Eat, breathe, sleep market ... for 9000 minutes

By Khiara Elliott

Australian artist collective Field Theory will this month broadcast live, non-stop from the Queen Victoria Market for 9000 minutes.

The group is committed to creating projects like 9000 Minutes that “cross disciplines, shift contexts and seek new strategies for engaging with the public sphere”.

From October 17 to 22, participants will only eat from the market, wear clothes from the market, sleep, bathe and broadcast exclusively at the market for 6.25 days.

CBD News spoke to artist, teacher, director and one fifth of Field Theory, Jackson Castiglione, about the project.

“9000 Minutes is about us making contact with a community of people,” he began, “It’s a way of us finding out a deeper, richer sense of the history of the market.”

The Queen Victoria Market is a place to gather with friends and family and experience local produce, history, food and retail. However, as Field Theory will be broadcasting for little over six consecutive days, members plan to catch a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes too.

“We’ll encompass a whole cycle of the market, including the days that the market isn’t open to the public, but where there’s still a lot going on,” Mr Castiglione said.

“We’re really going to incorporate people’s stories within the market. I mean there’s traders that have been there for 48 years. It used to be a gravesite also, so it’s really a diverse site for us to conduct this project,” he said.

Wanting to engage with its audience on a deeper level, Field Theory is also inviting and encouraging the public to become a part of the broadcast itself.

“This project is about a dialogue with the public. It’s about them coming and sharing their stories of their experiences of shopping at the market or their experiences of what it’s like to sell Tupac t-shirts,” he laughed.

“It really is an all-encompassing conversation. We’ll set up a radio booth for that period of 9000 minutes and people are invited to come in and share their stories with us.”

Field Theory is a recipient of the City of Melbourne’s latest Artist Funding Grant, and is using its share for its annual Site Is Set festival. Site Is Set asks participating artists to use a space or set that otherwise would not normally be used as a platform for art works.

In previous years, exhibitions have taken place in locations such as dog parks, Woolworths stores and abandoned space museums.

9000 Minutes will be held at the Queen St section of the market, and audiences can tune into 99.7FM to listen to the broadcast. E

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