Ephemera I (2004)

Sketch for Ephemera I (2004)
S200224 / Bambuco Archive

In 2003, at the invitation of the organisers of the Lille 2004 European Cultural Capital Festival, Simon Barley went to France to begin research and development for Ephemera. The organisers had seen Bambuco’s work in Leuven and wanted a work that would be a flagship for the cultural program.

Ephemera I, Quais de Chine, Dunkerque (2004)
S301189 / Bambuco Archive

"For this project we have developed a new 'pre-tensioned bamboo' technology. This is tested, and as far as we know, is a true innovation. This technology enables us to build very reliable, rapidly constructed, temporary performance spaces especially suited to dynamic loads and aerial performance." Simon Barley

Ephemera I was installed on the city waterfront in Dunkerque at the same time as Nomads’ Land II was being installed in Villeurbanne and Balancoire in Cognac. It was the first time Bambuco had taken on a number of commitments which required the company to be split into two production crews. This more complex set-up across locations meant that Bambuco’s engineer was on site for most of the build and spent a large proportion of pre-production time in planning, testing and site analysis. New company members were also recruited to enhance the company's self-reliance in aerial performance.
                The cigar-shaped modular bamboo construction system for Ephemera I had been in production since 2003. The very first models were made out of beer bottle tops and wooden skewers. The six-metre high “cigars” could be stacked up to 35 metres in height and were used in Dunkerque, Lille and later on in Newcastle upon Tyne.