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emails

some of emails generously sent to the

members of the urban dream capsule during the 1995 Melbourne International arts festival.

Dear Neil

I hope you and the others are enjoying post-capsule life and that splashdown was not too weird. I came to see you twice at night since my initial message and was struck both times by the total exuberance of the performances inside the windows and the atmosphere of the crowd outside. I hope all of you enjoyed yourselves as much as most spectators did. Of course, I heard some people saying how disturbing they found it (and I felt the same particularly on my first visit last Sunday afternoon, when one of your companions was asleep- it seemed such a private activity to have such a keen audience).

Perhaps it would be easiest have an email chat about the issues I raised before? I could email you a few questions... Or, I'd be happy to meet up.

Best wishes

Alison Young


Dear Neil - Now that I'm safely back to the joys of an English autumn (grey, grey) a message as promised. Did you and your fellow cosmonauts of the shopping mall all make it to the last day? Amazing if you did - you do realize that if NASA had the gig an army of psychologists would have been waiting on the other side of the door?

Congratulations for an amazing concept and a realization of equal quality. You deserve every bit of the attention you got (and your interview on Channel Nine was the funniest bit of breakfast television I have ever seen). You really are an original. I can't help thinking that the coming back to earth must be hard, but no worries - just imagine what the European tour will be like!

Seriously, I look forward to seeing you on this side of the world next year, and if you need any co-producers for your next idea you know where to find me.

Warm regards,

Frank Wilson

Stockton Riverside International Festival.


To all the boys in the window

Congratulations on a breathtakingly brave and constantly entertaining Dream Capsule!

Highlight of the festival

See you at the splashdown

Cheers

Mikkel

-- "640K ought to be enough for anybody." -Bill Gates, 1981


Congratulations, men of the bubble!

hugs

Carol The Big Scary Housewife =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Jeremy Close .net-wraith in exile cclose@academy.net.au jeremy.close@unisa.edu.au "Hell is other people" Jean-Paul Satre Dulce et decorum est pro spam mori

================== Carol Close Adelaide, South Australia The Big Scary Housewife http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/2141/

Charter member, Wise Women Of The Web | Poetry Webring Co-ordinator Generic Homepages Association, #Member 18 | Student, Drivel University Geocities SoHo Community Leader | Authorised Rolling Scrolling Status Surfer

Lachlan is ten months old and is perfect Alexander is almost three and is perfect What me, biased?


Hello, how are you guys doing? Are you still awake? I was thinking of coming down again to visit later on. It was a little crowded at around 12:00.

S.D.

saydie@hotmail.com

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Hiya guys!!

Well, I just wanted to write and tell you guys how much fun & laughter you have brought me over the past 15 days! Your antics (and the mere fact you are living in the Myer windows!) have amused me no end. I have visited you almost every day!

Hope you've had fun as well - I really admire your commitment & perseverence - WELL DONE for hanging in there so long. I am a trainee psychologist and pondered how great it would be to do a thesis (I'm contemplating Masters next year) on the effects of being confined to a shop front for 16 days. What effects have you felt? Can I come & do some psychological tests on you??

What is the first thing you are going to do once you escape from this glass prison? (I bet your families will be glad to see you).

Well thanks once again for making my lunch hours a heck of a lot more interesting!!! :)

Sharon.


Dear men in the window, in a moment of quite on this lovely sunny day i thought i might write you a little note, or a short letter, depending on my mood. i am happy today because tomorrow i am going down to portsea back beach to go swimming with my friends. it's going to be hot and sunny and we are going to be warm and happy. i guess you are going to be happy too, seeing as you get out tomorrow, i did have vauge intentions of dropping by to catch one last glimpse of you, but i'm awfully afraid to say that the beach is higher on my list of priorities than standing in a hot press of humanity to look for the last time at five men who have chosen to live their life in a window for sixteen days. so as i am floating in the cool relief of an antarctic current i will spare a thought for your relief as you step out to float into cool anonymity. i have to admit that i feel slightly attached to you all in an affectionate kind of way and i will miss you, weird huh? that you have no idea as to who i am, i have tried to keep the footing equal by not finding out your names, but i guess it's not quite the same idea. Then again i guess its not so weird, in one sense you are just another group of performers, just like in year seven when i smiled up at the year twelve girl, who had had the main role in the school play, as she passed me in a hall the next day and she just gazed back in that distracted who the hell are you type of fashion. well thats about all i have to say, not that i dont have more to say, i am quite capable of waffling on for hours about not very much at all, i am quite happy to sit here just mindlessly tapping away at the key board with my pink and blue nails. a funny thing, i havent read or seen anything about you, the whole time you have been in there, that could have something to do with the fact that i never watch the news or read the newspapers these days, i was just getting to depressed. well, im going to stop subjecting you to my mindless drivel and go and do something slightly more constructive, catchyalada, ceels.


1/11/96 7:30 PM

Hello fellows, I've been down to see you a couple of times before but, this time I thought that I'd let you know before dropping in. My name is Sinead (like Sinead O'Connor) and I am an 8 year old student of Errol Street Primary School in North Melbourne. I have 3 older brothers and they told me what cool things you guys do. I'll be down really soon and I'll be wearing a yellow Gumboots T-shirt, so wave to me. Write back!!!

See you soon

Sinead Tongs

Ps I really like your dog. -- -------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Tongs Family | Email address:- | | 36 Morrah Street | | | Parkville | morrah@its.unimelb.edu.au | | Victoria 3052 | | | Austrlia | Phone:- 03 9347 3637 | --------------------------------------------------------------------------


Neil, Nick, Bruce, Andrew and David (?????)

The talk of the town is that tomorrow is the last day behind the glass for the urban dream capsule. I, and many others will always remember October 1996 and the five brave, bald men who lived in the Myer windows. You have been the source of much amusement, thought and debate. To stand outside your window has been an enlightening experience. People have danced, sang and laughed along with the five crazy guys. The delight on young children's faces was wonderful to see, although some of them must have been rather annoying to you with their continual hammering on the glass!! There have been many interesting comments on our side....I have even heard someone planning the interior design of his new home with your window as the inspiration! The joy and interest you have provoked in so many people has been phenomenal, and you should be proud. By living in a slightly (!!) unusual place and interacting with the ever present audience you have managed to bring a new element of life to Bourke Street. This has been a truly memorable part of the Melborne Festival, congratulations, thank you, and goodbye

- Lynette

P.S. - you will be sorely missed!

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Brilliant Neil......

I have just returned to Melbourne from the Edinburgh Festival and was impressed by your vocation and vacation into Festival voyeurism.

I have had a quick chat with Edinburgh Festival producers I have been working with and we all agreed this would be the perfect addition to "the largest arts festival in the world" if you are available and willing etc.....

Our venue in Edinburgh is run by the only Australian management team and currently we are chatting to the Australia Council about a large Australian contingent going over to Edinburgh in '97. Would love to hear whether this is a possibility for your team.

Sharon


Hi Guys, I read the review in The Age, Metro today and I agree that the Internet was not a good idea for communication in this instance. Why? You are doing a live show, this includes facial expressions, body language, interaction, colour, white T-shirts, teddy bears etc. You can't communicate this through words.

The Internet is not a cure all....it is fine for people to chat and for information sharing but how can you capture people laughing when somebody slipped over in the bathroom after doing an impromptu dance in the sauna?

Throughout my countless visits to the "Windows" I would say the common thread is the 'feel good'. People smiling, laughing and an amazing mix of the human race.

MAY YOU SURVIVE YOUR RELEASE...............

with fond memories of a never repeatable performance. wjt


I just came back from Melbourne. And you guys are really great! I visit your *home* several times during my stay (actually everyday.)

Keep up good works.... Khantipol


I'm very sad to see that you will be leaving the windows. Good luck in Civilian life. Richard in Israel


Shaving of the heads in solidarity. Heads should be shaved in dedication. A message should be left on the heads, only decipherable when standing together in correct order with back of the head to the glass.

There are no living things apart from yourselves in the capsule as far as I could tell - no plants, no pets. That would drive me crazy.

Have you used the exercise bike. I propose roller blades would have been much more interesting. The corridor would be great to practice hockey stops in. Although I guess the blades could be deemed dangerous objects were you to get into tiffs.

If I were in a capsule such as yours I would definitely want to be able to cook my own meals. Now that I would like to see five males do for the length of time you are in there.....and wash up. My theory is Myer wasn't prepared to take the risk of the resultant smell affecting sales in the department behind the window. It was written into the contract wasn't it - definitely no cooking and a mandatory shower everyday.

I saw one of you perform with a musician at an urban design workshop at the George. Was most impressed. He seemed to have a better grasp of urban planning than any one of us there.

I dare you for the last day to take in a girl. Throw the ordered white t-shirts into chaos or at least complexity.

Regards,

Cathy Wilkinson


I just received an email from a friend in Melbourne and he suggested that I write to you. He also gave me your web site address but I was unable to find it. (the internet is a new thing for me) I would like to find out more about what all of Melbourne is seeing.

The news of your display first reached these sunny (and sometimes lately, stormy) shores via Radio National. My friend in Melbourne, David, told me that you all look like a fellow Brisbanite (ie. tall and bald) but the other details were rather more scant.

Any news you send me will reach me an hour before you send it. Daylight saving is wonderful. It means that since I am studying by distance education in New South Wales, I get a whole hour longer to do my assignment than anyone else!

Anyway, as usual, I have successfully found an alternative to assignment writing.

Enjoy your public appearance,

Margaret Ryan


Hi Neil,

I thought I should pass on a conversation which I overheard last night:

Time: ca. 9.00pm, Wednesday, October 31st, 1996 Venue: Melbourne Town Hall Occasion: A concert given by Ensemble Moderne together with Elision (contemporary music). Characters: An elderly couple, sitting in the row behind me.

(After the first composition, "Alchemical Wedding" by Liza Lim, had finished)

She: "I think I like Mozart better." He: "Well, it's certainly different, isn't it."

(Pause)

He: "It's definitely not as good as that thing in the Myer's windows !"

Cheers,

Thomas

Thomas R. Gengenbach Telephone: int + 61 3 9542 2593 CSIRO Div. of Chemicals & Polymers Facsimile: int + 61 3 9543 8160 Private Bag 10, Rosebank MDC E-mail: T.Gengenbach@chem.csiro.au Clayton, Victoria 3169, Australia WWW: http://www.chem.csiro.au/gengenbach/


Hello. Umm, I just got your address from a friend at Uni, and thought that I would use it to say thanks for supporting our hunger strike on Monday. It was great that you wore the badges, every little bit of exposure could help to save these people's lives. And you guys sure are getting a lot of exposure. Was that cameraman from anywhere exciting?? I guess you might not remember huh. I must say, that although we watched your dance routine with amusement, and watched you all sleep for a while early on Monday morning, we were a bit peeved at all of the attention you were getting. But let's face it, we weren't dancing or anything like that, my hair has grown back, and our set design was put to shame. Magnificent, by the way, your set, it was great.

So, are you having fun?? Such a strange concept.

Well, I don't really know what else to say except thanks again, and that I wish I was in a bizarre shopfront in Myer, then I wouldn't have to be putting in an allnighter tonight to finish my final year music research project.

So thanks, and have a good day! love Jo Williams (and all of Resistance and ASIET I would reckon)


I can't believe you're still in there! In the last couple of weeks I've been all over the place, to and from work every day, away for the weekend, "out", while you've been in there the whole time. Every time I come by, there you still are. It seems very weird.

I wrote to you on the 3rd or 4th day asking whether you felt fear. You said not yet, that you felt delirium, exhiliration, joy, fatigue and ecstasy. Have you felt any fear in the interim? I mean the existential kind of fear, the why-are-we-here, what-am-I-doing-with-my-life kind of fear. I imagined you could be confronted with those kinds of feelings/questions in such an enclosed space for so long.

Maybe you're too exhausted and tired to feel anything much anymore. Are you crazy yet? You all look like you're still friends.

My friend and I spent a couple of hours on Monday night watching your very drawn out dinner performance. We had quite a surreal evening, watching you and the people watching you.

You've become like "friends" we drop by to see. We'll miss you.

Regards, Stephanie.


Kia ora Bros, Wow I watched the after dinner show on Tuesday night, it was so cool, can you come and wake up Auckland with your moon walk. Hows your garden growing, has there been many Japanese tourist taking your photos, have they wanted to buy you yet, don't take any thing less than 1.000,000 million yen and an island in the pacicfic. But seriously folks what you are doing is pretty amazing. Self imposed prison with gourmet food and entertaining the troops as well. Its worth it, heaps of people were talking about you on the plane home last night. Keep up the good work only two and a half days to go. Have you got any pets yet perhaps a goldfish, Im sure the SPCA wouldn't object to a goldfish or two.

Oh by the way Im Donna, I work for the Creative Learning Co. here in Auckland. My friend Collin (The Great Gizmo) pointed you out to me. We have the Americas Cup in 1999 hows about putting in a proposal for Smith and Caughey the Myers of Auckland.

Keep your Spirits up

tikis and jandels


Donna Mills

Hi Neil,

Saw the crowd at Myers and walked over to see you getting shaved. We talked [via chalk board] with you the day after you entered the capsule. [You were on the exercise bike.] And when we arrived in Sidney [from Melbourne] saw you on the tube as well. You all are. we hope, doing well. Do you miss the "fresh" air outside?

Just arrived back in the USA. We really enjoyed our stay in Melbourne. You might recall in our chalk board chat we expressed our desire to pass on information about your experience to major department stores in Chicago and Minneapolis. Are you interested? Please let us know.

Steve and Nancy sojo@mcs.net

PS Also have an email address of neilt@netspace.net.94. Should we use this address?



MailSig 1.7 - To err is human. To really screw up it takes a computer!

Dear Neil, Thanks for the photos you took with the disposable camera. Would you also be able to send me a couple of paragraphs about your impression of the festival? (even from your limited perspective?) If you could e-mail me at the above address, or fax me on 9601 2587, or call me on 9601 2866 - preferably before noon - that'd be great.

Regards, Stephen Cauchi.


Dear Urban Dream Capsule

I've just finished a weekend in Melbourne -- and I have to say that you provided the most entertainment I've ever had from a shop window.

>From the first day when we wandered up to the windows, thinking that you might be Myer's ever vaunted Christmas windows, we were captivated and amazed by the concept of such public living. We (my mother and I) were staying in the same block of buildings as you -- much less publicly, of course.

My first thought when I saw you last Saturday was that your response to the crowd was like that of some animals at the zoo -- you were all having breakfast and chatting with one another, but you were not acknowledging the presence of your audience at all. We were obviously disturbing you, and I felt a little guilty at invading your privacy. After that we only came back early in the mornings before the crowds had arrived. Every morning of our weekend we sauntered past and admired you in your blue pyjamas and fluffy white slippers. Mum even had a short conversation with one of you the morning daylight saving started. We were going to tell you to remember to do the appropriate things to your watches, but we looked at your clocks on the wall that displayed such a diverse range of times and decided that you probably were't very interested.

We looked at your contributions on the window -- pictures of your audience with comments -- and realised that your time in the dream capsule was not as passive as we first thought. Althought I might change my mind if you use your pages to entirely cover the kitchen window!

Thank you for providing such accessable art and performance, and all the best for the rest of your stay in the Myers shop window. Does it worry you that you will be succeded by trite Christmas displays?

All the best, Zoe.


Good morning cyber freaks. This is Melissa.

I met you last Friday night, and chatted for a while with Andrew. I wonder if you remember me, Andrew ? - short orange-ish hair, green eyes, we played charades.

Since then I've been back to visit a few times, finding it more difficult and more confronting each time. I think of you guys often, as I walk around my life, and wonder a lot about what must be going through your minds as you sit in those little rooms. I've thought about which of the hundred questions I'd ask you when I finally got around to emailing you. And now here I am, and you're still there.

Its interesting the emotions your acts have brought out in people. The way we are all so captivated by you, even when you're just standing still. The way we, or me at least, feels such compassion for you, even though you chose this bizarre path. The desire we have to be right inside your heads, because we believe we can see right inside your lives.

I wonder how you make sense of what's happening to you at the moment, how you deal with the pressure that I imagine you must feel, how you'll feel when you walk out of Myers for the last time, how you'll feel in a few weeks time.

I wonder what the theory behind this was - a deliberate reversal of Foucault's panopticon ? A last-ditch effort to cure yourselves of your compulsive exhibitionist tendencies ? An opportunity to make us ask the hard questions ?

If you get a chance, I'd love to 'hear' your voices via return mail. My address: dmbmelb@ozemail.com.au

Take care of yourselves, Melissa


Dear Neil and collegues,

It's already a week ago since I left you. How is life in your window? Just a few more days to go.

I just can say that I loved it. For me it's one of the best performances I saw the last years. Absolutely the hit of the festival. Merde.

Gie


Dear Neil

I was hoping you'd be able to do that radio interview for us... I hope you can find the time for us... anytime you can make it is great.

I look forward to hearign from you

Gary Oberholzer Producer, The Big, BIG Brunch GARYO@PIXIE.CO.ZA


Mon Oct 28, 1996 9.30am.

How is it to be watched? To have no privacy day or night? A relative privacy comes in sleep, yet even that is not private. I suppose, in a way, you are as much watching us and our daily routine, as we you. However ours is a collective and only a fraction while yours is whole. At times I feel nervous and self conscious when i look too long and hard. A crowd is my shield; i feel exposed when i am left relatively alone here. What is yours?

I have passed by before - on the tram through the mall. I had noticed the swarm about your abode but bothered not to join it; ignorant of the spectacle which the Myer windows showcased, I travelled on. Last night I visited for the first time. It was late. About midnight. But a small crowd still gathered and a deaf man attempted sign language which it appeared you didn't understand. I am back again this morning and a bigger crowd exists. You are still there, slowly waking from your sleep. Actually, did you sleep? or was it just a chance to look away, knowing and feeling the public eye still on you? Sleep or not, it must be 'the great escape'. Do you dream about us? Do you really escape?

1.00 pm

Who are you? In names we are still strangers but relatively speaking I know you intimately. I feel I have an unfair advantage: you, identifiable and incarcerated; me, anonymous and autonomous. I feel that perhaps I should were an identifiable piece of clothing each time i visit. So I do - a red woollen cardigan.

This morning after I left I continued on to my original purpose - to fulfil my civil duty as a juror; to sit in judgement of another. It reminded me of you. Are you guilty or innnocent, or rather 'not guilty'? I, like others, pass judgement on you in silence as I watch. Aside from correspondence, and like the defendant, you know not if we think you guilty or not.What an enormous pressure to bear. You are judged on your actions and by your performance but, in the main, don't really know the judgement.

Tues 1.00pm. I had originally compared you with caged animals in the zoo but that doesn't seem wholly appropriate. While you may be trapped, pacing to and fro restlessly like caged tigers while spectators gawk and stare, you possess much more complex thought processes (I hope! - or did you receive frontal lobotomies in preparation for the torment?!) and are more akin to the defendant. But how long could you last? Left there under the piercing gaze and with limited scope for movement, would you eventually become 'disturbed'?

You occassionally receive feedback via reviews and correspondance, like the defendant getting progress reports from his barrister at the end of the day. But how does the agony of suspense awaiting the final verdict affect you? Does it make you want to retreat into a cavern like the tiger sheltering from the insults hurled at it by the punishing and incessant rain?

I have noticed a wall beginning to form between us. Gradually you are being hidden by our efforts at admiration and bewilderment, and by computer images of our voyeuristic selves, as you paste them to the window. Is this deliberate? Is it an attempt to withdraw from the outside world; or at least distract it for a time? Your time will come. Saturday is not far off now.

I cannot tell you much of my defendant. I am bound by an oath which I have sworn by a god ( a god of my choice I hope). But out here on the streets I can say that you are guilty of a fascinating and thought provoking social experiment. Thank you. Red Cardigan Man.

Thurs 10.15pm P.S. The extractor fan in your kitchen has had me intrigued. Today I got you to double check that it was in fact 'sucking' and not perhaps 'blowing'. I thought perhaps it was a lifeline from the outside world feeding in vital nutrients like an umbilical cord to an unborn child. But to my dismay it is in fact sucking; a reverse umbilical cord. How much time does that leave you?

========================================================= CESUB1@MFS06.cc.monash.edu.au


Hello Window Men! My name is Katie. I 'spoke' to Nick through the window yesterday afternoon.

I'd like to say that you guys are really brave for doing what you are doing. I'd go crazy without any privacy. Though I suppose you are getting paid lots of money for it! heheheh

I've been thinking about your 'demonstration/experiment', and I'll probably go on thinking about it for a long time after it's over. You are, of course, immensely popular, but I wonder why people come to see you? Is it to witness a chunk of another person's life? Of course, you are all doing ordinary everyday things in your biosphere, but I wonder how much of your behaviour is influenced by the fact that everyone can see you? How much acting do you have to do to look normal in that kind of situation? And of course your performances aren't ordinary behaviour at all.

I also like the symbolism of the many clocks on your lounge room wall - which I love the decor of, by the way!

I have to go now, but I wanted to let you know that you have been not only entertaining, but intellectually stimulating as well. Thank you all! Katie.


I have three great memories of Melbourne Festivals past and present:

1. Einstein on the Beach 2. The Canadian State Opera 3. You guys.

You guys do, however, have the advantage of being much funnier and much cheaper than either 1 or 2. On the other hand, you're also uglier than the Romanians in Titus Andronicus so don't get too carried away by your success.


Hi Andrew M. and guys of the Urban Dream Capsule,

How are you going? Hang in there - only a few more days to go! I agree with the weekend review that your event is the highlight of this Festival - fantastic concept, and terrific creativity in its realisation!

CONGRATULATIONS!

I have had really interesting discussions with friends and arts colleagues stimulated by the "window thing"...and would be interested to know if you have had any personality trait problems being such close confines over such a long period of time?? My "Myers Briggs" expert friend was trying to classify you as she watched your "show"!

Hope there are no suicidal Teddy Bears by Friday!

Keep smiling out there, Ciao Rosemary Bennett


ps have you had any OS messages - we sent news to Karen Bond in USA of your performance...

Rosemary Bennett Lecturer, University of Tasmania PhD student, M.E.U. Faculty of Education University of Melbourne

Ph : 03 93444385/98543333 Fax : 0398543348 Email : Rosemary.Bennett@educ.utas.edu.au


You are all fine artists...artworks, whatever. But I have found on my visits to your window abode, that the hub of human nature milling around outside your windows to be just as fascinating as the antics taking place behind the glass bubble. I was one of the gawkers, the starers until a pushy lady shoved me to the back of the crowd. Hence, I was confronted by a new exhibition- ourselves. I have since moved between the windows to watch the bubble world, and the green chairs nearby to view us. I am envious that I cannot be in the bubble to observe us more thoroughly, but from the Green Chairs there is much to see. It is amazing to watch us all, with our physical varieties and differences in economic, social and cultural background, standing around doing the same thing- curiously, nosily observing five bald artistic corporates going about their daily, albeit bizarre, activities. A woman in a suit, no doubt on a lunch break, streaks past with her mates squealing "Where is he? What's he doing? Ohmigod! He's having a shower!!" Her friends chorus "How could he DO it??!" I observe these people and they amuse me, and I probably amuse others. It's amazing, it's great. And I wonder what you are all thinking in there?

Militant - Australian section of the CWI E-mail: mil@pa.ausom.net.au Militant Web Page: www.ausom.net.au/~mil


Do you gentle men require the services of a fully qualified sock manufacturer and delivery systems expert? Perhaps a small quantity of sunlight delivered to your window via the refraction and reflection of light? I think we could set-up a little sunbaking event for you, interesting in that the public would have to herded to the sides in order to not interrupt the flow of the light into your world. By the way the author is Dylan.

I haveth bespaken withest thou at lengtheth, we have shared and not shared too many things for something as formal as actually touching. Neverthelessthest oh though knights of the round-the-clock table, to speak and touch without the glass may be a little too raw for your first night out'o'the box. I suggest you move individually into small glass/plastic spacesuits, and perform the space walk as preparation for real air, and real sound. From this you could then wear clear plastic visors for perhaps a week. I believe this smudging of the boundary could be the key to your successful repatriation into this all too volatile and real world.

The stars await your parched eyes.

love Dylan


Hi there encapsulated ones,

All these people feeling guilty for watching you.

I don't feel guilty.

I feel happy to be watching you.

You've set yourselves up to be watched. Surely thats the point.

I feel lucky to be in Melbourne; one of the few places in the world where you can spend your lunch hour watching a bald man blue tac almonds to the carpet in his living room. Roll on.

Neroli


Dear Men

First, thankyou for letting us share your lives for this short while.

I read the story of 'The Nut Man' and, having thought about the rest of the letter and how distressed the writer became thinking of you behind glass, I wanted to add my own comments.

Your performance (is that the way to describe days in the life of..?) actually had the reverse effect upon me. I was thrilled to hear people on the street actually discussing your work and, regardless of whether the response was positive or negative, I thought it was great that it GOT a response. I sometimes worry that people's curiosity is dying with the onslaught of television, video and radio. Cynicism often seems to replace further investigation into the unknown and people don't let their curiosity get the better of them.

You guys, however, MAKE them look! Sure, it's voyeuristic but your neighbours - that is everyone that uses Bourke Street - take some sort of interest in your 'house'. You have successfully stimulated people to discuss what they see and for that I say 'Bravo'.

With thanks and thoughts, Nicola Fern

When I first heard of your 'performance' I was very interested. As a child I used to day dream about such an activity, what fun to live in a shop window!

Many years later I saw a cat called Pam who lived in a picture framing shop in North Carlton. She would often sleep in the shop window near the lights. Her life soon changed and celebrity status followed. The owners put a sign in the window which told people the cat's name was Pam and requesting they not tap on the glass.

We visited the windows on Sunday morning. At first it was irresistable - being drawn from window to window and following the man in his blue pyjamas. The 'sets' alone made looking a must. But after a while I found I had to draw away. The 'looking' had taken on a kind of pervy intrusive feel and I felt embarrassed.

I sat down and thought about your activities and interaction. What an extraordinary feeling to be constantly on display and people demanding/inquiring interaction. It was fascinating to watch how dexterous we are at communicating without hearing... some people trying to explain they were from Newcastle... some were talking out loud, others simply lip-reading and signing the man in blue pyjamas responding: gently humourous and good natured.

I hope you enjoy a good rest when you retire from Myers. Perhaps a desert island, some good food and plonk...

Thank you for a wonderful, thought provoking performance.


Rista

So why are you folks living in the public eye for sixteen days? What's the idea? A friend of mine told me about it, but Australia's on the other side of the planet, so I can't come see. So I'm asking.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Curtis Martin // Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. dredd@oitunix.oit.umass.edu // Never drive a car when you're dead!


We saw you at 1am today. FANTASTIC. I have to say that it was one of the highlights of the festival!!!! Wonderful....What more can I say>

Hi AM. Thanks for the results and your concerns. If you are willing, I'd be interested in a more personal result - how about emailing me near the end of your experiment with your feelings about how you have been changed by the event. I'd also love to hear about two weeks later, about whether you notice any longterm changes.

And for Neil - this time, we didn't really get it together in time. If you're willing though, maybe we could arrange something before you start rehearsals for your next project - I certainly hope so.


Regards Dave

Dear All, This is Richard here from Northern Israel again. I was chatting to Major Tom a week ago. Anyhow I was very disappointed to see that the chat channel was closed but I suppose that you deserve a Sunday mmorning rest from the loonies that must be contacting you from all over the net. Anyhow you will be happy to know that I have been doing my own middle-eastern experiment. I have locked myself inside the house over the past 7 days, looking out the window. The problem is that nobody noticed. Do you have any suggestions of how to make this a more meaningful artistic experince? Ah I suppose it is as my father always said about the retail business...the three most important things are position, position, and position. It was interesting to see that you have taken to deforming each others bodies(tattooing). I wonder what you will be doing by the end of this. Is all the good press going to your heads?

Keep up the good work, Richard. richshir@netvision.net.il


Hi Neil and crew I must ring you again, you always have big crowds around you. That lunch today seemed to be very VEGI based are any of you vegitarian.?

I have visited your web page the photo's are great I liked the one of the cleaning machine the big green mass, when I was at art collage I used to photograph the mannequins in the very windows you are now living in as well as many other windows around town. I found that if you have the lens flat against the glass you dont get reflections and it stabilizes the camera, (well no camera movement that is) no movement, this is not a criticism your camera shots are great. I put a couple of the shots on one of my Web pages its at " http://www.ozemail.com.au/~halfmoon/ " check it out if you have time ! My other page is at " http://www.jeack.com.au/~moon-ra/ "

Well regards Garry.


>Hi guys. > >I don't know your names, but mine's Adele. > >I am living in Melbourne for a year, having come here from Edinburgh in >Scotland. Living in the city that is home to a huge international arts >festival, I thought I'd seen people do just about everything in the name of >art - but what you are doing is unique as far as I can tell! > >It's quite the most voyeuristic experience for me. I wonder sometimes how >different it would feel if I could see in but you could not see out. It's >an addictive experience and if it were not for the crowds at the windows, I >would spend more time watching, I think. > >I am more than curious about some things. When this is over, will you each >go home and shut the door? Does this make you more conscious about the way >you behave, or don't you care? Are you going to miss the attention? Are you >in contact with security in the store? What would happen if you saw >something bad happen in the street - would you leave the window and help? >Can you leave the window? How do you deal with your own privacy and space? >Are you going to be so sick of talking about all this within a week of it >being over?? > >Certainly I can read all about this in the paper in a couple of weeks, but >what I really want (and I have no doubt you have been asked this by many >people for many reasons!) is to talk with at least one of you when this is >all over. But is that a further invasion of your privacy?! I guess you can >mail me back to this address, if you so wish. > >Should I tell you a little about myself? I run a Horror Film Festival in >Edinburgh and have done for four years. For a little while it was the only >festival of its kind in the UK and now it is one of two. It is a diverse >event with almost everything you can imagine to do with the genre - from >live piano accompaniement to 1920's b/w classic movies, to special f/x >workshops and all things imaginable in between! I am a fan of cinema in >general, but this genre remains my personal favourite. There have been many >movies which play on our curiosity and voyeuristic tendencies but this is >one wonderful, nosy step closer! > >Part of me would love to have been involved in a project like this, but then >I value my space and my solitude when I need it. Often, I am more >interested in watching the people who are watching you - they are an exhibit >themselves! British people are famed for their reserved and polite nature >(the stiff upper lip is one of the great cliches) and I think if this had >been staged at home, people would have walked past and glanced at you >briefly, or stood across the street and pretended they weren't really looking! > >So, after all this rambling...hello, it's been fun watching you, I would >love to speak to you face to face - that is entirely up to you, good luck >with the remainder of your stay, sorry you are missing all this sunshine! > >Take care >Love > >Adele xx >


...from the desks of the Cybernet Cafe...

Please send ALL return mail to: cybercafe@ca.com.au

Five men in the window

Look out look in look out Look, Outlook in lookout In touch with, Out touching. In. Touch without touching.

Five men in the window Looking out Touching Without touching

Without touching Touch Smile at Five men in the window

In Cyberspace We are what we cannot be. We touch what we cannot feel. We taste what we cannot see. In Myers window Are you what we see? We read how you feel. We touch the window Cold and hard. Life under glass?

All the best. We are with you.


Dreamers.

Hi Guys and Teddy Bears, I was actually glad to see the Chat Centre closed. Although the housewife in Adelaide might be dissapointed. She has been writing pages inbetween looking after her 10month old kid. I saw the Capsule last night, the singing in the sauna, dancing on slippery bathroom floor, (amazing hip movements!!) and a most excellent rendition of pass the parcel. We had a most entertaining hour after concert and tea at Southgate.

Everybody in the crowd was happy except for the guy who was upset because the "media" was "inside". There was also a sax player giving us background music somewhere down the mall. Anyway hope you had pleasant dreams and are ready for another day of whatever it takes. Cheers. wjt


Neil at al,

Saw you last Wednesday before I wandered down to a preview of Sunset Boulevard..... two very different "performances", and I can tell you I found yours more engaging.

My last email said I'd let you know what people were saying etc as they "made sense" of what you are doing. They weren't saying much, and they seemed particularly happy to partake in some very active vouyerism - a secret desire in us all, that comes out when it's OK to do so? One young girl (about 10) couldn't understand why you would have a shower in front of everyone - asking the question that many probably would like to...

What I would like to know is how you came to decide to do this? Was it a "natural progression" from other work such as "a marriage"? You have been getting heaps of publicity every day (and I have introduced your internet site to my Tourism students as an example of "cultural tourism"?!), but there is little said about how (or why) it came about. I'm curious.....

I'll probably come past over the weekend and next week, so keep smiling :)

Sue

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x Sue Beeton x x x ontrack@ozemail.com.au x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx


> >Day in day out I pass their "Urban Dream Capsule". >Heading west on Bourke Street, I cross the tram tracks in front of a shop >named "Sanity" and walk at the edge of the crowd on the other side to observe >the crowds behaviour as much as that of the aliens in the windows that should >be titled 'Insanity' to mock the other shop. > >I have grown fond of the Dream Team in their Dream Capsule. I respect their >insanity - senseless human endurance; lifestyle experimentation. My addiction >brings me back at lunch time. My exercise routine has been subconciously >dictated over the past week. I find myself running by the windows to see how >my companions are going. I am not lonely, but I feel I know these guys by >now. I need to know that they're surviving, that they have energy enough to >breathe when the adrenalin fades. Yes, I believe they are companions to the >city with their uninterupted exposure, all day interactions, their 24 hour >distraction. > >In the evening when I pass by close to eight o'clock, their dinner party with >all its simplicity and class, is set up like the last supper facing the >children who lick the windows and the parents that photograph them. I hear >dutch voices in the crowd and hear of the request the Window men recieved >from Seattle - global achievements that began with the shaving of heads. I >can't help but think of the Dalai Lama and as my mind orbits into it's >senseles tangent and begins to link martyrdom to the Urban Dream Capsule, one >of the capsule budhists reminds me of Peter Garrett and the line "...who's >running the world today ". > >Previous evenings, I have returned after lectures or the movies, any excuse >to feed my intrigue. Still the Urban Prophets are sticking their fingers in >their ears, playing with foam, writing poetry and talking to mobile phone >equipped junkies like me. I wonder if they can remember or miss the gentle >delights, like the mile long stratospheric whisps brushed on the sky's dark >bowl above their building. What dreamscapes do they have in their dwelling. >Do they dream of the faces at the window, do they dream the dreams of the >face people, are they intoxicated with confusion as to who's dream they are >dreaming or who's face they are dreaming about. I wish they would sleep as my >energy is waining. Their perpetual audience interaction must be taxing to the >spirit- still I am yet to catch them out, to see them up their fingers at a >halfwit by the glass, to frown or look away when a request for attention is >made. They know they are therapy for the disturbed and as their skin pales >and the lines under their eyes turn to chunky rings, somewhere and somehow >they prove like so many other human endeavours, that people in the most >absurd situations draw on an unfathomable energy and demonstarted the >strongest in will to go on even if the goals are unclear and the destiny >further from clarity. > >When I passed the crowd this morning I did not want to look. "Please" I >thought "may they be resting. They have already given too much." Crowds >milled as usual, a little past eight o'clock. They were gathered by the last >window watching. The bunk beds were occupied and the childrens dream lamp was >alight. But the showcase was sleeping. Like a mother who opens the door to >check her children are resting, she closes the door and leaves with a smile >"they are most beautiful while they are sleeping". > >Tonight, I will drink to you trojans of street theatre and your trivial quest >gone wrong. What began as an idea is now a monster. As a beast complements >beauty, so does your epic inflame the Melbourne Festival with life and >flavour. Remain the conquerers of this city for now and smell the roses >later. My admiration will too remain and if you were an open stage in the >true sense, you would be overwhelmed with flowers. > >Congratulations! > > > >