November 24, 2010

::documentation:: 22 Nov 2010

SETTING: An open mic night for graduate students in a private Catholic university in a midwestern American town. The lineup of 9 includes some wonderful singers and musicians. I come on at the 6th spot. 



Diversion. A revolutionary orientation. Failure. To trouble the open mic. To turn the open mic into an experimental laboratory. To double the open mic, and to other the open mic. To examine if the open mic means the same thing to the other as it does to me. To chop up the open mic into asymmetrical bodily pieces. Like a Dixie Band. To perpetuate the confusion with which the universalizing, homogenizing gaze gazes outward. Or cross-eyed. To stage a happening. To transform the audience into an accidental art collective. To interrogate the audience's expectations (from the performer; from itself). And desires. To interrogate the performer's expectations (from the audience; from herself). And desires. To renege on the pact they say the performer makes with the the audience. To invoke new pacts. To invite the possibility of an event at the end of which the audience and the performers /co-participants/ leave the site of performance with art-objects marked by presence, prophecy, and absence.


1. I distribute index cards and pencils.

2. I ask the audience (25-28 people) to write down whatever it is they would never ever want to see in an open mic.

3. I ask them to pass their card to the person on their left.

4. I say that what they hold in their hands is what they will be going home with. But if they don't like what their index card says, they could exchange it for one of the following 4 options:
  1. Great handsome lilies of despair. 
  2. The white curve on black background we call thought.
  3. Carrier pigeons.
  4. Emergency kisses.

[Andre Breton made 4 each of these items available to me to distribute as I saw fit. I distributed them as index cards textuated in black, blue, pink, and green inks.]

5. Five people come forward to exchange their index cards.

6. My tally at the end of the performance:
  • Great handsome lilies of despair (3 nos.)
  • The white curve on black background we call thought (3 nos.)
  • Carrier pigeons (3 nos.)
  • Emergency kisses (2 nos.)
  • An execution (particularly a bloody one) (1 nos.)
  • Competitive pooping (1 nos.)
  • A land shark riding an armored bear reciting poetry (1 nos.)
  • A closed sign (1 nos.)
  • Nude ribbon dancing (1 nos.)

No comments:

Post a Comment