The Church of Odds & Evens

Day 2 – Part 1 (of 2)

Heading into the second day, we knew little of what to expect. At this point, some of us would have jobs to do on this day, we were told that Daisy Campbell and Oliver Senton will tell us what to do and when to do it. We would not be told why and that would be for us to decide. Soup was also mentioned.

The venue for events on this day is the Bombed Out Church, Liverpool. Yet again, a canny choice of building – the parallels to the JAMs activity and religion are endless…

As we enter we are put into pairs that are then immediately split in two on opposite sides of a central path. We are told on multiple occasions that the left side are ‘odds’ and the right side are ‘evens’.

Once all the ‘volunteers’ are inside, Messrs Cauty and Drummond stride the path to join us. Oliver Senton then sets out the day…

Day 2 is ‘The Day Of The Book’ (referring to the newly launched ‘2023’).

Two books will be taken. One by Bill. One by Jimmy. They will proceed down one line each. Each person will be given a page. If you are on the right of the path – your page is even. If you are on the left of the path – your page is odd. As of this day, you will now be the keeper of said page forevermore. All subsequent editions of the book will carry your name on your page. You will need to supply your name to a team member as they proceed down the line after you have received your page.

This is a fantastic community gesture. Analogue crowd funding mentality at play here. A beautiful way to capture the moment and to then immortalise it going forward. Everybody present, loves this idea. And the contrast is quite a counterpoint – two perfectly good books are being ruined. Individual pages are of little use to their recipients. However, what is being created out of this destruction is something that makes the work bigger, more beautiful and with an even wider legacy.

And it does not stop there…

The rest of our day is to be dedicated to forming into our chapters (that our page is taken form) as groups. We are then tasked with taking inspiration from our individual pages and create something from it that day. It can be anything; artwork, poem, graffiti etcetera. Before we reconvene that evening, you need to tell the group leader (the person who has the opening page of the chapter) what you did. That individual will then write down all the team activity in another book now known as ‘Grapefruit Are Not The Only Bombs’ (which appears as an actual book in ‘2023’). Also, that evening, each chapter will need to inform everybody else of what they created that day.

This is just too good! The JAMs are taking things to another level here. ‘2023’ is going to get propagated and re-imagined on a huge scale in a short space of time. There are 376 pages – each of which now has a representative who will create something derived from it that afternoon in the City Of Liverpool. This is a Cauty-Drummond creative Pyramid Scheme like no other…

What will the day unleash…

Some of the teams leave the grounds in order to get to work, some stay within the confines of the church to thrash out their ideas and others wholly disperse into individual creative exploration. Senton and Campbell make themselves available all day at the venue with Oliver offering to read anybody their page in an array of voices.

Interlude

This also happened during the day… (seemed odd as I saw our duo arrive in this transportation).

https://youtu.be/lq6XJl9xw80

Ford Timelord

Funnily enough, this incident led to a Facebook debate within one of The KLF groups as to whether or not this act added value to the car or not. Rumour has it that the owner was not best pleased. Rumour also has it that most of the fresh coat came off in a car wash…

Is this an emerging theme? Destruction leading to the creation of something new? Not sure this incarnation of Ford Timelord is better though.

Day 2 – Part 2 (of 2)

The teams reform and regroup early evening for the second stage of the day. The primary task is for us to add our events to ‘the book’ (yet more religious crossover). This seems fairly straightforward but given the volume of people involved and the range of creativity that has gone on, this task inevitably spills over into the following day.

The day before, eight volunteers had been given the job of making soup for the entire clan.

Soup Kitchen - Ian Warm

They did. And it was lovely. Thank you Soup Kitchen.

Next in this phase, the ‘chapters’ were required to relay their work from the day back to all the other ‘chapters’ of the book. Do you need me to tell you that there are 23 chapters? This could take a long time. Actually, it won’t, each ‘chapter’ only has 2m23s to tell their tale. We also discover that at the end, Bill and Jimmy will select a page who will immediately go on a secret journey with them…

What ensued for the next two hours was simply – marvellous. Rather than each ‘chapter’ just reeling off a list of what they did, this turned into a creative workshop like no other. ‘2023’ had been transformed into many, many things (both as individual moments of genius as well as superb team collaborations)…

Websites | Poetry | Costumes | Tight rope walking | Social Media Subversion | Guerilla stunts with baristas in Starbucks | Renegade art installations happening across the city | A grave for Ronald McDonald | Songs | Cover versions of songs adapted to the narrative | Drawings | Graffiti | Sexual acts | Videos and much, much more…

More often than not, the number 23 arose…

What was amazing about these feats is that everybody had a page with little context as to what it meant in the wider scheme of things. Yet, it did not entirely matter – meaning was found. And in some cases, meaning was created. This retelling of the story from independent fragments should not have been cohesive. And it wasn’t. Nobody could tell you (accurately and in depth) the story from watching what we saw on this evening. However, themes did arise and references that our protagonists have used did help to paint a picture of what to expect. The whole performance – and it is fair to call it that now – was wonderful. Each chapter was delivered with real passion and emotion. There were a lot of inspired moments and plenty of humour too.  This was also a great way to get to know the people taking part in this unique occurrence. Despite their many differences, it was clear to see that certain things bond them – a set of beliefs, values and dreams that overlap (not just a musical love of a band) – and naturally they lead back to those of Cauty and Drummond.

This was a hugely enjoyable day. Incredibly creative and highly symbolic. From a book that was destroyed another was created. From a work that had been reduced to fragments came more works and reunited fragments. From a group of strangers came united groups, allies and friends. From the minds of two geniuses came ideas – and from them, many, many more ideas came. The JAMs ideas were realised. The volunteers ideas were realised. A universe expanded.

Was this a clue as to how to get out of these dark ages?

To conclude events, all the volunteers were rounded up and posed for a group photo on the steps outside. Another nice community touch. Where the photo will appear is as yet unknown. Another unknown is where exactly did the winner of the ‘secret journey’ go? What happened? Did it impact on the three days overall?

Religion | Food | Art | Music | Destruction | Creation | Individualism | Collaboration | Past | Present | Future | Alternative Thinking

The KLF at the Bombed Out Church

Odds and Evens Photo courtesy of: V. Pea / Planet Slop

Chapter Relay Photo courtesy of: Peter Guy‏ @Getintothis

2 comments

  1. You say you saw them arrive in the Galaxie? When do you mean? That morning? I saw them walk round from Dead Perch Lounge and saw the car arrive driven by its owner.

    1. Hey Lee. It was around 10.00am or just before. They stopped at the lights next to the church. Some other people got photos at that moment. Bill wound up his window as that was happening.

      I didn’t see them park. But they were at the church shortly after.

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