[this blog post is best paired with the staves’ “steady”]
leah and i filmed a performance art piece this week as a response to toby’s show.
our piece is a rejection of passivity in response to injustice and hardships seen in the world. part of toby’s artist statement says, “progression that surpasses our spiritual maturity inevitably comprises our well-being. this is true at the individual and collective level. we are born into the turbulent stream of technological advancements and ideological wars; conversations that have gone on for millennia that we have just walked in on. the primary reaction is to isolate ourselves in homes with our boxed objects and framed photo-shopped memories as water leaks under the doors. those of us who sense this futility tend to only create our own subcultures where the currency is social media reactions, tattoos and in-crowd references.”
it is not enough to notice the stream of ideology and injustices that we witness everyday–although it is a start. our piece asks the audience to notice, and invites intervention.
the work shows my hand in front of a brick wall and dark foliage holding a piece of glassware then suddenly dropping the vessel. outside of the frame the glass crashes on the ground (in a bucket to catch the glass shards), leaving the viewer only with an audible crash. my hand pulls out of the frame and about 45 seconds follows. in those seconds, the audience can hear birds chirping, cars driving, and spots of morning light dancing in the background. after the seconds of stillness, my hand enters the frame with a new glass, drops it and the pattern continues for about 23 minutes. in the gallery, the video is projected onto a floating sheet (repurposed from a tablecloth), and the glass shards displayed on a box under the video.
a thought on process–
most of the art that i make is usually contemplative in process. much of the value of my works are found in the process of meditation during the making.
that was not the case during this piece.
while we were filming, i didn’t find myself thinking about toby’s body of work or what purpose the piece serves. i was consumed by execution. although, i did enjoy the therapeutic monotony of dropping a glass every minute followed by shattering glass.
it was a strange way to experience execution, but i think that made the performance aspect of the piece more real for me. and unlike most of my pieces, this was meant for others to contemplate, rather than my own expression of meditation.
it was a good experience.