple, and we each went into the centre to give up our identities. We were no longer Cloud, Sunny, Rainbow or Storm, but all of them at once and many other identities as well.

Portal Surfing

7
Nov

Sleet going into the Fear Cupboard

The weekend arrives and with it a fresh load of Family meat. We show them their new quarters in the Fear Cupboard, and then decorate our dungarees more.

Saturday Morning Family set off

Then we set off into the Sunny day, ready for adventure

The Balloon Seller

We are chased by a balloon seller, and inspired by a history of balloons as power animal stand-ins, we buy a pink rabbit.

Rabbithead Balloon

We all wear it as a mask, but just as we’re trying to tie it to one of our bags, it escapes and flies away from us. We’re a little sad, but Sunny manages to cheer us up by suggesting that we’ll see the rabbit again soon.

Bunny's Meat

Indeed, after downing some Kool-aid, we do find a stall called Bunny’s Meats, and close by an insect-snake-face leads us to decipher the stall name as an anagram, and find the message: “I am real, La-Lah Rabbit”. We chant this in a circle with the new clapping technique taught to us by Sunny.

La-La Fish

He did seem to have some kind of link to the animal guides today, as he suggested the rabbit might turn into a fish as we passed Mr Fish, and moments later, we found some fish crackers called La-La.

Gapping in The Bullring

Next we tried some Gapping* in The Bullring, filling spaces in the building with our bodies.

Rabbid

We stumbled on a cult promoting a game with ‘Rabbids’ in it, we made friends with the Loa as it had the same wristband as us, showing that we could learn something from the techniques of persuasion used in this stall.

Rabbid Wristbands

This was heightened by other coincidences, such as the workers wearing hats the same as the Balloon seller’s, and that we’d been talking about Cronenburg’s ‘Rabid’ because of Frosty’s Geode Vulva behind her knee. Sunny made sure that we did not get too sucked into the cult however, moving us along when we got a bit stuck.

Lex Cubes

He did the same at the next cult stall we investigated, where they took our image and sucked us through an e-witch portal. We managed to escape with only a little damage by capturing a Lex Cube each, although we did realise they were filled with tracking-eyes.

Bargain Hunt Psychosis

Avoiding the number man after our bad 23 experience the evening before, we played a game of Bargain Hunt Psychosis, splitting into teams to buy materials for our Meat Masks – we did things a little differently, but managed to put together a good haul of stuff anyway.

Casey Gapping

More gapping* at Rea Garden and Mona Casey’s space.

Casey Gapping

Casey Gapping

e-Witch

We were drawn to the basement, where we found an e-witch lurking in the dark that we had to exorcise with loud chanting – although in our slightly weakened state, we may have picked up some contamination.

Lombard Gapping

We wanted to do some gapping in The Lombard Method as well, and felt a lot more liberated here by the space and Crowd6′s sweetly queered art.

Lombard Gapping

Rainaroo

Rainaroo carried the Kool-aid substitute they’d given us, and we set off on a search for Breeze #2. We thought she might be at Eastside Projects for the talks, but we couldn’t see her even after we crept around whispering her name.

Breeze #2 Arrives

She managed to find us and Breeze #1 transmitted his knowledge to her as she took on the dungarees.

Meat Mask Making

Then we started making Meat Masks – some of us inspired by the faces we’d been finding in lights and decorations, some just channelling something more archaic.

Meat Mask Meal

Meat Mask Meal

These primitive forces made some of our kin vulnerable to the influence of the e-Witches’ helmet, and they wavered between liberating carnivalesque anarchy and a more dark void.

Exorcising the e-Witch helmet

We decided the best course of action was to exorcise the helmet, not necessarily to banish the darkness but to prevent it having a hold over us.

*The practice of Gapping was appropriated from the Bristol Diving School collective.

Another 24 hours as the family and we woke, some more rested that others, starting to getting the hang of the pod room and hostel. After breakfast we prepared some sweet treats for the next tour to eat for a taste test. Three samples were prepared, A) a wafer sandwich of Fluff and sweet yam jam flavored with extra sugar, B) The same combination with added MSG, C) Same combination with nothing extra added. The results proved that no one favoured treat B, in fact they found it quite horrible. However when they tasted treat C (the one that had nothing added) directly after trying treat B, they thought treat C tasted sweeter than all the treats! Apart from that discovery, we felt good that the ‘taster’ participants would remember us every time the horrible taste of treat B repeated on them.

DSCF4515

On our way back from the taste test we had an interesting talk with John Hammersley on the traffic island and huddled under umbrellas, strengthening our friendship.

DSCF4516

We met three new people and went over to Project pigeon, where they had a wood burning stove and tattoos. Mona Casey’s gallery space was interesting, secret family member Abi was invigilating. We stayed to talk with her about what we’d been up to and were drawn to the cock shaped mushroom art.

When we returned to the hostel we relaxed with some therapeutic drawing on our dungarees and were joined by another family member. We were also being filmed and interviewed by David Miller who is trying to make a documentary about The Family, but we feel it will be hard to portray the true Family unless he embraces it fully-he stayed for dinner and for some time experienced an aspect of Family life.

There were many openings tonight as it was the launch of The Event. We started by visiting Grand Union where it was all go. Callum F Kerr, wearing a giant book suit told us to get the ‘cock’ out (a publication about a product from India) it was stored in a box and folded out, like a concertina-it was really long and people had to duck underneath it.

DSCF4519
DSCF4524

Toward the end of our time there we concluded that Birmingham has been built on a foundation of yeast which is highly unstable, but shielded by a layer of meat to stop it from becoming too volatile. Morris men who led us to the final destination of Eastside projects, mocked our outfits-we think they might be the anti-family.

DSCF4531

Eastside projects was busy and loud, this was difficult for us, we found it hard to stay together. The separation of The Family got quite distressing and we had to leave to re-compress. Overall the night was Event-full (!) but the amount of non-deprogrammed was overwhelming and their revelry was over-stimulating for our already highly stimulated minds.

Woke up in our pods a little disorientated after dreaming hard, compared notes but couldn’t see any obvious connections yet, some stuff about a baby platypus, an untitled song, someone wanting to kill someone, a glass mansion, and the dog that winked “hi”. Met up with a new member, and went to the markets to get some supplies.

Rain Curtain

Found some friendly people wanting to make us safer, after they locked us in a furry taxi and filmed our thoughts, they gave us balloons, hand puppets, and a lovely brain slug each. We celebrated with a game of ball-cone.

Ball Cone Game

Rain made us a slap-up lunch of lentils and blue rice, we designed some new faces for a puppets, and when a monochrome clown found us, we decorated our dungarees a little more to help her find a bit of colour.

Blue Rice

Street music and games were on the agenda for our afternoon activity, this ended up being a slow, almost funerial march, which we lightened up with circling round people to try to break the chains of the cult they were enslaved by, and playing levitating songs.

Balancing Uke

We gave Transit Station a steady rhythm to work to and experimented with the acoustics under(neath) the arches.

Arch Band

We went and talked to the hovering crystal bauble in the sugar palace, then at the launch of a pink zine, we divined the following poem:

Arise that sphere statement
Wooden door involve myth rainbow performance
Organ sculptures
Funspot
District meeting myth forever listings
Performance become Wade’s non-art these Rainbow

Zine Divining

4
Nov

Today was our first day staying in the Birmingham Central Backpacker’s Hostel, and we spent some time acclimatising to the area, finding a little road behind SBC to do our energising exercises. Some people touring round the festival joined in and as we plucked our ukuleles to keep time, the strains of George Formby were heard from the college windows. This portent suggested our stay in the area would be full of coincidences.

We took our rainbow umbrella through the showers and ended up at the Custard Factory.  Another tour was already there, so we gave them some Kool-Aid while they sheltered from the rain, and then did some circular cloud stepping to send them on their way with good energy.  Ben found us, and played all our instruments better than us, as we sent droned acoustic energy bouncing around the space.

The Family: Custard Music

After acquiring a new instrument to improve our musical sound (a jaw harp) we headed back to find warmth, defrost and check in to our pod room. We felt better, refreshed our identities and made our way to Grand Union. After meeting with people there and looking at all the lovely publications, we all gathered at The Crown pub. We filled up on sugary energy and had some important realizations about how our roles fluctuated naturally between the group. Entering a hyper state of cold shivers we felt the need to retire back to the hostel.

While we waited for the free soup the group began to loose a grasp on ‘real’ time passing back and forth between past, present and future as well as discovering the ability to shift between selves – just as this began to get out of control, food arrived and brought us back. We were on top form to play a game of pictionary with some of the other travellers at the hostel, our telepathic link enabled the main family team to win. We were rewarded at the end of the game with a sign: the last pictionary word was ‘weather’.

Pictionary

Last night, when we had just got back from the carny with the skull-headed children and the singing rodeo clown. All full of bile and ire, just wanting the day to end. We played the message tape, from John Cussans, through ‘the set-up’.

Séance Setup

Séance Setup

The tape, which was found in the trees in the Weoley Castle circle-square and harvested during the looping hour between one and two, had been re-spooled earlier in the day.  We chose to capture the message on the tape at the same hour exactly a week later.

Floorplan

Floorplan

Video Still

Video Still

We laid a red string and Tea Lights on the floor in the shape of the route we had taken on the vision quest (see images). The tape was played on a VCR, through a DV bridge, into a laptop, and recorded using Quicktime. Every time the tape glitched Quicktime stopped recording. The 25 minute videotape yielded 56 separate files, some of which were only one or two frames long. These 56 files were scrutinised for messages, revealing 17 movies containing words or phrases, which, when looped and combined, contained the following message (words or phrases link to looping videos – mouse over text below to show links):

- -
give me the pound, E-witches,
and if we don’t eat a few minutes, you can call a tour rip.
You might be pookah via look train dreams.
If it can catch me a mix and come back here,
all the slave world workers carry me into this tenth fire burn.
It’s got to be working, gang.
Baby found you.
- -
We are uncertain about the usage of ‘pound’ here. It may be that we are being asked for money, but it is equally likely that it was an instruction to pound the streets, walking.
the phrase E-witches obviously refers to the seance process we were carrying out.
The second line is a reference to the rupture in the walk caused by the clocks turning back to GMT at 2am.
There is a suggestion in line three that by carrying out the “look train” (Vision quest), we would have dreams or visions.
The use of the word ‘mix’ is a clear reference to The Bughouse, but we are unclear about the meaning of “this tenth fire burn”. It may simply be that October is the tenth month, which relates to the moon, and not the sun, so is muddled. We are unsure about what the ‘slave world workers’ are, possibly a message to not return to the same location, because it may cause the ‘slave world workers’ harm us with fire (possibly firearms)
The penultimate sentence can be read as a clear signal from Cussans (or the pookahs) that the seance process is working.
We believe that the last sentence means that the black and white cat we encountered at various points during the day is called Baby.

NOTE: Some of these videos are clearer if downloaded and played at half speed

Here is a recipe for making seed bombs

http://tinyurl.com/34fazd6

I think we should try this to make Walsall more ‘family friendly’

We’ve recently discovered that these crackers are delicious and good for you, they contain almost all the colours of the rainbow.

family poster

We are very excited to have been invited to spend time with visitors to The Event contemporary art festival, holding taster sessions at 10am and 2pm 4th – 7th November, with a trip to the Malvern Hills at 10am on the 8th.

Come and join us in making-strange the city and the individual, exploring No-I transformation, to make the shift to The Other Place. All members of The Family are equal, and roles will change around as we play games with our environment and challenge our normal patterns of behaviour.

Call 07806 50 27 26 now for immediate consideration for one of our 24 hour shared-life encounters.

Taster sessions will be meeting outside Birmingham Central Backpackers, 58 Coventry Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B5 5NH (Backpacker’s map), apart from on Sunday 8th when we’ll be meeting at Moor Street Station. (Moor St map)

Vision Quest: Starting off

The initial group meet at New Street Station, then spiral down the ramp and round to the indoor markets, feeling like we’re going down the rabbit hole.

Vision Quest: Cafe Rouge

We see a Cafe Rouge balloon drifting along the ground in the markets and continuing the white rabbit method, follow it there. We get a message from last night at the Victoria and think about going there immediately, but decide to follow the rainbow umbrella instead.

Vision Quest: Waiting in the Sensobus

We lose our guide near St Martin’s square, but get invited to “select what you’ll enjoy tomorrow”, and get led into a mysterious clinical bus, run by a group who “do a lot of stuff behind the scenes”.

Vision Quest: Sensobus Samples

We’re separated and fed strange food and have to answer questions – it feels a bit like we might get led to another room to watch a Scientology training video afterwards.

Vision Quest: Max's Portal

Glimpsing the rainbow-child-bear, we manage to escape across the sky-bridge to Max’s portal, we run through and find ourselves in a palace of consumption. The pink Xoo Fluff calls to us, something alien and compelling trapped in a jar.

Vision Quest: Cage Lizard

Robot animals bleat out baby-talk hypnotic messages in praise of safe comforts. The atmosphere is making us sluggish, as the caged lizards stare at us, saying “you’re becoming like us, run away”.

Vision Quest: Dream Dancing

On the balcony we have a vision of a meeting in the past, and standing in sleep-water manifest a dream-dance.

Vision Quest: Border Zone Markings

We find some coded markings in the border-zone so walk along the fissure between the seething and the howling.

Vision Quest: Vanished Market

We see the clocktower and follow it to find an invisible market, where we buy our own rainbow umbrella. The door to the city beneath is locked, so one of our party leaves to find another route.

Vision Quest: Thought Net

Then we find a thought-net and bounce around to decide our next move. Noticing the concrete fortress, we cross the moat and sneak in the back route.

Vision Quest: Lion Guide

A fire-maned lion-man runs ahead of us, so we follow him out to a brightly coloured festival, where he makes the sun come out.

Vision Quest: Kool-Aid Ritual

To celebrate we have our first ritual drink of Kool-Aid, and filled with energy watch the opening ceremony with it’s invocation to Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.

Vision Quest: Opening The Gate

Following his lead, we go to the canals to open a gate between equal waters, and watch the debris being pushed up from beneath.

Vision Quest: Through The Tunnel

Walking though Portal: North, rattling umbrellas on the floor,

Vision Quest: Quest Portal

and come out in the Quest Portal.

Vision Quest: Energy Line

Then we feel drawn towards the skeleton towers, and make an energy line to harness the force.

Vision Quest: Cylinder Cages

We get as close to the source as we can, and in the undergrowth find some concrete portals, but they are blocked with earth.

Vision Quest: Twin Portal

We see an apparition of murco-white, and twin elephants lead us to a twin portal, via a spooky alien holding complex. The clocktower makes anther appearance, this time echoing the Hockley manifestation

Vision Quest: Animal Gate

We crawl some grim and lonely streets, with memorials to the lost, but on top of the hill find an animal-gate to a world of new tastes and experiences. We tread quietly through the Towers of Rivers, and towards the lights of St Andrew.

Vision Quest: History Drawings

We come to the old Bloomsbury Library, where we find many picture stories where clever animals helped people, and in particular a very strong power creature that shows us the old city, and the zones of intensity to investigate further.

Vision Quest: The Black and White Cat

Outside, we see the first vision of the black-white cat, wise and sphinx-like, emitting an ultraviolet light.

Vision Quest: The Golden Cat

We stop for food and the cat in golden form waves us on, affirming the quest. We skip through the Victoria at the appointed hour, investigating the variations.

Vision Quest: Memory Dancing

At one of the zones Skizz showed us, we celebrate the statuesque qualities of our new arrival in a memory-dance with the monumental.

Vision Quest: Marshmallow Fluff Ritual

We get to half-time and go to a sacred space to share the ritual forget me pie Fluff and Kool-aid.

Vision Quest: Marshmallow Fluff Ritual

It’s colder and we grow extra layers, hoping the sugar will protect us from the chill.

Vision Quest: Glowing Sign

The glowing sign guides us away from the safe spaces and into the darkness.

Vision Quest: Statue Meditation

Our living sculpture finds plinths and poses wherever we go. We discuss architecture by the shining towers, taste by the house of baubles, alternative communities by the hill of holes.

Vision Quest: Broken Time Zone

The Hospital is multiplying and we haunt it up to the broken time room where the beeping of the life-support machines and the beeping of the vending machines became indistinguishable.

Vision Quest: Red Border Zone

Another border walk down the road that never ended as our energy waned.

Vision Quest: Waiting for the Vision Bus

We have to rest for a long time at two different stops until the Vision Bus comes. Some of us see men in white running, some see flying shapes, some see mossy rabbits to lick.

Vision Quest: Gathering the Tape

Eventually the black-white cat leads us towards the circle-square, wrapped in taped messages from our envoy in the Other Place.

Vision Quest: Gathering the Tape

We gather scraps from the signs carefully, adapting the hooks of our umbrellas. Some of us start to read the messages through our fingers, but the insights are wiped as soon as they arrive.

Vision Quest: Gathering the Tape

Then the 12 seats line up the viewing point for the thirteenth hour as the clocks go back and the car explodes in slow motion.

Vision Quest: Umbrella Meditation

The third appearance of the black-white cat tells us that we won’t find the flattened castle, and we folded the map to get to the good streets again. Some of us attempted a stick meditation, and managed to summon our first fox.

Vision Quest: Greeting The Dawn

Time became the most chewed then, patchy and refracted, and it was all we could do to stagger to the park and watch the sun rise on our new eyes.