'Saigon Canal Walk'
February 23, 2020
On the morning of Sunday 23rd February, Patrick travelled to District 1 of Saigon accompanied by Nina, Yiu Lai Lei to mark the occasion of this year's incarnation of the annual Terminalia Festival 2020.
This one-day Festival of Psychogeography has ben held every year on the 23rd February since 2011 and brings together individuals and groups who mark the Festival of Terminus, the Roman god of boundaries and landmarks.
To participate in the festival this year, Patrick and Nina chose to follow the previous routes of two canals in the city. Most of the city's canals have long since ben filled in and transformed into streets and boulevards.
The main route follows the edge of a canal that used to carry trade right up to the walls of the old citadel, which was the focus of last year's Terminalia walk. This canal, now transformed into a 'Walking Street' called Nguyen Hue (named after the historical figure), ends at the main road running along the banks of the Saigon River. A blog post with further details of the walk can be read here.
'One Step Forward, Two Steps Back'
June 06, 2019
In this new performance Ford takes on the role of another Sisyphean character, this time attempting to scale a flight of stairs. Unfortunately, and frustratingly for him, with each step he takes upward towards the summit he must take two further steps downwards, away from the summit leaving him further back than he was before. Sisyphus was not a man to give up easily so this new character persists with the task again and again until finally arriving, against his wishes, at the bottom of the flight of stairs.
The first version of this performance was conducted on the steps between the clifftops and the beach at Sewerby near Bridlington in East Yorkshire, UK on 6 June 2019. A recording of this performance can be viewed here. A blog post with further details can be read here.
The performance was also live-streamed from Vietnam to the internet as part of the '12th Online Performance Art Festival' on Saturday 6 July 2019. A recording of that performance can be viewed here. A blog post with further details can be read here.
The Hickson Steps recorded performance was included in the '4th World Congress of Psychogeography' held between 4th - 6th September 2020, at a number of venues and centered around Huddersfield University in the UK. A blog post with further details can be read here.
'Saigon Citadel Walk'
February 23, 2019
On the morning of Saturday 23rd February Patrick S. Ford travelled to District 1of Saigon accompanied by Nina, Yiu Lai Lei to mark the occasion of this year's incarnation of the annual Terminalia Festival 2019.
This one-day Festival of Psychogeography has been held every ear on the 23rd February since 2011 and brings together individuals and groups who mark the Festival of Terminus, the Roman god of boundaries and landmarks.
To participate in the festival the two walkers chose the location of the old citadel of Saigon, which Ford had ploted from evidence gathered from old maps. As is often the case, different maps indicate slightly different configurations added to which is the fact that there was more than one citadel. Ford had chosen the first and largest as the focus for the walk. The larger incarnation of the citadel presented more opportunities for exploring the city and it was felt the most attractive in terms of design, however dubious the precise details of the design may be.
More details about the walk can be read here.
'The Path to Enlightenment'
July 02, 2017
It is said that in order to reach a state of enlightenment and experience nirvana, we must first rid ourselves of worldly delusions. Nirvana literally means something like 'extinguishing' or 'quenching' and the flame that we must extinguish is that of greed, hatred and other selfish and worldly obsessions.
In this performance, Ford acts as another Sisyphean character attempting to extinguish the candle that represents the delusions of life that must be quenched, and as is the nature of the Sisyphean experience, each attempt fails...the candle relights itself. After a period he tries again, only to fail again (shades of Beckett's famous line from Worstward Ho: 'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better').
A recorded version of the performance can be viewed here.
January 29, 2017
For many working people the highlight of the year is the annual summer holiday. During this short, intense period, people remove themselves from their habitual surroundings and immerse themselves enthusiastically into what is often unfamiliar geographical and/or cultural territory.
'No holiday' deals with this journey to the holiday adventure, reversing the usual paradigm by focusing on the journey rather than the destination and eliminating the relief felt upon arrival at the intended holiday location. Ford takes his suitcase, map and selfie-stick as he explores the choreography of the holiday experience.
Recorded versions of 'No holiday' can be viewed at these links:
'No holiday' was performed via live-stream from Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong to the 'Duration & Dialogue Performance Art Festival' on 29 January 2017, and from the same location to the 'Inverse Performance Art Festival' on 1 April 2017.
On 30 March 2019, 'No holiday' was performed via live-stream from District 7 of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as part of the '11th Online Performance Art Festival'.
On 6 September 2019, 'No holiday' was performed via live-stream from Nguyen Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as part of the '4th World Congress of Psychogeography' at Huddersfield University, UK
The Cheung Chau recorded performance was screened online between Dec 2020 and Feb 2021 as part of the 'Cheung Chau Wave 渡 (Portal) Art Festival'.
July 02, 2016
In an attempt to release Sisyphus from his eternal torment, Ford carried a bag of stones, two small shrubs and a trowel from the beach at Repulse Bay on Hong Kong Island up to the top of the first 'Twin', one of the two hills overlooking the bay.
At the top he made a small cairn with the stones and planted the shrubs in such a way as they would the stones from loosening and rolling back down the hill.
Perhaps now Sisyphus would be free at last, he would be able to apply his physical strength and the strength of his character in other pursuits of his own choosing.
Further details on this performance can be read here.
'Going Round in Circles'
July 30, 2014
'Going Round in Circles' is a performance conducted in Tai Tam Country Park, Hong Kong Island on Wednesday 30th July 2014.
Ford walked around the hill clockwise from 9 to 5, the typical working day, stopping for tea breaks in the mid-morning (roughly 10:30am) and mid-afternoon (roughly 3:00pm) plus a one-hour break for lunch (at around 12:30pm). The whole activity was treated as a working day.
As he walked Ford carried a bag containing essential worker's tools as well as his packed lunch and something to drink. He also carried a small not-pad to record the circuits i.e. the passing of time.
He notated the circuits of the hill in simple form with one short, straight line for each circuit and a cross bar to complete each group of 5 circuits.
Details on the preparation can be read here, and
further details of the performance can be read here.
'10 Mars Bars'
October 21, 1981
In 1981, as a first year Fine Art student at Newcastle Upon Tyne Polytechnic (Later to become Northumbria University) Ford made what is probably his first performance.
In the 'Lovaine' Halls of residence, where he lived for around 7 weeks, he ate 10 mars Bars within 40 minutes while 8 of his friends ate their dinner and observed the process.
Andrew brown recorded the event in a notebook and in January 2019 via the sad news of one of the group passing away, this photographic evidence came to light.
The performance came about through conversation and a playful challenge but looking back it could also be seen as a premonition of Ford's current practice.
More details of this event can be read here.