Affection

Affection will recruit actors. These actors will be placed inside a regular TTC subway car on a typical morning commute as well as along the platforms in the direction of the train.

One actor stands in the subway car aisle, mid way between a set of doors. This will put them adjacent to two typical four-seat sections. They will stand; either holding a pole and reading, texting or otherwise normally engaged. A second actor will be seated in one of the  eight seats in the direct vicinity of the “stander” and will be similarly, typically engaged.

At a predetermined subway stop the seated actor will prepare to leave. As they leave they do so in a way that takes them very close to the “stander”. When the two are touching the departing passenger imparts some affection, care or comfort on the standing stranger. The stander should show no reaction other than to take the departing passengers seat. They are in turn replaced by another actor who stands just like the first.

The exchange continues along the entire subway line. Passengers who are riding from one end of the city to the other would see this continuous display of affection or care between strangers until they leave the train themselves.

I think of this as a dance that the rest of the passengers would watch.

Affection could be a hand brushed against the cheek, imparted words of secret love, an embrace.

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24 Hours

24 Hour Conceptualization Marathon

Could I sit and think of worthwhile and compelling new concepts if I did it as a performance piece in and of itself?

Even if I didn’t add to the library it could be a statement on creative blocks.

I’m picturing me sitting at an interrogation desk in what would look like–or actually be–a police station interview room. The performance could be filmed and seen through 2-way mirrors. maybe there’s a camera suspended directly above the table I write on. With this in mind the aesthetic of looking at a bank of 4 video monitors would be cool. Therefore film it from 4 different angles. directly above looking down at the desk, behind my left shoulder and looking down at approximately a 45 degree angle. straight on from directly across from the front of my body showing under the table as well and maybe a close up on he actual book I’m writing in.

Maybe I’m shackled to the chair. Maybe this is an elaborate set that needs to be constructed in a museum that I could actually sit inside and interact with to “perform”. The audience would have access to what I’m doing thought the two-way mirror in the observation room, a a bank of video cameras in that room that would have a joystick attached to change the views slightly or zoom in closer and an intercom button that that could talk to and here me from.

Food and Drink would be brought on occasion. I would also have to be escorted to the washroom every now and then. Maybe I’m handcuffed as I’m led in and out of the room by a uniformed officer.

Upon playback the viewer would have the ability to zoom in on the document I’m writing. All the time this looks like I’m writing a confession, when in truth I’m creating a book of concepts.

As well as being the statement on concepts and thinking, it’s also a direct statement on the way certain societies think about the criminality of the creative mind and have done throughout history. Finally the title is intended as a play on the popular television series “24″

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The Clock

This was the original thought for the piece I ended up performing last fall in Hamilton.

The Task but using 1 pallet of blocks in a square space that has some access for filming from
directly above.

Place the pallet of block in the in the north center quadrant which will represent 12 o’clock. Move the pallet 12 times over the 12 hour period so that the finished pallets end up in positions representing the hours of a clock.

This task is completed when the pallet is returned to it’s original position at 12 o’clock 12 hours later.

Film onto a computer hard drive so the camera can be suspended and continuously film. Use larger block than Nuit Blanche to manage the hour between hours.

Do this on an actual stage and the audience can sit and observe like the most boring play in the world. Lighting and music included, it would be very cool if there was a trap door I could use as the escape route to washroom and eating. Maybe in the center of the stage?

Only requires 1 full pallet of bricks and an extra pallet to act as the transfer pallet.

Find a theatre that doesn’t have anything going on for Nuit Blanche. Maybe ask the Nuit Folks. The more elaborate the venue the better.

By selling the piece as a wall clock as a large edition. Make the cost of those pieces simply the cost of the drive required to hold/run the film.

I executed a version of this for the 2011 Hamilton Supercrawl. It was weird being in the thick of things, and I would have preferred to be arthritis free, but all in all I think the people enjoyed either discussing the piece or razzing me about it. I think the curatorial staff was pleased as well.

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Art Work

Since the execution of The Task I’ve dreamed up a bunch of other similar performances based around labour and construction. These are all variations on the theme;

1. Hole – dig a hole and then fill it in over a 12 hour period. I see it as a pretty large hole. one that I may end up having to get in and out of with a ladder. The other thing I just realized is I’m thinking of a grave shape. during the process I’d endeavor to control the formation of e walls so they were very uniform.

2. Pyramid – see if it’s possible to make a pyramidal dirt form while emptying a hole. the hole itself should be shaped like the inverse of the pyramid.that will end up the same shape. To execute maybe start with a square short walled sand box type base and pile the dirt but shape it as I go with a bricklayers trowel.

3. Cone – same as above but a more radically sloped shape than what would be creayed by gravity. I envision the final, product as being more topiary in nature.

4. Gravel Cone – get a gravel slinger truck to drop a load of p gravel but have them slowly dump it to form as close to a true conical shape that gravity will form as possible. Move that cone of gravel to a location about 20 feet away by hand with a shovel and a large step ladder. the possibility also exists to use a wheel barrow and set up a scaffold to facilitate dropping the gravel from a point above the cone as it increases in size via that wheelbarrow. This could be a site specific work that unfolded over the period of a week or two.

5. Snow – shovel an entire football field by hand.

6.

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Tennis

Make a glass cube or use an exiting squash court with a glass viewing wall. Mount four automatic tennis ball canons on a mechanism that’s robotically programmed to rotate and built into the roof of the cube/court. Create a false floor that will funnel the tennis balls into a return mechanism to replenish the canons on a perpetual basis. Fill each machine with different Colours of tennis balls. Stand underneath the canon assemble and viola. The tennis balls are fired and the subject attempts to return or play the balls or ball if at all possible. Move between active optimism and concentrated action to static hang dog dejection as the balls continuously move.

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Watcher

Secure a vacant store front in a busy part of town close to existing art galleries. Maybe on Queen. If possiblesome place “vintage” and under renovation/abandoned.

Put an old office desk and chair in the vacant mess facing a large front window to the street. Get a reel to reel and a set of headphones with a monitor speaker and a small fridge for snacks. Typewriter. Hang an obvious old school analog microphone outside up high out of reach that is wired to the recording/monitoring equipment which picks up the sporadic passerby conversation which is in turn recorded on the reel to reel. I can monitor the exterior dialogue/commentary on headphones or the speaker. I can also play back the recording. Figure out if I need 2 reel to reels so I can continually record the conversations.

As people walk by and say stuff I type it out. I transcribe it. Any conversation is written out and recorded. The viewer could be watching me record their conversation or simply watching me complete an earlier transcription if they aren’t saying anything. Regardless the viewer has something of interest to view when they are actually engaged viewing or talking about the subject (me). The audience provides the content and the context of the space. It’s a performance piece that would also be augmented by the typed transcript and the recorded tapes and a series of photos/video.

There’s a 2 way mirror set up behind and over my head that would hide my camera. I could remotely control it by a foot switch set up under the desk. I could therefore document the subjects and the action of what I’m transcribing this way.

Elements of Lives of Others, Krapp’s Last Tape and The Task Also another exercise on the process/meaning of art. Turns the audience into the piece.

I thought about this while performing the task and listening to the audience commentary.

Existential. There is no performance without the audience, the voyeur becomes the subject of observation.

Possible locations
Check where Nuit is happening and explore the possibility of Contact or Luminato.

Part of 170 Bloor West – shop with the walk up and the small round table that I’ve taken pics of. Not bad but the view inside is partially obscured by the hideous door handles.

Identify each passerby in terms of clothing and basic physical. Example Tall, White, Male, Red T-shirt.

Make my attire mimic the time period of my equipment and set. 70s is a good era that speaks to the idea of the Stasi, my youth, and the beginning of the audiophile advances. Is it possible to get 70s stereo equipment?

What about using Camera? Does it still have it’s front curtain.

Another possibility I to set it up on a club or bar in the middle of the floor and wire several locations with microphones. This looses a bit of my initial meaning and concept but it could be a good offshoot. Played back though this could be executed with some of the beauty of the Janet Cardith Motet piece. An aural sculpture mixed to provide snippets of interesting conversation about stills taken of me at the desk. I could hire a team to document what I’m doing then augment that photography and video with the recorded dialogues and the typed transcript.

If Camera is open… I could set up in Bulger’s gallery and rig a mirror so that people could look in through his front door and see me head-on doing the transcription of the stuff I recorded from Camera next door. Fuck, organize the video for the task and have that in a gallery space that people would come look at and talk about while I recorded their commentary on this very Paul Auster / Lives of Others way.

Play Farben Techstar to the people I’m documenting.

Edit and mix the pure vocal tracks to create a symphony of spoken word lyrics. Repeating phrases as recurring themes and slowly layering and unlayerimg them to create a cohesive Peter and the Wolf type piece.

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Seeing

Seeing is the next body of work I’ll start to build seriously. It’s been in the idea stage for over a year and I’ve researched it quite a bit already. The next steps are pretty daunting. I need to finish building my studio in the basement, apply for various grants, learn how to write well, teach myself how to hand Braille, and devise a way of making large format Braille works.

Seeing is about understanding. Specifically it’s about understanding that visual art –by it’s very nature and the nature of current museum structure– is exclusionary. In the most obvious way visual art is about seeing and it is definitely inaccessible to the visually impaired or blind. Sculpture is the possible exception, but even with sculpture patrons in galleries are not allowed to touch works so even it is inaccessible.

The ideas for Seeing originally struck me as a way to use photography to create text based art. I’ve always liked text stuff. The original idea was simple, I would describe photographs in text and print those descriptions instead of the photographs. I would change how the image is imagined by not letting it be seen at all. In a way this is a show about photography without showing photography. There does however seem to be a lot of text based work around in the contemporary art world. It’s become rather common place.  Because of that I began to think of ways to create pieces that might still be language based but not so stereotypically word art. If, for instance I was to print the text in very light grey on a white page it would make it less legible and less immediately obvious that it was text. This also served the purpose the obscuring the text, and in a way removing the photograph more, while still demanding the viewers attention.

At this point I started to think about Braille and then I kept thinking about Braille and started researching it. I’m now planning to convert my photographs to descriptions for the visually impaired or completely sightless, then translate that further into Braille by use of a software program called Druxbury, then write the Braille on oversized art paper and those panels of white Braille dots will become the actual art work. I’ll do a series of maybe a dozen pieces all in the same dimensions as the photographs they describe.

I had a fixation for months to get aluminum or fiberglass panels created via a CNC Router and a process they call raster Braille, but the costs were astronomical. There was aslo something too cold about manufactured panles. I far prefer the idea of doing the Braille work by hand now

The people at the CNIB have been very helpful and supplied me with this amazing document circa 1980 I’ve included a page of that document here. I love this document, it’s typed!

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Paths

In a meadow or on some secluded lawn, subtly mark out a 50′ circle. Preferably in a bit of a depression, valley, or beside a hill.

Set up a video camera and shoot a pic that encompasses the circumference of the circle, also shoot a still image of the secluded lawn prior to the performance.

Start filming as I repeatedly walk around and around the perimeter of the marked circle. Try it for like 6 hours or until a well worn path has emerged. Stop filming.

Take a picture of the newly created path.

Would be really cool in a dirt field in the rain. The mud would exaggerate and amplify the path.

I was toying with the idea of creating and photographing or filming more pathways like ‘circular path” with the same theme. A path that abruptly ends, a path that leads directly into water or over a cliff, one that leads directly into a wall, one that turns with an abrupt right angle, several pathways to parked cars suggesting the same route to a parked car is taken every day, two pathways that head directly towards each other then abruptly end.

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June 1st, 2012 addition
Adendum for Paths

Experiment with different methods of giving a birds eye view

Scaffold
Existing structure
Wires
Skimmer pole

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