For the first week of the Interactive Arts course we were put into mixed 1st and 2nd year groups and our theme was to do a party on 'Something We All Dislike.' Our initial idea was to do a darkness, as this is generally a dislike of people and with this idea we would hold our party in the darkroom and focus on the senses with things hanging from the ceiling and blindfolding people, however, the darkroom was already taken so we had to rethink.
While discussing our dislikes, the Pope came up as a topic as he had recently been ion the media for his controversial visit to Britain, amid reports of security costs and sexual abuse claims. We all agreed we were not fans of the Pope, some to varying degrees and the ideas came thick and fast such as having a female Pope and bringing them in on a trolley as they flick holy water at people. The idea was that the party would poke fun at the position of Pope and the rumours of indecency surrounding him so one idea was to have the Pope run away with the collection plate of money at the end of the party. At the end of the first meeting we were all designated a part, I was to sort the music out which we decided would mix Gregorian chanting with modern hip hop to keep up the satirical theme.
The party was on Thursday 30th September and we came in at 10 to set it up with an altar as the centrepiece which we decorated with red candles, tealights a Bible and various other religious icons. The food and drink of the party were crackers, rice paper and red wine to resemble a holy communion.
We knew that the subject matter of our party was controversial and because of this a complaint was made on the day of the party. Our intention was never to offend anyone or cause controversy for the sake of controversy and we wanted to make it clear it was simply problems we had with the Pope and not an attack on Cathlocism or religion as a whole.
Because of the complaint we did tone down our party and kept it to simply the Pope and Cardinals walking in to the chanting and then 'Ridin'' by Chamillionaire.
Despite the mixed reaction to the party I personally wouldn't have changed it as it is our own expression and I don't think any part of it was or would have been extreme and I personally would not have complained about a party in favour of the Pope. As for our team, I think we all worked well together as we all had the opportunity to have our own input and we all brought our own parts in for the party, rather than some people coasting through it.