My first big assignment for ITP is now finished. And that is a good feeling. Thank you to all of our classmates for making it work. I am so curious to hear what you felt, thought, and experienced. (So feel free to comment)
On the first day of Applications, Vitto Acconci came in and spoke. It was an incredibly inspiring 90 minutes. Immediately after that talk my four teammates (three of whom I had never met before), and I went out to dinner. And we started talking about our reactions. How we felt about his work, what his works made us feel, and the challenges it posed to our previous work.
The main aspects I/we were drawn to were his bravery, honesty, and willingness to leave behind the elements that blocked his work from achieving what he was aiming to do. Lastly, I was deeply drawn to his desires to treat viewers as “users,” and to allow them to share moments of intimacy with each other through his works.
Inspired by Vitto’s jumps from performance art, to installations, to architecture, I knew I wanted to stay away from “a stage performance.”
After hours and hours of discussion, our group did define our goal. In an effort to create a moment of true presence and intimacy, we wanted to first disorient our audience and then give them something human and honest to hold on to.
Our piece began with an edited sound loop playing, as our classmates entered Cantor. They were each given stickers, and asked to keep a pen handy. There was also a video design, set to the music, playing up on the main screen. One group mate, Michael Columbo, gave a set of instructions to the audience. (Basically to remain seated, and be open to the experience.) Then in one flurry of motion:
-The lights were turned off.
-A large plastic sheet was pulled over the heads of the entire audience.
-Two other group mates (Paragini Amin and Lia Martinez) climbed up ladders, and pointed projectors at the plastic.
-I crossfaded the video from the main screen to Lia and Paragini’s projectors, while changing the sound design.
We then projected 31 different statements. They were truths that we are afraid to face alone, and are certainly needed a push to share aloud.
After those statements were finished we projected a right yellow light. Michael then told our audience that those are our truths. He asked them to write something that was true for them, and to stick it to the plastic.
We gave the audience several minutes, passed the plastic up to the front of the stage. Several statements were then read aloud, before we folded it up and exited the auditorium.
These photos were taken by Becky Kazansky. Thanks Becky! ( I have rock star envy, and always wanted to create a piece that people took pictures and shot youtube videos of!) Also a big thanks to Todd Holoubek for all the pushes at just the right times.