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29.   “M”

 The invited guests (30 persons) were grouped together on a field’s verge inside a trapezium-shaped ground boundaries of which were lined with hay. In the middle of its upper "crossbeam" there was a narrow passage.

By command of one of the action’s organizers viewers began to leave the ground in turns (with intervals of 5 minutes approximately), past a tape recorder lying on the ground near the exit passage. It produced sounds of a working metro escalator – loud vibrating clatter.

Past the tape recorder (1) and along the road across the field (about 500 meters long), they approached a small table in the middle of the road, with a binocular, a whistle and a cardboard sheet with instruction, covering a stack of envelopes. Under the table covered with purple cloth there was another tape recorder (2) playing back metro announcements, such as "Kirovskaya Station" and "Beware of closing doors, next station is Ploschad' Nogina". Each audio fragment was divided from another with an interval of a minute and a half. Therefore, viewers could hear (or not hear) these announcements either before approaching the table, or near it, or past it.


Text of instruction on the cardboard:

1. Take the binocular and observe carefully the participants still standing at initial position. Observe no longer than 30 seconds.

(Comment: during observation through binoculars one could notice Panitkov and Monastyrski standing on each side of the viewers’ group, forward-based; one of them had golden wings, the other had a small silver ball, neither of which could be seen from the ground).

2. Put the binoculars aside and take a cardboard sheet with this instruction. Take the uppermost envelope from the stack and put inside it a paper sheet with text lying on the envelope. Then cover the stack with the cardboard sheet

(Comment: to each envelope marked with letter "M" and labeled  "Collective Actions" there was an attached sheet of paper with text: "INDIVIDUAL OUTLOOK FROM A DISTANCE AT PANITKOV’S GOLDEN WINGS AND MONASTYRSKI’S SILVER BALL". On the right and left of the text there were emblematic drawings of wings and ball, above both of them red letters "M").

3. Take the whistle and blow it as loud as possible, facing the nearby forest. On hearing response signal, put the whistle aside and follow the sound.


In the forest 150 meters away from the table there was S.Letov with his set of wind instruments (saxophones, French horn, cornet-a-pistons, oboe etc). After hearing the whistling sound from the table, Letov started playing one of the instruments until a viewer came up. After approaching Letov each viewer received spoken instructions to proceed deeper into the forest to the next sound source. 80 meters away from Letov, deeper in the woods, there was a tape recorder (3) which produced very loud noise, typical for metro carriage moving at critical speed (documentary recoding).

With the viewer’s approaching the tape recorder (3) the sound grew louder and in some 20 meters a small clearing appeared. In its center a construction hung, attached to treetops with strong fishing line: golden wings (2 meters in diameter) and underneath a silver ball of foil (1.5 meter in diameter). The ball hung half a meter above the ground, under it, covered by dry grass there was the tape recorder.

When a viewer approached the construction, he was given a paper sheet with drawings of ball and wings (in the center there was red letter M). On the sheet’s margins there was an inscription: "COMMON OUTLOOK FROM A CLOSE DISTANCE AT COLLECTIVE ACTIONS’ GOLDEN WINGS AND SILVER BALL". Then he was given a folder of velvety yellow paper, on its cover there was furnishing "golden wings" insignia, and inside the scheme of sound topography of the action and its factual account.

Through stunning noise of the third tape recorder, behind the construction a viewer could vaguely hear violin sounds from deep forest. Following the acoustical source, he discovered a tape recorder (4) playing back a record titled "Music on the verge"-  a 45-minute improvisation for piano and violin, recorded exclusively for the performance "M". The tape recorder with "Music on the verge" was positioned deeper in the forest, 80 meters away from the construction of ball and wing and the third recorder.

The action lasted two hours.


Moscow region, field near the village of Kyevy Gorky.

18th of September 1983

A.Monastyrski, N.Panitkov, I.Makarevich, S.Letov, E.Elagina, Todd Bludeau, M.K., N.Alexeev, I.Yavorsky, V.Goncharova, E.R.


I.Kabakov, Yu.Leiderman, S.Mironenko, E.Bulatov, Natasha, V.Sorokin, V.Mironenko, S.Gundlakh, V.Naumets, N.Kozlov, E.Gorokhovsky, Nina, I.Chuikov, V.Zakharov, I.Pivovarova, P.Pepperstein, I.Panitkov, S.Bordachev, I.Bakstein, I.Nakhova + 6 others

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