...oh, hegemony...

Raw channel feed of the Gargantuan Head, played by Alan Cumming in Slip room (excerpts totalling 5:47 of a 13 minute narrative)

ps.! when you start hearing the sound of paper shuffling, scroll down the page to watch the Raw channel feed of the Sedentary Manufacturer, also played by Alan Cumming in Hostroom.

slip/host installation, Slip room, looking south-east.

slip/host is an enveloping dramatic narrative that, depending on the viewers position(s), slips back and forth between two worlds: one cartoon-like (Slip), the other brown and drab (Host). Each world is installed in adjoining rooms.

Alan Cumming plays two contrasting roles in each of these two spaces (the Gargantuan Head and the
Sedentary Manufacturer
) and Corin Sworn and Lesley Ewen play the role of The See-ers whom observe the conditions as the narrative unfolds. The sound of slip/host was mixed and mastered by Bowie and arranged spatially through distinct channel speakers in the manner of how one hears the world around them, so that each room is experienced as if the viewer has dropped into the worlds themselves.

The room first entered, Host, is a drab, dun coloured room. This room is a window into the world of the Sedentary Manufacturer, who, projected onto the ceiling above, and eminating from a model of the factory where he works, spends his working hours feigning work, eating take-away and dreaming of take-away. This room is populated with a series of objects situated on plinths (including the model of the factory) that are amply dressed in fabrics that exessively drape onto the floor. Among them, a pet chicken memorialized through taxidermy or Mount; an "exploded" feather puff ball; an illuminated collection of tiny galaxies with a tiny arrow pointing to galactal 'location' suggesting the location of the following model; the chicken processing plant where the Sedentary Manufacturer "works". Projected through its roof onto the ceiling of the gallery, is the slothly Sedentary Manufacturer. He can be observed longingly looking at fried chicken, eating chicken, thinking/dreaming about eating chicken, napping and 'pretend-working'in an endless loop.
The last plinth in the room is that of a a lifesize clothed abdomen (of the Sedentary Manufacturer) with an arrow stuck into the region of the large colon, suggesting the location of the world next door, Slip.

SlipHost, Host room showing didactic plinths and the Sedentary Manufacturer projected onto the ceiling eminating from a small model of a commercial building.

slip/host: Raw channel feed of the Sedentary Manufacturer and thought bubble in host room. (full length, with first 6 minutes muted to allow footage of Gargantuan Head above to be heard without distraction).

The Sedentary Manufacturer's antics are endlessly repeated in a thought bubble hovering above his head (its surface is haloed by spumous moulds). This endlessly circular repetition of both the character and his thoughts, is in part inspired by State Hospital by Ed Keinholz.

The last object in the room is a life size model of the Sedentary Manufacturer's belly. This final plinth is positioned to give a peek-a-boo view of blue sky that lay beyond a doorway leading into the surreal world of Slip.

                slip/host Slip room, looking north-west, with animated bacterium cloud.

Raw channel feed of the bacterium cloud in Slip room

slip/host Slip room, looking north.

In Slip, the story unfolds through the narrative of the Gargantuan Head, who floats in the clouds.
In this room, a teletubbies-like landscape is projected 360 degrees from a central projector (designed and built by Bowie)
into which the eccentric host of characters are superimposed. These characters include the Gargantuan Head;
a two headed MoonThe Seers and a cloud of bacterium mixing and floating about in the sky, suggesting we have entered a tiny world or microbes. One can hear the inner workings of the gut as the narrative unfolds. Through audible gurgles, farts and flabberwacks,
Sedentary Manufacturerspresence is felt throughout the environs of the entire installation.
The sage narrator, Gargantuan Head, looms large as he floats in the sky of Slip. He weaves a tale of cause and effect; references the actions and nature of both realms, and considers the philosophical underpinnings of scale, consciousness, consumption, beauty, oblivion and disappearances through the 20th and into the 21st century.

The See-ers(in the Slip environment.)         &the See-ers at 00:10:51          the See-ers at 00:13:12 Cast:

Alan Cumming: Gargantuan Head and Sedentary Manufacturer
on set, rehearsing for the Sedentary Manufacturer segment for Hostenvironment

Leslie Ewen and Corin Sworn as the See-ers

Fiona Bowie as the Holocene Biologist (narrative voice-over)

Full Script

Sliph/host script Copyright,Fiona Bowie,2004: this text is the exclusive copyright of the artist and may not be used or duplicated in any form without the expressed permission of the artist.

Fiona Bowie acknowledges the generous support of Alan Cumming and Ahmad Tabrizi for making this project possible.

Fiona Bowie thanks the generous support of Panavision Canada, Danny Nowak, Lesley Ewen,
Jeff Carter, George Majoros, Fiona Mowatt, Vittorio Palmisani, Corin Sworn and Ahmad for making
this project possible.


all rights reserved/copyright fiona bowie 2004-2023
All images, sound and text are the exclusive copyright of the artist and may not be used or duplicated without the expressed permission of the artist