Andrea Wolf
Dimitris Makris


The 52 minute video documentation of a 52 minute slow-walk performance that took place on Oct. 21st, 2009 at the ITP floor, 721 Broadway.

Recurring Concepts in Art

[Additional notes related to the 2010 Spring Gallery submission:
This piece could work well in the 2010 Spring Gallery venue as
1. It is a long-format piece, which could be of interest to some
2. It was shot on the ITP floor, and thus has "topical"/spatial relevance
3. It has a dynamic element in the sense that the content of the video includes elements of the afternoon of 10/21/09 that will change in significance as juxtaposed to the progression of actual life on the floor]

Early in the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 21st, Dimitris walked extremely slowly across the ITP floor while Andrea was documenting the performance on video. That was “Passage”, created as a midterm project for Recurring Concepts in Art.
The assignment was to recreate an earlier technological piece without the use of technology. Moreover, the project had to be informed by the theoretical concepts discussed in class.
The work that served as the original was Heartbeats Left: a countdown of the remaining heartbeats of Dimitris Makris based on actuarial data. Heartbeats left highlights our diluted perception of the passage of time and performs a transformation that is applied to temporal perception by magnifying the rate of change.
Passage, like Heartbeats Left, also employs a transformation: the quantity transformed is time itself and this is achieved by slowing down the movement.
The choice for situating this piece on the ITP floor reflected the desire to appropriate and, as a result, activate that space, in terms of performance. This intention was informed by Goffman’s notion of the performative aspect of daily interactions according to which any interpersonal encounter involves some degree of curating one’s own self-image. The choice of setting up a performance piece was a way to emphasize the constant yet latent performative character of the ITP floor that is a hybrid between private and public space.
The notion of the Spectacle is strongly linked to the above account. Daily interpersonal performances constitute, in and of themselves, episodes of the Spectacle. Arguably, the Spectacle cannot be escaped, as it will always contain us. However, one can puncture it by, if anything, acknowledging its presence. The two poles associated with the Spectacle are not those of endorsing or rejecting it. Rather, the operative poles are of being aware of it or not being aware of it. The power of the Spectacle lies in its concealment, in the unsuspecting swallowing of its conditioning by which agency is forfeited. Thus, any gesture towards the Spectacle constitutes an acknowledgment of its function. Related is the notion of the Carnivalesque as the fear of appearing nonsensical lies at the core of daily conformism dictated by the "internalized panopticon". Indeed, the palette of possibilities needs to be exercised to retain its functionality, else it atrophies.

The title “Passage” is an implicit reference to the celebrated “On the Passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Moment in Time: The Situationist International 1956-1972”. The idea of creating a "situation" through this piece was decisively informed by the homonymous artistic movement.

Any visitor to the WS09.

User Scenario
The anticipated scenario involves a visitor of the Show experiencing the piece. The rhythm of the video might provide a juxtaposition, a contrast with the rhythm of the Show.

A 52 min video that will loop during the 4 hour duration of the Show.

The experience of performing the piece was a good example of a case where knowledge of something can only be attained by direct experience. In terms of the video, it is interesting to observe the interaction that was instigated by the performance.