project image
Juhani Koivumäki

first performed on November 16, 2012
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, Australia
performed once in 2012


Helsinki, Finland


“Mining Doughnuts” is a project that explores ways to compile a story via performance interactions. The story being compiled is set in Mount Isa, a mining town, and is called Mount Isa & the Ghosting Tree. Each time a performance occurs, a bit more of the story is developed. In November 2012, “Mining Doughnuts (the chapter about the red rug)” was performed during two nights at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney.

The venue was a music venue; the performance occurred inside a glass box that was presented as a small house with four windows and a glass door. The glass walls were covered with cling wrap. A consistent action during both nights was of the performer (me) looking out of the windows as if out into a strange and unfamiliar world. The windows and cling wrap provided an obscured looking glass.

Inside the house was a large red rug with white spikes. While the venue itself was rowdy with various live bands playing, the glass box provided an intimate space where time moved slowly. The audience members who interacted with the performance over the two nights were mostly random and were not necessarily familiar with performance language per se.

The first night was about collecting information via audience participation and the second night focused on responding to the information collected.

During the first night I invited visitors into the room by holding a sign that said, “visitor/s welcome.” A maximum of three visitors were allowed in at any one time. Within the performance room, the visitors and I shared condensed life stories, created short videos and discussed the object in focus: the red rug. My objective through the interactions was to explore how visitors could participate in the development of the story and how through these interactions, knowledge could be gained about the room and specifically about the red rug. In Mount Isa & the Ghosting Tree, the red rug is allegorical.

During the second night I used impressions from the first night’s interactions as performance responses. A physical solo performance was presented and consisted largely of the actions discussed or witnessed inside the room on the first night including: rocking the rug, singing to the rug, rolling over the rug and eventually wearing the rug in various versions. These actions were repeated and transformed over the course of two and a half hours.