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THIS is

Comments

Pall Thayer Feb. 1 2008 19:45Reply

Dammit. It removed the part in quotes… the subject is supposed to read:

THIS is "Time based art"

Erika Lincoln Feb. 2 2008 09:42Reply

I feel like I watched a commercial, or some promo for a TV show. blech

Vijay Pattisapu Feb. 2 2008 10:24Reply

haha seconded

Ethan Ham Feb. 3 2008 13:32Reply

I enjoyed it… if it feels a bit commercial it's because the concept has been co-opted by ad agencies. There was a commercial which had 20-somethings using their cel phones to coordinate invading a supermarket and taking slingshot rides down the aisles… a bastardization of the crowd happenings that changes them from something that is intended to give the viewers a surreal experience into anarchic & destructive joy-riding.

Michael Szpakowski Feb. 5 2008 16:27Reply

Yeah, I liked it too. A nicely executed bit of theatre. If anything the implicit politics strike me as *anti* market - In this busy space where people hurry to do business, get to work, we choose to do something utterly gratuitous. Not only that but the content of our nicely organised (& in that careful organising itself lies another layer of *our* time stolen from the man) acte gratuit itself involves - what? - well… *doing nothing*, *stopping*, manifestly neither *working* nor *doing business* nor *making war*. And there are whoops of genuine pleasure from onlookers at the end.
There is an encroaching element of theme-parkness in some large-scale art/performance that I find distressing, a blend of demagogy, marketing and the banal ( I'll name names if anyone cares) & I'd be the first to be critical of it; but this piece seems to me to be the antithesis of that phenomenon - smart, worked over, un-lazy, complex.

Jelmer Witkamp Feb. 6 2008 06:51Reply

I enjoyed it a lot. this is so much better than a commercial, if only for the fact that there was no (obvious) brand placement involved. Experiencing this as a commercial tells us more about the artistic potential/value of certain commercials than anything else.
I agree with Michael that the power lies exactly in simply seizing to actively take part in society. It is unnecessary to do anything more than that in a place like Grand Central, as people have such a short attention span when walking through a public space. It might just be a more effective approach to actually reaching an audience than kicking against the establishment

James Feb. 6 2008 13:51Reply

I agree that this was a wonderful project, Improv everywhere has been doing an amazing series of these for a while now. I found it inspiring and along the lines of Boal's invisible theater.

Just as a side note their server has been slammed and hosting costs are through the roof. If you enjoyed the piece consider dropping a small donation on them http://www.improveverywhere.com/2008/02/04/donate/

james

Joe Edit Feb. 7 2008 01:03Reply

or is it "Dogs Playing Poker" for performance art?

Nigel Ayers Feb. 7 2008 13:44Reply

Hey, I've seen this done in Covent Garden. They call it "living statues".

Michael Szpakowski Feb. 7 2008 19:02Reply

Hi Nigel - living statues in Covent Garden, Barcelona, Paris whatever… just *so* dull..agreed.
There's no room, no resonance in that form which is exactly the same in every detail that matters whatever it *looks like* & wherever it is carried out.
(In a sense it's small scale "theme-parkism" and that analysis, I think, is borne out by the very immediate cash nexus involved in the living statue thing)
There's something very different about this - connected with it's one-offness, the fact it is a created/enacted by a collective & also that it's entirely free of the above mentioned monetary aspects , as well as the anti market sub text I maintain is present (whether put there consciously or not).
For me, it is typologically related to the student 'Anti-Normalizer' project Brett Stallbaum posted on here awhile back

http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/26527/#49096

- we reposted the vid of that on dvblog

http://dvblog.org/?p=535

& thinking aloud then it struck me that there was something there very much in a line of descent from 68's ‘Sous les pavés, la plage!’ - it's no accident, as we old Trots love to say, that this kind of work, with its deeply utopian strain, is surfacing again now, in a time of increasing political and economic uncertainty…

Michael Szpakowski Feb. 7 2008 19:02Reply

Hi Nigel - living statues in Covent Garden, Barcelona, Paris whatever… just *so* dull..agreed.
There's no room, no resonance in that form which is exactly the same in every detail that matters whatever it *looks like* & wherever it is carried out.
(In a sense it's small scale "theme-parkism" and that analysis, I think, is borne out by the very immediate cash nexus involved in the living statue thing)
There's something very different about this - connected with it's one-offness, the fact it is a created/enacted by a collective & also that it's entirely free of the above mentioned monetary aspects , as well as the anti market sub text I maintain is present (whether put there consciously or not).
For me, it is typologically related to the student 'Anti-Normalizer' project Brett Stallbaum posted on here awhile back

http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/26527/#49096

- we reposted the vid of that on dvblog

http://dvblog.org/?p=535

& thinking aloud then it struck me that there was something there very much in a line of descent from 68's ‘Sous les pavés, la plage!’ - it's no accident, as we old Trots love to say, that this kind of work, with its deeply utopian strain, is surfacing again now, in a time of increasing political and economic uncertainty…

Vijay Pattisapu Feb. 7 2008 15:06Reply

Nigel Ayers Feb. 8 2008 16:23Reply

Grumpy old git that I am, it caught me in a cynical mood. I was put off by the presentation of the video with the David Blaine - style reaction shots and the upbeat music.
I like the utopian kind of thing and I like how this '68 stuff is re-surfacing and to see the return of that great '70s dance, the standing still.

Joe Edit Feb. 9 2008 00:48Reply

well, not so grumpy, and the late 60's reference falls on deaf ears to me.
what is sad is that so many are commenting on a video momento of a physical performane piece that was orchestrated via cell phones. Rather than altering or changing the network, the performers dumbly went along with the instructions. If the piece had a dynamic life on the net I might consider it. If the piece had an online manifestation I might show some interest, If the participants had exhibited their creativity then maybe… but this is just a mildly newsworthy event that became popular on youtube.


Joe Edit Feb. 9 2008 01:57Reply

well, not so grumpy, and the late 60's reference falls on deaf ears to me.
what is sad is that so many are commenting on a video momento of a physical performane piece that was orchestrated via cell phones. Rather than altering or changing the network, the performers dumbly went along with the instructions. If the piece had a dynamic life on the net I might consider it. If the piece had an online manifestation I might show some interest, If the participants had exhibited their creativity then maybe… but this is just a mildly newsworthy event that became popular on youtube.


Pall Thayer Feb. 9 2008 08:36Reply

Joe, the orchestrators of the event, "Improv Everywhere" exhibited creativity in designing and organizing the event, as they have done many times before. I think one of the primary qualities of this type of performance is the fact that it happens just once and then it's done. Calling it a "mildly newsworthy event that became popular on youtube" is to entirely ignore the context within which it is done and an unfair judgement of the work. A bit like trying to review a book while ignoring the story it contains.

Nigel Ayers Feb. 9 2008 09:31Reply

What I was meaning was the late 60s reference is the so much of this "interventionist" street art draws heavily on the theories and practices of 60s and 70s artists and activists who were highly critical of the dominance of military, political and commercial interests in mainstream media.

I would say that focussing on the novelty of the technology that is used to create can perhaps draw us into a consumerist mentality,
that is something is good or "creative" because it uses a new(ish) gadget,
and so you lose the essentially socially interactive interactions of this kind of thing.