Sunday, February 12, 2006

Make performance art. Be positive.

"At this very moment, Rob Bohn is holding a red jacket in his hand and standing on the corner of 23rd and Broadway near the Flatiron Building.He is excruciatingly cold for he cannot wear his jacket unless he is given an orange.
Simply find a way to get an orange to him and he will thankfully put on his red jacket.
He will be standing on the corner until the sun sets - wearing or not wearing his red jacket.

He is depending on you."

This performance, tagged as "wappening", was created by Lee Walton.
It worked:


TDLIII said...

VVOI, can you elaborate on the effectiveness or lack thereof concerning this project?...I am interested in your thoughts.

Anabela Rocha said...

O seu blogue é muito inspirador e interessante. Obrigada

vvoi said...

(Thank you Anabela!)

Theo, here is my comment:
I was reluctant to writing about this, since I still don't have a clear opinion.
Effectiveness could be seen as one of the key issues here. What does it change? And should it? Are we to see it as a Allan-Kaprow-like mini-happening that is to touch one person in a crowd? I certainly don't think so. Although only one person got the chance to (inter)act, all of us are being witnesses of the event. Sure, we came in late, but we get the evidence and it clearly shows that something happened for real, like an internet chat someone left open on a public computer.
Why use the internet? What is so attractive/important about the net? Maybe it's the contrast between this one lonely real guy actually freezing his butt off and all of us comfortable typomaniacs that look at him, that peep in for the fun.
Sure, it has the innocent look because of the orange, and the way it was presented. But it's dangerous nonetheless ("dangerous" is not necessarily pejorative - remember this is performance art ;)). It reminds me of Santiago Sierra's diverse ways of using his subjects. Maybe the scary thing is that they become mere objects (Nitsch...). Of course, the orange here is a way of civilizing it... But is it really? The boy will go on standing. You be the judge.
What I like about this performance is its simplicity, and the way it gets to the point. We are all easily connected, we just choose not to use these connections (or not to see them).
It is a happy performance, and an optimistic one. And finally, it takes away this horrible weight from the internet. It tries to play with its "real" aspects. I would say this attempt is a fairly modest one, but that's also what makes it charming. And what makes me wish for more.

What do you think?

Hans said...

I do not wish much charme from art, better get this from a good girl.

Vvoi, sometimes you are too theoretic for defending stuff, for me (anyway not a performer) this performance just was crap. Yes, you said, you wasn't clear about it yet.
Everything can be a performance, but not every performance is also art.
Is the dying civilian in Iraq a performance too ? No, clearly not, because he is not choosing to put his only life into art context. He is just dying because of agression. I much more like your acts of art, but this stupid flu orange bullshit in safe New York I really do not get.
Some of my fellow student collegues in Amsterdam made a sort of Black box with inscripting of a soon to be drowning living mouse, one should drop HFL 5.00 (USD 2) to save her life. I found this the most stupid work I ever saw until then and hate the guy (he was german) still today.

Theodore Diran Lyons III said...

VVOI, I do share some of the sentiments of Grijsz, although I might contextualize them a little differently. Key issues in the present work seem or appear to be that the internet can be used as a tool for ludic communication between different persons, but we knew that already in more profound and even less sophisticated ways [re: chat rooms and various types of hacking terrorism and 'hacking terrorism' IE, the literal sense of the term and computer viruses, respectively]. I am reminded of the attitude you took toward the DELEAT! project in Vienna last summer, and seem to feel similarly toward this new performative work dealing with the orange, cold weather, and a random person coming to the rescue. But, I leave room of course that I might be drastically wrong on this issue, and just desire however that I am shown to be so with some sort of analysis which I am sure you could provide if you were in conceptual support of this piece.

I'm leaning toward...Hmmm...The project trivializing the lack of safety people experienced in New York in September 2001 [as was the criticism of our jumper Kerry Skarbakka], and the lack of safety that people are certainly experiencing in the Middle East presently. Running the risk of catching the flu because one opts to not wear a jacket until an orange is presented is miniscule in comparison to the lack of choice one experiences in being born in that aforementioned region of the world. But now we get into metaphysics, and stray from aesthetics a bit more than I have time [or perhaps intellect] to deal with in such a short space...

Anonymous said...

Hey I'm the one in the red coat holding the orange. I willingly chose to do this performance for I dont know what reason. I had never done a performance piece before this one. From my perspective I wanted to do this because I wondered the effectivness of the internet. Would anyone care to save me? I stood there for two and a half hours before this man came along and brought me the orange. Afterwards I recieved one and a half more oranges a blood orange some pastries and a fruit salad from people who saw the post. For me it was about the first person to come along - that was the initial desire. Would anyone care to bring me the orange? When would they come? after that it was about how many people responded out of the entire internet population and cared to see if I had the jacket on. I stood there until the sun went down. Some one saw the post in europe called someone they knew in nyc to get down there and check me out. Performance art isnt only about the viewer its about the perspective of the person doing the performance as well. It made no sense at first but then as I continued to think about it until the sun went down that day I completly understood it.


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