Have a Tea — Leave a Trace.
For the OPEN ENGAGEMENT symposium (Regina, Canada) and the 1st Public Intervention Day of Southern Exposure (San Francisco) I provided the Mobile Tea Ceremony as an act of collective memory making.
Visitors and passerbyers were invited to a simplified and version of the traditional tea ceremony in front of the Southern Exposure gallery. To ensure that participants would actively seize the moment I had each guest whisk their own powder tea after learning the basics about the ritual. The intimate act of preparing and enjoying tea together (along a bean paste sweet) is a way to experience the beauty in human coexistence. This prompts the fundamental question of what remains after we leave this very place, this very moment of being — in departure, in transition.
 Southern Exposure gallery, 417 14th Street, San Francisco
 Waiting guests and spectators
 Connoisseurs and makers of whisked tea.
 Traces of tea on display: print-off on cotton pads from emptied bowls
 Host of Mobile Tea Ceremony
 Tatami mat (goza) and tea utensils (incl. thermos with hot water)
Public space in particular is a contested sphere that challenges the articulation of one's own personal experience. That's why I asked every participant to take a print-off from the bottom of the bowl they drank from, to absorb and preserving what is left over from the tea with a cotton pad. Labeled with name, time and place those deliberate traces became evidence of the connection that is based in the now and mundane. Usually the most beautiful traces are the result of happy accidents.
Video clip generously provided by Iris Clearwater, with Alexa Kielty and Gregor Rittinger (Dec. 1, 2007, 2:30min, 9.9MB)
Click below to watch.
The 1st Public Art/Urban Interventions Day on December 1, 2007 was jointly organized by:
Momentarium creates situations where our very presence becomes the catalyst for shifting experiences we can integrate into our lives by fusing reality with co-created artifice.