Paul Timings’ The Precessions of a Crowd is comprised of three segments from a field recording of the asset sales protest on 4 May 2012. Each segment is followed by a re-edit of the recording, which accentuates accidental and incidental sounds via repitition and time/pitch modification of common protest motifs. The composition seeks to blur the conceptual lines between protest and performance; crowd and individual; and political and personal. The aim of this is to comment on the role of protest and referenda as non-binding expressions of the people in a representative democracy.
Precessions recording project followed by solo performances by Paul Timings & Regressor!
In 2011 the New Zealand government proposed selling a proportion of its shares in five state-owned companies. In 2012 a coalition of groups, including opposition parties and non-government organisations, organised a series of protests and petitions against the policy, which ultimately resulted in a citizen-initiated referendum. While a 67.2 per cent margin expressed that they were not in favour of asset sales, the result was not binding on the government, and the asset sales went ahead.
Photograph ‘Depression protest‘ courtesy of Ministry for Culture and Heritage, updated 15-Jul-2013. Licensed by Manatū Taonga for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence.
Photography by Marine Aubert