On yer bike, for the sake of art

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The Independent Culture

Abandoning his bicycle helmet for the sake of art, Bart Visser is also sacrificing his clothes for the sake of science in the UK premiere of The Graphic Method: Bicycle at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

Bear in mind that to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, since this piece of performance art involves Visser sitting naked on a bike pulled by a motorised winch, at a speed of one-fifth of an inch per second, along a 30ft track.

It takes half an hour, during which the intrepid performer is lifted from the saddle by one of the pedals and, moving as though dismounting in slow motion, has to swing his leg over the saddle without touching it. Sensors on his body amplify and transmit his heart, breathing, muscular and emotional activities to the audience.

Created in 1979 by the Dutch innovator Dick Raaijmakers, The Graphic Method: Bicycle was inspired by the work of the French chronophotographer Etienne-Jules Marey. His technique is reversed, however, as a motion sequence he captured in photographic images comes full cycle, brought to visual and aural life.

Tonight at 6pm, Bates Mill, Milford Street, Huddersfield (01484 430 528; www.hcmf.co.uk). The 31st Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival runs until 30 November