The physical strain of living with Ridley is starting to show and we are both starting the feel the effects. Small minor repairs have started to become necessary to keep Ridley working properly. Luckily there has been nothing major only the turn of a screw, glueing or bending something back into shape. I have also started to bruise: thighs and knees and taking a battering whilst I am sitting and walking with the feet up. There is a sense that we are both feeling the pressure, which makes it easier to live with.
The weather has turned a lot colder and being caught waiting for a bus whilst being haled upon is not a good feeling. Once in Canterbury City centre Ridley and I visited the Dane John Gardens. Here Ridley was let loose, and by this I mean fully attached, to roam the gardens. This was the beginning of an uncanny day. Exploring the trees and evergreen plants Ridley started making sense of the natural world in relation to himself. As the puppeteer to this, I found the process of manipulation incredibly natural. The persona of Ridley, that is formed from out of myself, came very easily and almost rebounded the other way: I found myself smiling at Ridley's reactions and surprising myself.
After this we visited the Canterbury Tales tourist attraction. The purpose of this visit was to bring Ridley into a false world. The attraction takes the form of different scenes populated by life size model characters. Audio recordings and lighting leads you through different rooms as you make your way from "Rochester" to "Canterbury", being told different tales on the way. In this world there are no real people, only false statues and the feeling that nothing is authentic. It is a world which Ridley belongs to, inanimate objects. The reaction of Ridley to this world was at first one of uncertainty. Confusion over these still, human shaped objects. Through these he began to realise the reality of himself, as he discovered false flames and false people the truth of him being part of this group swelled, or rather this was born out of the growing impossibility of the project. Ridley is an animated inanimate object and this paradox has served as an interesting experience for the both of us. He "lives" only in the minds of myself and the people around me. Other people see his "life" through movement. I have a different relationship: I do not need the movement to reconfirm this "life". Through living with Ridley I have accepted his paradox and he holds "life" as an object even when he is hanging off me as a "dead" object. It is longer any dead object it is "Ridley" and all the experiences we have shared together. I do not feel, I need to animate him fully when I am at home, however when in public there is a strong sense to display his "life" and to tempt people into seeing this, for example: when people show an interest in Ridley there is an automatic drive to start animating him, a need for performance. This manifests from Ridley being a performing object, he was built to perform; suspend reality for an audience and appear with uncanny life.
I feel like I have started to settle into a routine and almost the worst is behind me, but that is to be seen...