project image
Sarah Berkeley

first performed on September 30, 2012
Lake Michigan next to Berger Park in Chicago, IL
performed once in 2012


Chicago, IL


“OVATION” was performed as a part of Water Music put together by 6018NORTH as a series of live performances responding to and highlighting Chicago’s proximity to water. I devised “OVATION” as an absurd and arduous act. I had the audience create sound, which I documented from my ladder perch on Lake Michigan.


one performer

one altered Bathing Beauty outfit created from Tyvek

one five-foot ladder

two sandbags

one shovel

one length of rope (50 feet)

bubble wrap

one waterproof disposable camera


I dropped a Tyvek suit, two empty sandbags, a ladder, a length of rope, a waterproof camera, and a bale of bubble wrap on the beach. Bubble wrap was passed out to the audience. I planted a shovel in the sand and put on the Tyvek suit. I opened up the ladder and unfurled the rope while threading it through the ladder. I filled the sandbags and tied them to the rope. I hurled the ladder out into the lake, fighting the tide, and did this over and over again until the ladder was out 30 feet in the water. I attempted to stand it up using the sand bags as an anchor on the beach. This cumbersome action takes multiple tries of moving the sandbags into the water so the perch can be set up with just the top rung exposed. Finally the ladder was anchored in the water. I climbed the ladder in order to document the audience with a camera.