Performance Art, still alive and hula hooping
An event in New York City called Performa 07 celebrates performance art with 20 days of this contemporary temporary art.
Performance Art is on the rise, and its no wonder in a late postmodern world that is disillusioned with the tradition of object oriented art, and becoming disillusioned with the cool disconnect of post modernism.
Performance art is also starting to involve more performing arts. According to the New York Times many of the pieces(events?) in this performance biennial involve the “intersection between performance art and dance.”
A group two friends and I started in Denton called No Boundaries Sculpture Association had a show of member’s work in May of 2007. We were hip to this trend, and included a performance by Megan Yankee (who has a BFA in Dance). In the performance she took her instincts from dance, and reacted to various pieces in the show and their spacial or visual effect on her. These are some shots of the piece.
Megan and I met on a trip to Marfa Texas (Fall 2006) as part of a research grant to explore the intersection of dance and visual art in a desert landscape. The trip was a great experience, we were invited to partake of the dance workshops (a tiring experience) and we subjected them to the Chinati Foundation, a Modern Art Foundation started by Donald Judd.
Here are some shots of the Kinetic Artist (we decided to call the dance folk this, to get the ballerina picture out of our head) interacting with the space at Chinati. The first two are an dance exercise called flocking, a follow-the-leader type activity but the leader changes as the group moves. Who ever is infront is the leader. It was cool to watch.
But that’s not all performance art has up its sleeve. Gordan Savicic created a constraint device that comments on the social effects of wireless technology.
Using a wireless equipped Nintendo DS and servo motors Savicic created this corset that tightens as the signal strength in the area increases. The performance is recorded, as the wearer takes a walk the route, any detours and signal strength “are recompiled into a “pain-map” which is fetched from GoogleMaps servers with automated scripts.”
An amazing collage of technology an performance, where the technology controls the wearer, and the only power the wearer has is to avoid areas of dense signal strength. Also an interesting look at the claustrophobic feeling of walking in a herd of cell phone users all talking to people who aren’t there and walking like they have blinders on.
HOORAY! for performance art. It can’t be bought or sold, can’t be shipped (unless that’s the piece) can’t sit and collect dust (unless that’s the piece). It holds on to its experimental roots, and is one of the areas artists can still feel avante garde.