OPEN, the performance festival on Sunday, was a lot of fun. All the performances were great, and I had a great chat with Maiko about performance, puppets, and more.
My performance, “a list of terrible things to do”, was structured like this-
The audience was asked to fill come and fill out terrible things for me to do in sharpie on pages of an old gospel book (on which I had letter pressed “a list of terrible things to do” in the top left). After the first batch, they could continue to do so to influence my performance. These lists were collected and slipped under the door by my assistant (thanks Basia!).
I remained in the room adjacent to the main performance space, with the doors closed. A live feed of audio and video were projected into the main space for the audience to view. In the room with me were various props – puppet/sculptures, rope, tape, sticks, etc.
The performance was based off a song I wrote by the same name, where each verse begins with a variation of “I’ve got a list of terrible things to do”. I thought it would be interesting to react to the terrible things other people came up with.
There are a number of reasons for separating myself from the audience by the live feed. For one, I was interested in how it made people have to tell someone to do something terrible who they could only see in a mediated way. It mimics our relationship with the media, with television and video games, with drone strikes, etc. Second, I wanted to perform in the actual space of the LIPS building. The room full of church pews is more interesting to me then the concert hall, but can’t hold an audience. Third, I wanted to double/ rearrange the space. I was right next door to the audience, but also right in front of them, and in the room with them.
Anyway, here are the videos –