Home..About....News... Participate...Call For Work...Residencies...Links....FAQs....Contact Us

Open Council Policies

Orange Charming

Urban Gardening

Improvised Construction

Art Stories

Public Bonsai


Public Archery

Corner Busking

Manhole Dancing

Pond Swapping

Public Glockenspiel

Reflexology Paving

Open Buildings

School Projects

Bin Spreading

The Sea


Policies Pending/


There was a renewed sense of excitement as everyone filed out, torch in hand piece of rubble in the other, to the joining in event. The boisterous crowd were skillfully managed by the officials as Yoko again let the atmosphere build until eventually, after some minutes delay, she emerged brandishing a torch and flashing the 'I love you' signal to the Castle Keep from her platform in the spotlight. After a minute or so Yoko waved to her adoring fans and then disappeared and after five or six minutes more of joining in the crowd also started to disappear, moving out in small groups.
Yoko appears and sends her message of love to the Castle Keep.
The members are made to wait and wonder.
Moving outside for the joining in activity.
As Yoko Ono exited the stage leaving the pile of rubble for everyone to take a piece, a near stampede broke out from the back right hand side of the audience prompting the captain to return and appeal for calm and giving assurances that there was enough for everyone. There were also some complaints as members struggled to free themselves from the blue wool from before which had now become a genuine health and safety hazard as it lay strewn across the floor. Luckily nobody came to any harm.
The blue wool became hazardous.
The captain appeals for calm.
A moment after this picture was taken a stampede broke out.
The pot is wheeled past at Yoko's command.
The mystery of the black sack was solved with Yoko Ono's final piece that left the audience in a near frenzy of excitement. First she instructed an assistant to wheel a large brick pot past the audience so that it could be seen by all, then the black sack was whipped away revealing a pile of rubble. After some gasps of confusion Yoko explained that the rubble was once a pot identical to the one that was wheeled past moments ago, then she invited all of the members present in the arena to take a piece of the pot and in ten years we will all reunite and put the pot back together again.
While all this was happening two youngsters were passing a ball of blue wool along each row of the audience but it was not clear whether this was on the instructions of the artist of if they were acting independently.
After the applause had died down the lights came on it was soon clear that the stage was being transformed into an interview formation with two chairs and a table with microphones and water. An anonymous man fired the questions at Yoko who calmly answered while the two men who were playing a game on the stage before were back measuring string out into one metre lengths for later.
The ball of blue wool being passed along.
Sidekick: these two measured string while Yoko talked.
Yoko taking a question from the fans.
Finally the captain of the Baltic appeared on stage and after a few short announcements welcomed on Yoko Ono who launched straight into a performance piece using the plastic chair. This was immediately followed by another performance in which Yoko paraded up and down the stage accompanied by video footage of herself from before.
Yoko shows us two versions of herself.
Versatile: Yoko performs with the chair.
Yoko is announced.
Other objects on the stage included a small plastic chair and a large, bulky black bag. The presence of the bag led some to speculate that Yoko Ono was inside it, possibly performing her famous Bag Piece from 1965.
In the bag: Yoko Ono performing Bag Piece when she was younger.
Feverish: speculation was rife that Yoko was in the bag.
At five o'clock the doors opened and the members filed in and took their seats. The atmosphere was electric in the arena and the sounds went up and down as anticipation of Yoko's arrival grew. While we were waiting we could speculate about a playful performance piece that the artist had laid on that involved two gentlemen quietly playing a game on the floor of the stage.
These two went unnoticed for some time.
Got everything?: Tickets. Torch. Instructions.

At the desk tickets were exchanged for a torch, a set of instructions for the joining in event and a new ticket. The instructions for the event were:

Send the ONOCHORD message:


by repeatedly blinking the light in the frequencies and durations required for the message:

Keep sending the message to the end of the year and beyond. Keep sending the message everywhere on the earth and to the universe. Keep sending.

For individuals: send the message by hand or using flashlights or with lighters. The message in ONOCHORD is:

I love you!

hi-lights.tv at work above rigged up a light on the Castle Keep below.
The preparations for the joining in event were in full swing early doors with hi-lights.tv of Gateshead taking care of the technical tasks. A brave worker from hi-lights.tv caused a brief panic as some feared that he was about to commit suicide from the top of the Baltic where he was in fact just installing some equipment. The Open Council can reveal that the plan was to conduct a communication in lights between the Baltic and the Castle Keep using two large lights, installed on top of each building and with the help of the members who were provided with a tiny torch at the ticket desk courtesy of the Baltic and Yoko Ono.
First class bravery: A worker from hi-lights.tv of Gatehead works on the edge.

The Open Council was in attendance at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art for the eagerly awaited appearance of Yoko Ono. It was the hottest ticket in town and members and Beatles fans piled in from all over Newcastle and Gateshead to listen to a one hour talk by the celebrity artist followed by an outdoor joining in event involving a torchlight communication between NewcastleGateshead.

The atmosphere in the Baltic was electric as the sell out crowd milled around the art shop and cafe facilities well before the event was due to start and as usual the Open Council were in early to see what was happening.

Avant garde celebrity artist visits Baltic.