Networked_Performance

Live Stage: Performing Participation #1 [us NYC]

Performing Participation #1 :: December 11, 2010; 7:00 – 9:00 pm :: empty commercial storefront, 200 Schermerhorn Street (Hoyt-Schermerhron street: A/C/G Dekalb Ave: B,D,N,Q,R).

Performing Participation #1 is a live performance and video screening that question the conditions of participation in contemporary art practice. Performance documentation of Brody Condon’s ‘Level Five’, Nadja V. Marcin’s ‘Nadja by Breton’ and Jon Cohr’s ‘Spice Trade Expedition’ will be screened. Live performances of new works by Zachary Lieberman, David J. Merritt, Alan Bailey and Taeyoon Choi will be presented. Organized by Taeyoon Choi with the Public School New York.

Performing Participation #1 is inspired by the conditions of participation such as the following anecdotes.

A person lecturing to 7000 oak trees and basalt stones about the abject failure of his work said “After seeing too many other artists cooking and giving away food in galleries, creating alternative economies, growing vegetable in unusual places and the fact that books like Relational Aesthetics is a text book for art students, all of this and my art seem to lose legitimacy as contemporary practice. The failure is that of not relating to life, only relating to the Relational art.

A midcareer artist, who made a name for himself by doing community art few decades ago, expressed discontent at art historians writing about his work in a certain way to prove their argument. He said when community art is institutionalized and documented, it is vulnerable for interpretation outside of artist’s intention and result in objectification of the participants. And he no longer makes explicitly participatory art.

A group of young artists are debating over whose friends are better than the others. Idea of artist collective needs to be questioned. Artist’s friends are often the primary audience and the most intimate community and the participants. Artists benefit from the presence of community, and rest of the community is often consumed for few artists’ success.

Performing Participation #1 presents works by artists who employ wide variety of approach to participation.

Nadja Marcin is a German artist based in New York, whose work questions vulnerable state of human body’s relation to social expectation and desire. Marcin will show a video work and ‘Nadja by Breton’ a video documentation of recent performance. Quoted from her website, ‘Marcin’s performance raises questions of social communication and accountability to the design and usage of a public, social and personal space as an immanent principle of life.’ On the other hand, she makes cinematic videos with herself as a protagonist and family, friends, and actors acting themselves or a slight variation of their character, perhaps playing themselves in a different time . In her ‘As in Science Fiction’, nothing that happens is a fiction and yet everything seem to be imagination.

Brody Condon is a prominent artist whose work is highly participatory performance that blur the boundary of truth and fiction, performer and spectator. Condon’s latest piece ‘Level Five’ is a multi-day performance of self-revelation seminars by participants ‘Live Action Role Playing’ a character, that happened in the Hammer Museum in LA and Zero One San Jose Biennial in 2010. In a recent interview with Art in America, Brody Condon asked “What’s more interesting: an intense, three-day performance for a group of participants, who are some portion of the public after all, or a thousand people walking into the space and having an experience for 30 seconds, not quite understanding what’s going on and leaving?” Since ‘Level Five’ do not allow spectators, watching the documentation of ‘Level Five’ collectively with the presence of others will be as close as one can get to experience the piece without participating.

Zachary Lieberman, creator of the award winning ‘Eye writer’ will present new work in progress performance using custom made interactive software. With a team of hackers, Lieberman developed ‘Openframeworks’ an open source computer programming tool kit for artists and designers. He collaborates with artists as well as software community to create media art projects that engage the public through sensual interaction, notably the award winning ‘Eyewriter’. Quoted from the project website, ‘Eyewriter is an ongoing collaborative research effort to empower people who are suffering from ALS with creative technologies. It is a low-cost eye-tracking apparatus & custom software that allows graffiti writers and artists with paralysis resulting from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to draw using only their eyes.’

Jon Cohrs is a new media artist who explores the condition of ecosystems with his invented psuedo scientific instruments and humorous documentaries made in interventionist strategies. In November of 2010, Cohrs lead a canoe trip to New Jersey Industrial zone in search of origins of artificial flavors. The work in progress documentary will be screened along with a previous project that set foot path for this excursion. The project is described in an interview with Art 21 blog as “Marco Polo-esque” trek through the meadowlands of a place far, far away: New Jersey. The state boasts one of the highest concentrations of natural and artificial flavoring factories in the United States, a quirky fact that sparked the idea for Cohrs’s project, Spice Trade Expedition. “We’re going straight to the source, to see if we can find out more,” Cohrs says in an explanatory video”in much the same way you’d visit a farm to connect with your tomato.” After the trip, Cohrs also lead a three day camping to New Jersey Wetlands with a diverse group of participants.

David J. Merritt, an emerging artist who works in sculpture, video and performance. Quoted from artist statement, ‘My work forces thought into a corner where it has to make decisions, immediately and potentially irrationally.’ Merritt will perform a new piece at the opening. During which, he will ask participants to create and destroy several small idols through a series ritual-game-like situations. The relics of these impromptu collaborations will then be entombed along with artist in a large wooded monolith.

Allan Bailey, an emerging artist who works with video and paintings, will perform a new piece at the closing. Quoted from his artist statement ‘My work deals with how panic is experienced and processed by the body. I use video and performance to recreate a visual perception of this state. The piece Saying Hello to the Monitor focuses on the ritual of an individual preparing to engage in a public space.’ Bailey’s subtle yet intense performance shows the procedure artist goes through before participating in the world.

Taeyoon Choi is organizing the event and present few segments of lecture-performance that contextualize invited artist’s work and curatorial idea to raise questions of ‘staged participation, fabricated documentation, and the role of collaborators and sponsors’. There will be a pause between each piece, hoping for an interruption, conversation and reaction by the participants. Next will be a free class with lecture and discussion at the Public School New York later in the month.

Special thanks to Triple Canopy, Light Industry and Motto.


Dec 8, 13:26
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