The Motivate Project (TMP) was designed to bring together communities of artist collaborators and the broader community to develop live art experiences made with the community.
TMP's inaugural project was supported by Burrinja Cultural Centre in Upwey. TMP set up camp in 'The Project Studio' at Burrinja and for a period of three months the studio became a hub of research and activity where artists and visitors could engage with an evolving number of provocations and activities around what motivates them.
A online survey was also launched and over 50 local citizens completed the survey, providing the TMP artistic team with a wonderful and enormous amount of material for the development of a live art work.
The culminating devised participatory live art work was titled 'Stars are Important', (taken from the poetic and poignant comments of one young participant in the project) and was presented at the HillsceneLIVE #3 Arts Festival at Mount Burnett Observatory in the Dandenong Ranges.
Participants tickets for entry to the performance was a small tea cup. Upon entry the audience were offered a selection of teas from a printed menu. Teas listed directly related to the complied list of 'motivators' the group had gathered from the survey and other research material.
Participants were able to choose from: tree tea / nature tea /sunshine tea / social tea / family and friends tea
money tea / power tea / status tea / music tea / rhythm tea / punk rock tea / happiness tea / satisfaction tea / love tea / peace tea / social justice tea / fairness tea / reward tea / praise tea / pat on the back tea / art tea / creativity tea / museum tea / collaboration tea / community tea / look at what others do tea / doing what I love tea / trying something different tea / faith Tea / freedom tea / success tea / wisdom tea / sex tea / passion tea / pleasure tea / compassion tea / Araya tea / mindfulness tea / self awareness tea / meditation tea / health tea / go for a walk tea / exercise tea / safety tea / security tea / nap tea / indulge in something yummy tea / soul food tea / Illusion of choice tea / proximity to all things tea / moving forward tea / day dreaming tea / thankfulness tea... What would you choose?
Although the list was long, the only 'real' difference between the teas was in the audiences answer to the second question asked of them by the artist 'tea pourers' following their selection; "Would you like that in green or black?" In fact there were only two pots of tea available; a green tea and a black tea. And so the real magic was in the participants choosing; in the possible self identification with their choice, or some possible reflection of how they felt or what they thought about in making and directly following their choice.
The work was perceived by collaborating artists to operate on a number of levels; as a exercise in imagination or self identification, as a dystopic analysis of choice as illusion and at a stretch, exposing of the motivator triggers used in advertising in a capitalist economy. In any case the moment of choosing was a curious and compelling moment of convergence between artists and audience.