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Grace | Goldfish | 03-2013

Grace archive page for this service

For this service we 'needed' radio-controlled giant inflatable fish - three required. In fact Ben bought two clownfish and a shark. Above, Adam assembles controllers, Richard reads the instructions. Photo © Jonny Baker.

Test flight before the service. Note the hanging straps so we could grab the fish and to weigh them down a bit. We soon found that they were hard to control by remote and we did better guiding them by the straps. Photo © Jonny Baker.

We gave people blank full-face masks as they entered. Each mask had the name of a well-known person [present or historical] written inside. We told people to remember the name inside but not show anyone else. Photo © Jonny Baker.

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, "Morning, boys, how's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, "What the hell is water?" [David Foster Wallace]

The service was about how we are blind to our biases, and stereotype others to navigate society, and how we don't see the underlying realities and uniqueness of other people.

Consider the person whose name is written inside your mask. Think of four words to describe them. Don't put facts [eg their job, physical appearance] - use adjectives or metaphors, describe their qualities as a person. Write the words on sticky labels, put them on the outside of your blank mask, then ask other people to guess who 'you' are.




Yet another service where a stranger walking in would run away screaming!



After the service, one of the goldfish came off its strap and drifted up into the roof.

At first, we sent the shark up on a long string to pull it down.

This didn't work, so we put a loop of duct tape on the nose of the other goldfish and sent it up to stick to the first goldfish, with the shark to assist in manoeuvring.


Instead, the tape stuck to the roof and remained there! We expected to be in serious trouble the next morning (Sunday) when the church was opened for the morning service. Bizarrely, nobody noticed at all - it seemed that they didn't look up! In the course of the following week the fish and the tape came down by themselves, to our great relief.

<< Be Do (be-attitudes vs do-attitudes) 02-2010 | Enough 10-2013 >>

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