Here are some of the suggestions I’ve received so far. Please continue to participate and tell me what I should be doing during the opening ceremony.
‘127 hours spent in the Bluejohn Canyon, Utah – the location of Danny Boyle’s last major feature film’ – suggested Alan
‘Firstly, may I congratulate you on a great idea for a project. Especially given your previous work, the idea of getting as far away from the Olympic opening ceremony as possible is an interesting and wonderfully ironic idea. It’s clever, it’s funny, it makes you think. It’s almost everything that I believe art should be…………. You could visit some of the people working for Adidas who made the clothes the athletes will be wearing and the people of Britain will be buying this summer. Why not ask them about their holiday pay or maternity entitlement? As the fireworks light up the East London sky you can ask them how close they feel to this moment of global sporting unity.’ – Brian
‘Perhaps being as far away as possible from the Olympics is not a matter of physical distance. I imagine wherever you’ll be you’ll still be thinking about the Olympics. That’s what makes it totalitarian. Maybe the greatest distance involves drinking or drugging yourself into unconsciousness and sleeping through it? ………….There is a pub called The Cart and Horses in Stratford. Apparently this is the birthplace of Iron Maiden. There is quite a dismal display devoted to the band in the corner of the pub. ……. This is the place I would go to become unconsciously drunk on Olympics day. Here you will find people who are drunker than you have ever imagined drunk people could get, they play air guitar and lurch around the place.’ – Charlotte
‘…….and for a period of three hours, you engage in a community activity on one of the islands of the Outer Hebrides – Harris, Lewis, Barra, Skye, Uist, Benbecula or Mull as appropriate – as a counterpoint to the Olympic Opening Ceremony. I would suggest the activity of sheep shearing/ sheep dipping / or simply herding since this has both a practical value and a variety of interesting symbolic resonances.
Ian – sheep herding with the community in the Outer Hebrides
‘After due deliberation I suggest you go to the original Games site in Greece. The moral distance between it and the current Olympics is as great as can be imagined. And at present being in Greece would have a resonance of its own.
Alternatively you could go to one (or all) of the spiritual homes of the present Olympics – the global HQ of Coca-Cola, Budweiser or McDonald’s.’ – John
Kevin suggested I leave about 50 days before the Olympic Opening ceremony and cycle to Olympia in Greece – wonderful idea, not sure I am up to it – and would also like some thoughts as to what I might do / record during the three hours of the opening ceremony.
‘I will be on my allotment in Bristol during the opening ceremony, doing some gardening. For me this is the antithesis of corporate sell out; a place where I can be with family, friends and neighbours – encouraging wildlife, growing food to share and getting some exercise in the open air. You would be most welcome to join us.’ – luci
‘My personal interpretation of distance would be to spend that day in Jakarta – where a population of 28 million produces enough rubbish a day to fill 10 Olympic size swimming pools – and where families and children have to scavenge what they can in order to survive’ –
Maggie is one of a number of people who have suggested I go to one of the many Asian sweatshops producing sportswear.
‘There is a factory in Indonesia the sukabumi plant which is 60 miles from Jakarta in the idea you would spend the 3 hours telling the workers that people do think of them and are aware of what they face, perhaps you could show them arts works make them tea or cake or food but just do something nice for them’ – Rebecca
Mark wrote a wonderful story for me about his own personal experience of working in the kitchens serving corporate clients during the Scottish Open Golf tournament in St Andrews. He suggested I work in the Stadium kitchens during the Opening Ceremony – so near yet so far
‘The Lat/Long location of the Olympic stadium is at 51.538336 degrees North and -0.016512 degrees East.
So, the position diametrically opposite on the earth’s surface (Antipodal Point) is 51.538336 degrees South and +0.016512 degrees East
As I’m sure you are aware, this is in the wilds of nowhere in the middle of the Southern Ocean!
If you could find a suitable ship or aeroplane, this could possibly be the place to be.’ – Peter
‘I suggest the Carpenters Road estate which as I am sure you know is right next door to the site but is under threat from the redevelopment of the area. Plus residents have not seen much change to their well being. So near and yet so far…… ‘ Sue
Yup, it’s definitely social and economic and ethnic and physical – in the sense of bodily – find a fat Bengali teenager in the immediate purlieu and watch it on the box with him. Job done. But don’t you feel, Neville, that having sucked so long and so hard on the ODA tailpipe you’re basically a fucking hypocrite? – Will
‘…….but I suggest a different kind of distance. There is a monastery in a forest in central Italy founded around 1000 A.C. by St.Francis himself’ –
Valereio suggested I spend the week leading up to the Opening Ceremony with the monks at a monastery and the three hours of the opening ceremony in silent reflection.
‘spend the evening with the female Saudi Athletes who are not allowed to compete at London 2012 by their own government. Perhaps have a meal with them or do your own kind of opening ceremony with them’ – Sam
Paul a locally based artist with a studio at one of the entrances to the Park suggested I spend the Three hours of the Opening Ceremony standing on the roof of the studio buildings with my back to the park and stadium ignoring all.
Jordan suggests I go diving in the Thames for three hours –
Anna suggested a very secret beach in Cornwall known only to a few locals but did not want to reveal the location even to me –