lights camera sound actions | time-based contemporary art


In Uncategorized on July 20, 2009 at 8:17 pm
I hand this out on the street.

I hand this out on the street.

Tonight was the first Want. It was fascinating. I am thrilled with the direct contact with the public and the diversity of responses. (So often one has no contact with an audience and no idea of the response.) I was touched by how many people responded with such thoughtfulness, how seriously they approached the decision of what to want. Some people wanted to think about it and return next month to record their want. Early in the evening, someone laughed uproariously and described the piece as very entertaining.  (I remember how in the 70s that was a bad word.) Many people were delighted. One person wouldn’t record his want, saying his English wasn’t good enough (he spoke perfect English) and that he became flustered with microphones. A few people (all men I think) were interested in the hardware. Many people (mostly women) asked for guidance or permission about what categories of wants they might be allowed to have and I felt a little explosion (if only in myself) when I replied that it was entirely up to them, their decision, that it could be anything. There were quite a few children and with the little ones mums and dads accompanied them in the tent. One mother fed her child her lines then followed up by saying she could choose whatever she wanted – of course the child parroted what she had been fed. Only one group of people, three couples in their mid to late thirties, gave me the brush-off and responded as though I was soliciting them for some kind of gimmick when I invited them to participate. Another young couple was very reluctant to talk to me and one older couple were somewhat supercilious. But overwhelmingly, people were completely genuine and present and I found a remarkable clarity in my interactions. I am so happy with this project!

I want to upload 4 audio files from July 3 but when I try, WordPress does not allow mp3s without an upgrade. I will look into it but it probably means money.  By the way, my dear old art gal friends Margaret and Berenicci helped me know what to call this work (i.e. community-based, interactive installation/performance).

Artist Statement
The public is invited to enter the silk tent under the awning and record a voice message of one sentence starting with, “I want…..”. These messages will be collected by the artist over the July, August and September Art City events at varying locations. At the October event, they will be played back over loudspeakers.  In this work, I am creating an aural picture of community defined by our desires. What is it we want? Yes, we live in an acquisitive consumer society yet desires and wants have always been part of the human condition.

July 3, 2009

  1. […] engage audience in different ways. You can track its progress on this blog – it started as a participatory, performative installation on the street, carried out 3 times in different downtown locations, culminating in a street audio installation […]

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