A sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence. Rituals are a feature of all known human societies. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community.
They include not only the worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but also rites of passage, atonement and purification rites, oaths of allegiance, dedication ceremonies, coronations and presidential inaugurations, marriages and funerals, school “rush” traditions and graduations, club meetings, sporting events, Halloween parties, veterans parades, holiday shopping and more. Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes, such as jury trials, execution of criminals, and scientific symposia, are loaded with purely symbolic actions prescribed by regulations or tradition, and thus partly ritualistic in nature. Even common actions like hand-shaking and saying “hello” may be termed rituals. (wikipedia)
On Kawara created nearly 3,000 date paintings in more than 112 cities worldwide.
I Got Up, 1968-1979
Between 1968 and 1979, On Kawara created his information series, I Got Up, in which he sent two picture postcards from his location on that morning. All of the 1,500 cards list the artist’s time of getting up, the date, the place of residence and the name and address of the receiver another series of postcards, I Got Up At, rubber-stamped with the time he got up that morning. The length of each correspondence ranged from a single card to hundreds sent consecutively over a period of months; the gesture’s repetitive nature is counterbalanced by the artist’s peripatetic global wanderings and exceedingly irregular hours (in 1973 alone he sent postcards from twenty-eight cities).
On April 19, 2014, Amalia Ulman uploaded an image to her Instagram account of the words “Part I” in black serifed lettering on a white background. The caption read, cryptically, “Excellences & Perfections.” It received twenty-eight likes.
For the next several months, she conducted a scripted online performance via her Instagram and Facebook profiles. As part of this project, titled Excellences and Perfections, Ulman underwent an extreme, semi-fictionalized makeover.
From 1974 until 1978, the artist conceived of, constructed and ‘developed’ a fictional persona and alter ego: that of Roberta Breitmore. The creation of Roberta Breitmore consisted not only of a physical self-transformation through make-up, clothing, and wigs which enabled the occasional role-playing, but a fully-fledged, ‘complete’ personality who existed over an extended period of time and whose existence could be proven in the world through physical evidence: from a driver’s license and credit card to letters from her psychiatrist.”
“Becoming Dragon questions the one-year requirement of ‘Real Life Experience’ that transgender people must fulfill in order to receive Gender Confirmation Surgery, and asks if this could be replaced by one year of ‘Second Life Experience’ to lead to Species Reassignment Surgery. For the performance, I lived for 365 hours immersed in the online 3D environment of Second Life with a head mounted display, only seeing the physical world through a video feed, and used a motion capture system to map my movements into Second Life. The installation included a stereoscopic projection for the audience. A Puredata patch was used to process my voice to create a virtual dragon’s voice, which can be heard in the video.”
The Great White Way, 22 Miles, 9 Years, 1 Street (2001–2009)
Tompkins Square Crawl (1991)
For part of his multi-layered contribution to Made in L.A., Hill worked with artist Texas Isaiah on a kind of commemorative healing project around the city of Los Angeles. Hill ran laps around the perimeter of each school he attended, from pre-school through university: one lap for each year he was there. Texas Isaiah went with him, exploring what it means to accompany someone and bear witness.
The images that emerge from their work together show Hill running on sidewalks outside high concrete walls; standing arms akimbo outside the gates of a Neo-Gothic building; hunched over hands on knees, trying to catch his breath; sagging exhausted in a bougainvillea-lined archway. In each photograph, Hill’s body, often sweating from the exertion of his task, appears small against the institution’s scale: his body the only figure in the frame, contending with the force and scope — the rigid lines — of educational institutional power. (Hyperallergic)
Begun in September 2014, the piece involved her carrying her 50-lb dorm mattress wherever she went on campus. She said the piece would end when a student she alleges raped her in her dorm room in 2012 was expelled from or otherwise left the university. Sulkowicz carried the mattress until the end of the Spring semester as well as to her graduating ceremony in May 2015.
If Keisha Jumped Off a Bridge, Would You Do It Too?, 2018
Evans makes space for her vulnerability and fears, challenging us to view Black women differently, and to more deeply honor Black women’s dreams, labor, and bodies. “My interaction and participation with audience members throughout performances are designed to break traditional boundaries between viewer and performer,” Evans said. “The physical struggles in my work represent Black pain, Feminine pain, and universal/personal pains, like heartbreak.” (Hyperallergic)
“This project is the result of my frustration and desperation in my dating life. I wanted, and still want, a life partner, so badly that it hurts… I reached a point where new ideas for art performances were not even coming readily because I was solely focused on my love life. Thus, this past summer, I decided to go to events that I would normally go to hoping to find someone and tied a laminated sign on my back that stated my intention. In fitting with my usual performance practice of physical and mental endurance I walked for 2-4 hours wearing the sign (sometimes in the hot sun) all while answering personal questions, listening to romantic advice, posing for photos upon request, and explaining my performance practice.” (link)
Featuring a series of bodies transformed by strict physical training regimes, Cassils’ artworks offer shared experiences for contemplating histories of violence, representation, struggle, and survival. Cassils juxtaposes the immediacy, urgency and ephemerality of live performance against constructed acts for camera. Bashing through binaries, Cassils performs transgender not as a crossing from one sex to another but rather as a continual process of becoming, a form of embodiment that works in a space of indeterminacy, spasm and slipperiness.
“My practice is rooted in observation. How do I take forms and live action performance and recreate them in a virtual space? Whether you see shopping carts and I’m shopping in this space, or there’s a trash bag and you will see a big-breasted trash bag morphing monster woman…everything is rooted in how to recycle [elements from the real world into animations]. So for me, it’s a network of being a poet with data and being a surrealist and using language and spaces to kind of generate my own convoluted narratives. ” (link)
WeiweiCam was a self-surveillance project that went live on April 3, 2012, exactly one year after the artist’s detention by Chinese officials at Beijing Airport. At least fifteen surveillance cameras monitored his house in Beijing which, according to Ai Weiwei, makes it the most-watched spot of the city. He described his decision to put himself under further surveillance as a symbolic way to increase transparency in the Chinese government. WeiweiCam consisted of four webcams that sent a live 24-hour feed publicly viewable from the website weiweicam.com. 46 hours after the site went live Ai Weiwei was instructed to shut down WeiweiCam by Chinese authorities. During the time weiweicam.com was live it received 5.2 million views.
An erroneous tip called into law enforcement authorities in 2002 subjected Hasan Elahi to an intensive investigation by the FBI and after undergoing months of interrogations, he was finally cleared of suspicions. After this harrowing experience, Elahi conceived “Tracking Transience” and opened just about every aspect of his life to the public. Predating the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program by half a decade, the project questions the consequences of living under constant surveillance and continuously generates databases of imagery that tracks the artist and his points of transit in real-time. Although initially created for his FBI agent, the public can also monitor the artist’s communication records, banking transactions, and transportation logs along with various intelligence and government agencies who have been confirmed visiting his website. (Designing Knowledge)
The 3rdi arises from a need to objectively capture my past as it slips behind me from a non-confrontational point of view. It is anti-photography, decoded, and will capture images that are denoted rather than connoted, a technological-biological image. This will be accomplished by the complete removal of my hand and eye from the photographic process, circumventing the traditional conventions of traditional photography or a disruption in the photographic program.
Create a program that generates a ritual that you will repeat at least once a day for one week (7 days, 11/26-12/2).
Using any type of recording mechanism, capture part(s) of yourself or your action during each repetition, so documentation accumulates over the course of the week.
Consider: What is the motivation behind your ritual? Think about historical rituals, religious rituals, celebratory rituals, and artistic rituals. What are the rituals we perform as users of technology? Will the program generate a new variation of the ritual each day? Will it automate the occurrence of the ritual? Think back to the first two studies you have performed. What are the main themes or questions that are beginning to emerge? How might you design a ritual that will deepen and push these further?
On 11/12-14 we will have individual meetings to check-in on your work so far and discuss your plan for gesture 3. Please complete this gesture 3 form in preparation.
Gestures will be performed every day 11/26-12/2. We will review these gestures 11/27-11/29. During your review, you will either perform one repetition of the ritual, or exhibit the captured documentation from a previous repetition. Please come prepared to present on 11/27. If you require special setup (additional time, specific equipment or location, specific presentation date) email firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com in advance.
Working in partners, turn your phone into a device that creates a new form of interaction between you two. Think carefully about the type of interaction you want to have, rather than just what is technically possible. Make a quick prototype and then iterate repeatedly.
Challenging the public to engage with a real woman instead of with images on a screen, in these works she illustrated her notion of “expanded cinema,” in which film is produced without celluloid; instead the artist’s body activates the live context of watching. (MoMA)
He attempts to keep in mind the relationship of the viewer to the artwork, one of his main objectives being to transform the normally passive experience of viewing art into an active participation. In this, his latest effort, Domestic Tension, viewers can log onto the internet to contact or “shoot” Bilal with paintball guns. Bilal’s objective is to raise awareness of virtual war and privacy, or lack thereof, in the digital age. During the course of the exhibition, Bilal will confine himself to the gallery space. Over the duration, people will have 24-hour virtual access to the space via the Internet. They will have the ability to watch Bilal and interact with him through a live web-cam and chat room. Should they choose to do so, viewers will also have the option to shoot Bilal with a paintball gun, transforming the virtual experience into a very physical one. Bilal’s self imposed confinement is designed to raise awareness about the life of the Iraqi people and the home confinement they face due to the both the violent and the virtual war they face on a daily basis.
The “Tele-Actor” is a skilled human with cameras and microphones connected to a wireless digital network. Live video and audio are broadcast to participants via the Internet or interactive television. Participants not only view, but interact with each other and with the Tele-Actor by voting on what to do next. The Tele-Actor system combines two ideas: (1) a human Tele-Actor who is more agile than a robot, and (2) collaborative control, which allows many people to simultaneous participate over the Internet.
HateisHateisHate expresses the challenges Black people face in a world of white supremacy. Using 42 pages of hate mail and the FBI’s new Black identity extremism report, Patrisse developed an interactive installation where participants had the opportunity to follow recorded instructions in Patrisse’s voice. They were asked to cut out words and statements and paste them onto butcher paper.
We all have someone or something we would rather just forget. Things fall apart. Love hurts. Dreams die. But when you summon Death Bear to your door, you can rest assured that help has come. At first you may be intimidated by his stature and color (7 feet tall with a hard, black bear head, black jumpsuit, and black boots), but absorbing the memories of others is a dark art, and Death Bear must present himself appropriately for this solemn duty. Death Bear will take things from you that trigger painful memories and stow them away in his cave where they will remain forever allowing you to move on with your life. Give him an ex’s clothes, old photos, mementos, letters, etc. Death Bear is here to assist you in your time of tragedy, heartbreak, and loss. Let Death Bear help you, and absorb your pain into his cave.
“Social Media Break Up Coordinator” is a performance piece that explores the very intertwined and interconnections of our online and offline lines. I am exploring the connections between our digital tools, and human intervention. where do algorithms fail, and humans must intervene? As users of social media, people live their most beautiful, angry, complex, and complicated lives online. I am exploring a series of solutions following a break up and how to ‘coordinate’ a la a therapist or social media coordinator for an ad agency one’s social media account following this messy un-coupling of algorithmic combinations intersections of multiple people’s lives. Like an algorithm, I am creating a series of solutions that can be combined for a variety of situations- following one night stands, best friend break ups, ending abusive relationships, ghosting, and long term partner break ups, as well as a myriad of others.
The Rift: An Afronauts Journey is an Afrofuturist sci-fi time-space travel narrative and performance by Ayodamola Okunseinde. The speculative narrative follows the expeditions of Dr. Tanimowo, an Afronaut from the future, who travels back in time collecting archeo-biological artifacts in hopes of finding the reasons for the collapse of his culture. The Rift: An Afronauts Journey is a response to the persistent disenfranchisement of Africans and peoples of the African diaspora. The Rift recognizes the lack of representation of these peoples and their culture in current projections of the future. Additionally The Rift argues that the denial of this “future space” misrepresents Africa’s potential and denies the intrinsic human capacity of planning and organizing to its people. The deleterious effects of the above is an erosion of the humanity and agency of the subject cultures in the eyes of the dominant Western culture. Afronaut Tanimowo arrives in New York in 2015, he explores predominately African-American communities, such as Harlem, Fort Greene, and Bedford Stuyvesant, making anthropological studies and field reports in hopes of understanding his past. In so doing, Tanimowo displays a possible representation of the future for peoples of this current time-space.
ACCESS is a public art installation that applies web, computer, sound and lighting technologies in which web users track individuals in public spaces with a unique robotic spotlight and acoustic beam system. The robotic spotlight automatically follows the tracked individuals while the acoustic beam projects audio that only they can hear. The tracked individuals do not know who is tracking them or why they are being tracked, nor are they aware of being the only persons among the public hearing the sound. The web users do not know that their actions trigger sound towards the target. In effect, both the tracker and the tracked are in a paradoxical communication loop. The content of ACCESS calls for awareness of the implications of surveillance, detection, celebrity, self-promotion, and their impact on society. The structure of ACCESS is intentionally ambiguous, revealing the obsession/fascination for control, visibility, and vigilance: scary or fun. ACCESS was primarily influenced by the beauty of the surveillance representations (x-rayed bodies, luggage or vehicles, 3D laser scans, satellite reconnaissance imagery, etc.), the invisibility of the collected data, and the power generated by means of surveillance practices.
JusticeLA’s Jail Bed Drop Project was a creative intervention on Christmas Eve 2017 meant to bring attention to families separated by incarceration during the holiday season and encourage a public conversation our jail system. Artists used over 50 jail beds as a canvas and transformed them into symbols with a message. L.A. County is looking to build two new jails with nearly 6,000 beds. Beds are supposed to be where we sleep, where we dream. Jail beds represent trauma, shame, torture and death. Through this project, we envisioned a new, freer and more just world.
Conflict Kitchen is a restaurant that serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. Each Conflict Kitchen iteration is augmented by events, performances, publications, and discussions that seek to expand the engagement the public has with the culture, politics, and issues at stake within the focus region. The restaurant rotates identities in relation to current geopolitical events.
El Tendedero (The Clothesline) is an installation composed of a clothes line, wooden clothes pegs and hundreds of slips. Mayer invited 800 women of different ages, social classes and professions to answer the question, “As a woman, what I hate the most in Mexico City is…” Most answers alluded to sexual violence experienced in the streets. During the exhibition, many other women spontaneously added their answers to the clothes line.
This project was a simultaneous worldwide dinner happening created by Lacy and Pruess to publicize networks of personal, feminist and women’s development organizations around the globe on the eve of Judy Chicago’s first Dinner Party exhibition. The performance was designed as a tribute to Chicago, Lacy’s former teacher, to extend the concept of the dinner party globally, engaging women around the world in a simultaneous event honoring accomplished women in their own regions. Because of time differences, the work constituted a 24-hour performance and was documented by telegrams sent to the museum by over 200 groups. The location of each dinner was marked by Lacy with a red inverted triangle on a twenty-foot wide black and white map of the world, and the telegrams were displayed next to it. The project with its over 2000 participants from all parts of the world demonstrated the extent of feminist organizing in a pre-Internet era.
Voteauction was a Website which offered US citizens to sell their presidential vote to the highest bidder during the Presidential Elections 2000, Al Gore vs. G.W. Bush. [V]ote-Auction is one of most risky and paradoxically successful projects by ubermorgen: it is “the only platform in the world that provide the final consumer an effective role in the American election industry”. A true interchange system that finally “brings capitalism and democracy closer together”.
No Fun is the edited video of an online performance in which we simulated a suicide and filmed viewers’ reactions. It is staged on a popular website that pairs random people from around the world for webcam-based conversations. Thousands watched him hanging from the ceiling, swinging slowly for hours, without knowing whether it was real or not. They unwittingly became the subject of the work. Based on actual news, No Fun tries to create a situation of the most dire loneliness and affect, exaggerating the distance and lack of real engagement in online encounters, to slow down the endless social media flux with a moment of absolute reality.
I got inspired “we can make fake smile with sending electric stimulation signals from computer to face, but NO ONE can make real smile without humans emotion”. This is words from Mr. Teruoka who is my collaborator to make devices. And the piece was influenced by the work of the French researcher G.B. Duchenne “Mecanisme de la physionomie humain” from Icono-Photographique and the Austrian artist Stelarc’s “Ping body”. Coming from this trail of thought I began experimenting with myoelectric sensors and low frequency pulse generators intending to copy the expression of one face onto another. The face visualizer video which known as “Electric Stimulus to Face test” is one of the experiment of this project.
The audience in the theater watches a drama unfold that is directed by four off–stage characters who appear to be transmitting instructions via the internet to three characters on stage. What joins the characters in this work is their relationship with Death, embodied on stage as a modern incarnation of the venerated Mexican archetype of La Pelona (the bald one). The scenes on stage are devoted to fantasies about necrophilia that are loosely based on the true story of an American male artist who traveled to Mexico in the 70s to rent the body of a dead woman, have sex with her and document it as art. Fusco invokes this moment in the history of performance to explore what it means to have to play dead in order to live in all its political, techno–cultural and gendered implications. As the performers go through the requested sketches, they allude to real life situations of religious and political repression. However, as low–paid service workers catering to telematic consumers of violence, they dramatize these histories as endlessly rerun games in which actors are “meat puppets.”
Create an interaction device that supports a performative gesture. The device could either:
Facilitate an interaction between you and the audience
Facilitate interactions between audience members, or the group as a whole (carefully consider what your role as performer will be here)
Working with a partner, facilitate an interaction between the two of you
The device can be:
A found object you modify or something new you build
Made with any software, hardware, fabrication materials, or technology, or using none at all
Tangible or intangible
Static or changing
Anything as long as you can explain why you consider it a “device”
However, keep in mind that the focus is on the performance gesture, not the device. This should not be a demo. Some questions to help you as you develop your gesture:
What sort of interaction do you want to have? Why? What do you feel is lacking in the types of interactions you have already?
In what ways to technologies/devices you encounter in the world shape your interactions visibly or unconsciously?
What device can you create to facilitate this desired interaction?
Will behavior be strictly shaped or will there be space for improvisation or glitch?
How will the device be incorporated into your gesture? That is, rather than just saying “here is the device let’s use it”, how does your use of the device become a performance in itself?
If working with a partner, what are each of your individual interests and goals? How do they come together in this gesture? What are the places where you differ? Can this be an interesting territory for exploration?
We will review these gestures 10/30-11/6. Please come prepared to present on 10/30. If you require special setup (additional time, specific equipment or location, specific presentation date) email firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com in advance.
Cage wanted the piece to be singable by any male or female vocalist, and he wanted them to freely choose 10 different singing styles that could be rapidly alternated. Each style is represented by a different color and the shape of the squiggles indicates the general melodic contour. He was interested in constructing a complex intermingling of disparate styles and genres, but wanted to leave the particular pitches, durations and timbres to the performer’s discretion.
Fontana Mix, 1958
The score consists of 10 sheets of paper and 12 transparencies. The sheets of paper contain drawings of 6 differentiated (as to thickness and texture) curved lines. 10 of these transparencies have randomly distributed points (the number of points on the transparencies being 7, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 22, 26, 29, and 30). Another transparency has a grid, measuring 2 x 10 inches, and the last one contains a straight line (10 3/4 inch). By superimposing these transparencies, the player creates a structure from which a performance score can be made
Variations IV was originally used as music for the choreographed piece by Merce Cunningham, “Field Dances,” with stage and costume design in the original version by Robert Rauschenberg (from 1967 the designer was Remy Charlip). Variations IV is the second work in a group of three of which Atlas Eclipticalis is the first (representing ‘nirvana’, according to Hidekazu Yoshida’s interpretations of Japanese Haiku poetry) and 0″00 is the third (representing ‘individual action’). It represents ‘samsara’, the turmoil of everyday life. As in the earlier Variations pieces, the materials here are transparencies (1 sheet with 9 points and 3 small circles) and a short written instruction. All points and circles are cut up for the creation of a program; 7 points and 2 circles are needed, which are all (except for one circle, which is placed anywhere on the map) to be dropped on a map of the performance space, creating places where actions might be performed. Lines are drawn from the placed circle to the points. The second circle is only used if one of the lines intersects it (or is tangent to it). The result is a graphic representation of where sounds may occur. Cage indicates that sounds may be produced inside and outside the performance space. There are no indications of durations, dynamics, etc.
Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Artists included Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Robert Filliou, Al Hansen, Dick Higgins, Bengt af Klintberg, Alison Knowles, Addi Køpcke, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Ben Patterson, Daniel Spoerri, Wolf Vostell, and many others.
The score—which asks for any number of performers to, among other things, “play”, “pluck or tap”, “scratch or rub”, “drop objects” on, “act on strings with”, “strike soundboard, pins, lid or drag various kinds of objects across them” and “act in any way on underside of piano”—resulted in the total destruction of a piano when performed by Maciunas, Higgins and others at Wiesbaden.
Between 1960 and 1964 he produced the seminal series This Way Brouwn, mapping the city of Amsterdam by asking passers-by to sketch for him on paper the way from A to B, then appropriating their drawing by adding his stamp “This Way Brouwn”. Upon arriving at the destination, Brouwn prompted pedestrians for further maps and directions to alternate locations. This process continued until he had fully traversed and accumulated drawn maps of the entire city.
Stanley Brouwn, Poste-Restante Letter, 1970
In the exhibition “Prospect 1969”, Brouwn instructed visitors to “walk during a few moments very consciously in a certain direction”.
In her performance Subjective Loudness, which took place at the Ueno Park Outdoor Stage during the Sound Live Tokyo festival in 2013, Kim asked an audience of 200 people to recite a series of word scores into microphones that sounded through 200 individual speakers. Each score deconstructs a word representing an object that produces a sound with a volume of 85 decibels. As Kim explained in a letter to the audience: “. . . instead of resisting or subverting Ueno’s sound etiquette [a sound limitation rule stipulating nothing louder than 85 dB], together we will attempt to convert the list [of 85 dB noises] into a score; as part of my practice, I will depend on audience participation as my platform, instead of using the actual stage.”
Queer Technologies is an organization that produces products and situations for queer technological agency, interventions, and social formation. By re-imaging a technology designed for queer use, Queer Technologies critiques the heteronormative, capitalist, militarized underpinnings of technological architectures, design, and functionality. Products include, transCoder, a queer programming anti-language; and Gay Bombs, a technical manual manifesto that outlines a “how to” of queer networked activism; all are produced as product, artwork, and political tool and materialized through an industrial manufacturing process so that they may be disseminated widely.
“Anthology features performances scores—written or graphical instructions for actions—that Owens solicited from a multigenerational group of African-American artists. The masterful William Pope.L’s score speaks to the heart of Owens’s project and black performance as existential above all, a recognition of race as itself an elaborate, continuous feat of embodiment: “Be African American. Be very African American.”
Devise a new set of instructions inspired by the other set to be performed by yourself or the class.
Perform the instructions as stated, but in some unexpected way.
Perform some meaningful breaking of the rules.
We will review these gestures 10/9-18. Please come prepared to present on 10/9. If you require special setup (additional time, specific equipment or location, specific presentation date) email firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com in advance.
Our first topic is user instructions. I would like you each to spend some time looking at instructions or guides for using various technologies. This might mean a setup guide for your Nest thermostat, steps for creating an account, an advice column about how to use social media, an assembly instructions for Ikea furniture, etc. Think broadly about the terms “technology” and “instructions”.
Choose two that are most interesting to you and email a link, picture, or screenshot of each to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm Monday, October 1. If it is a physical item, email a photo in advance and bring the physical item to class.