day ten: the green man

(This is mostly a shared post from our other blog, Potentiation Parade.)

Things are on hold for a little bit with Zach’s shadow puppet production for Folkfuturism’s Civil Rites/Civil Rights project, which was to be premiered on May 2.

We cannot put anyone else, or our own family, at risk for contamination. If we have to look into remote options, we will do so, but at this point we are still hoping that summer will come, if not spring, and that things will be more back to normal.

Even when we believed the May 2d festival would be going on as planned, Tuck and I had talked about a Green Man backpack puppet.

This book came, maybe a month ago. I cannot tell you how exciting it is to me.

The U.S. has NO comparable puppetry/public arts/processional arts group like The Welfare State. And this book just — like all the best processional arts groups do — gives away every trade secret they could have. All just there for the building. It’s marvelous.

And SO MUCH takes place in Burnley! (Which is in England.) A lot of my Facebook contacts are in England, for a variety of reasons, and I have noted a few times that when I have mentioned wanting to go to Burnley, people have said “Oh, you must be mistaken. It’s probably not Burnley that you want to see.” Well, it IS. I have a LOVELY Facebook friend in Burnley whom I REALLY want to meet face to face! AND. Not to go off on a tangent unrelated, but do you know who else is from Burley? Paul Abbott. Creator of (the REAL, not the American) Shameless.

I don’t think I need to go on.


So if we thought we might need a Green Man in May to be part of a street festival, (that was the first mask I ever made with my kids, a Green Man and a hare), but that we had MORE of a chance of being under a worldwide quarantine on May Day weekend… was that really a reason NOT to make him? Our whole idea beyind Folkfuturism was to defy the “zero sum game” nature of “participating” in processional or public art. We had, literally, a worldwide quarantine — and many more hours at home.

To TRULY find out how invested we were, we watched “The Wicker Man” (with the kids!)

And that’s where we saw a rather novel Green Man image as well.

Back to The Welfare State book to look for a possible framework that could still accommodate social distancing (or, as I prefer, physical distancing — we are being pretty social here.)

Really, really early sketching (he’s come a lot further tonight but we are also watching Shameless.)

Where could a giant Green Man go on May Day weekend in Philadelphia? If the lockdown is over, I guess he could go anywhere. If it’s still on, what can he do?

We have to build him first. And we can’t get any help from outsiders to our germpod, so that’s going to mean it’s not a Civil Rites/Civil Rights project (even if it does poke at the borders of how to create remote participation) and that I wouldn’t consider using those funds for it. So, we have decided to dismantle the body portion of Greta the Tardigrade (it’s easy enough to rebuild) to get at the materials we need. (We still have half a Somatosensory Homunculus in that little studio in our house, but also, we do now have a little studio.) We will find what else we require as we go along. Yes, the kids will be helping, there are plenty of physics and art involved in this project and they will be able to rack up a few homeschool hours this way.

This is our accountability post — I am most likely to use Facebook to put up in-progress updates. It’s kind of a crazy idea, but it should be and that’s necessary now. We are happy about it. Anybody who feels otherwise: with our dearest love,


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