Supplement to Bernedette Wegenstein reading

Body Performances from 1960’s Wounds to 1990’s Extensions (pg. 37-43)

“…I found that this thing called the camera-the video camera- and the screen, the monitor, are tools that can do that by their nature, because they give you the world back, but in[…] it’s not your own experience, but yet it is not mediated to another person, it’s this kind of mechanical art- it can give you new points of view and new insights in a simple and direct way”– Bill Viola pg. 37    http://www.billviola.com/ 

Collage:

Futurism  was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasized speed, technology, youth, and violence, and objects such as the car, the aeroplane, and the industrial city. Although it was largely an Italian phenomenon, there were parallel movements in Russia, England, Belgium and elsewhere. The Futurists practiced in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, urban design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture, and even Futurist meals.  Cubism contributed to the formation of Italian Futurism’s artistic style.[2] Important Futurist works included Marinetti’s Manifesto of Futurism, Boccioni’s sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, and Balla’s painting Abstract Speed + Sound (pictured). To some extent Futurism influenced the art movements Art Deco, Constructivism, Surrealism, and  Dada.

Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century, with early centers in Zürich, Switzerland at the Cabaret Voltaire (circa 1916); New York Dada began circa 1915, and after 1920 Dada flourished in Paris. Developed in reaction to World War I, the Dada movement consisted of artists who rejected the logic, reason, and aestheticism of modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense, irrationality, and anti-bourgeois protest in their works. The art of the movement spanned visual, literary, and sound media, including collage, sound poetry, cut-up writing, and sculpture. Dadaist artists expressed their discontent with violence, war, and nationalism, and maintained political affinities with the radical left. (Legend has it that the term Da Da comes from the artists Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco saying “da da” often, which means “yes yes” in Croatian)

Hannah Höch (German: November 1, 1889 – May 31, 1978) was a German Dada artist. She is best known as an originators of photomontage, a type of collage in which the pasted items are actual photographs, or photographic reproductions pulled from widely produced media.

Hannah Hoch The Beautiful Girl (1920)

Hannah Höch. German, 1889-1978
Cut with the Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany (Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser durch die letzte Weimarer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deutschlands). 1919-1920
Photomontage and collage with watercolor, 44 7/8 x 35 7/16” (114 x 90 cm)
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie

Carlo Carrà (February 11, 1881 – April 13, 1966) was an Italian painter and a leading figure of the Futurist movement that flourished in Italy during the beginning of the 20th century. In addition to his many paintings, In 1910 he signed, along with Umberto Boccioni, Luigi Russolo and Giacomo Balla the Manifesto of Futurist Painters, and began a phase of painting that became his most popular and influential.

Rhythms of Objects (Ritmi d’oggetti) (1911)  oil on canvas, 53 x 67 cm,

Carlo Carrà Manifestazione Interventista (1919) Tempera, pen, mica powder, and paper glued on cardboard, 39.1 x 30 cm

Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti (December 22, 1876 – December 2 1944) was an Italian poet, editor, art theorist, and credited founder of the Futurist movement. Marinetti is best known as the author of the first Futurist Manifesto, which was written and published in 1909. 

Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti , A Tumultuous Assembly. Numerical Sensibility (c. 1919), Letterpress, 10 1/2 x 13 in. 

Günter Brus (b. September 27 1938) is a controversial Austrian painter, performance artist, graphic artist, experimental filmmaker and writer. Brus was a co-founder in 1964 of Viennese Actionism. His aggressively presented actionism intentionally disregarded conventions and taboos with the intent of shocking the viewer. He was involved into the NO!Art movement. In 1966 he was with Gustav Metzger, Otto Muehl, Wolf Vostell, Yoko Ono and others a participant of the Destruction in Art Symposium (DIAS) in London.

Günter Brus, Aktion Selbstbemalung I, 1964

 

Deborah Warner (born May 12,1959) is an internationally acclaimed British director of theatre and opera known for her interpretations of the works of Shakespeare, Bertolt Brecht, Georg Büchner, and Henrik Ibsen.

Deborah Warner, The Angel Project (2003)

 

“The first feather — sleek, silvery, perfectly symmetrical — fluttered to my feet on the Manhattan-side platform of the Roosevelt Island Tramway. It was one of thousands of feathers I would happen upon on Tuesday during my experience of ”The Angel Project,” the director Deborah Warner’s mystical walking tour of New York and the theatrical centerpiece and opening event of this year’s Lincoln Center Festival.

Still ahead was that long, lush U-shaped pathway of white feathers in a celestial locker room; the pastel plumage of the small caged birds that had taken over a deserted office, high above Times Square; the feathers — sometimes black, sometimes white — on the angels themselves, who were often to be found sleeping on floors and desks.

Yet it seems unlikely that Ms. Warner was responsible for that first silver feather on the tramway platform while I was waiting to go to Roosevelt Island, where ”The Angel Project” begins. I looked up and saw the pigeon it had come from, and surely that pigeon was not in Lincoln Center’s employ….” – Ben Brantley in NY Times

Chuck Close (born July 5, 1940) is an American artist who achieved fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits. Close often paints abstract portraits of himself and others, which hang in collections internationally. Close also creates photo portraits using a very large format camera.

Chuck Close, Self Portrait (2004-2005) oil on canvas (102″x86″)

Chuck Close Website: http://chuckclose.com/ 

Gabi Trinkaus (Austrian, b. 1966) refers to herself as a “media thief.” She cuts up glossy magazines into small pieces, using them as source material for her collages of portraits and city landscapes which refer to the aesthetics of advertising and the mass media. Common poses, ideals of beauty, and commodity offerings are picked up and sampled in the large works. In these makeovers of faces and bodies, Trinkaus generates a superficially perfect form, enticing the beholder into a visual trap, consciously using media and advertising iconography as bait for the first glance. By borrowing from an aesthetic associated with the world of advertising and celebrated iconic faces, Trinkaus plays with the idea of seduction in her work. With the help of the collage technique, she creates a Frankenstein-like resurrection of the dissected advertising subject. Like layers of make up pealing away, the faces and bodies seem to dissolve and reveal the mask-like character of our daily life performances.

Gabi Trinkaus, She’s Born With It (2009), printed matter on canvas, 165 cm x 120 cm

Gabi Trinkhaus, er, (2009), printed matter and pins, 52,5 x 47,5 cm

Gabi Trinkhaus, J´adore (2005) printed matter on canvas 165 x 140 cm- book cover image

Gabi Trinkhaus, you can sleep (2006) printed matter on canvas, 2 panels, 250 x 220 cm ea.

____________

Performances in the Era of New Media, or the End of Performance? (pg. 73-78)

Stelarc (b. 1946, Cyprus) is a performance artist whose works focus heavily on extending the capabilities of the human body. As such, most of his pieces are centered on his concept that “the human body is obsolete”. http://stelarc.org/

Stelarc, Prosthetic Head (2003) link to more info: http://stelarc.org/?catID=20241 

Stelarc, Ear on Arm (2003-2012)

“I have always been intrigued about engineering a soft prosthesis using my own skin, as a permanent modification of the body architecture. The assumption being that if the body was altered it might mean adjusting its awareness. Engineering an alternate anatomical architecture, one that also performs telematically. Certainly what becomes important now is not merely the body’s identity, but its connectivity- not its mobility or location, but its interface. In these projects and performances, a prosthesis is not seen as a sign of lack but rather as a symptom of excess. As technology proliferates and microminiaturizes it becomes biocompatible in both scale and substance and is incorporated as a component of the body. These prosthetic attachments and implants are not simply replacements for a part of the body that has been traumatized or has been amputated. These are prosthetic objects that augment the body’s architecture, engineering extended operational systems of bodies and bits of bodies, spatially separated but electronically connected. Having constructed a Third Hand (actuated by EMG signals) and a Virtual Arm (driven by sensor gloves), there was a desire to engineer an additional ear (that would be speak to the person who came close to it). The project over the last 12 years has unfolded in several ways. The EXTRA EAR was first imaged as an ear on the side of the head. THE 1/4 SCALE EAR involved growing small replicas of my ear using living cells. And recently, THE EAR ON ARM which began the surgical construction of a full-sized ear on my forearm, one that would transmit the sounds it hears.

The EAR ON ARM has required 2 surgeries thus far. An extra ear is presently being constructed on my forearm: A left ear on a left arm. An ear that not only hears but also transmits. A facial feature has been replicated, relocated and will now be rewired for alternate capabilities. Excess skin was created with an implanted skin expander in the forearm. By injecting saline solution into a subcutaneous port, the kidney shaped silicon implant stretched the skin, forming a pocket of excess skin that could be used in surgically constructing the ear. The body is a living system which isn’t easy to surgically sculpt. And recovery time is needed after the surgical procedures. There were several serious problems that occurred: a necrosis during the skin expansion process necessitated excising it and rotating the position of the ear around the arm. Ironically, this proved to be the original site that the 3D model and animation was visualized. Anyway, the inner forearm was anatomically a good site for the ear construction. The skin is thin and smooth there, and ergonomically locating it on the inner forearm minimizes the inadvertent knocking or scraping of the ear. A second surgery inserted a Medpor scaffold and the skin being suctioned over it. The Medpor implant is a porous, biocompatible polyethylene material, with pore sizes ranging from 100-250 micrometers. This can be shaped into several parts and sutured together to form the ear shape. Because it has a pore structure that is interconnected and omnidirectional it encourages fibrovascular ingrowth, becoming integrated with my arm at the inserted site, not allowing any shifting of the scaffold. We had originally considered mounting the ear scaffold onto a Medpor plate thinking that this might elevate it more, and position it more robustly to the arm. But this wasn’t the case and this solution was abandoned after being tested during surgery. Now, implanting a custom made silastic ridge along the helical rim would certainly increase helical definition but also would make room for later replacement of that ridge with cartilage grown from my own tissues. The helix would need to be lifted enabling the formation of a conch and make the ear a more 3D structure. The ear lobe will most likely be formed by creating a cutaneous ‘bag’ that will be filled with adipoderived stem cells and mature adipocytes. In other words the ear lobe would be partly grown using my own adult stem cells. Such a procedure is not legal in the USA, so it will be done in Europe. It’s still somewhat experimental with no guarantee that the stem cells will grow evenly and smoothly – but it does provide the opportunity of sculpturally growing more parts of the ear- and possibly resulting in a cauliflower ear! During the second procedure a miniature microphone was positioned inside the ear. At the end of the surgery, the inserted microphone was tested successfully. Even supported with a partial plaster cast, the arm fully wrapped and the surgeon speaking with his face mask on, the voice was clearly heard and wirelessly transmitted. Unfortunately it had to be removed. The infection caused by the implanted microphone several weeks later proved to serious and heroic efforts were undertaken to save the scaffold, after the microphone was surgically extracted. The final procedure will re-implant a miniature microphone to enable a wireless connection to the Internet, making the ear a remote listening device for people in other places. For example, someone in Venice could listen to what my ear is hearing in Melbourne. This project has been about replicating a bodily structure, relocating it and now re-wiring it for alternate functions. It manifests both a desire to deconstruct our evolutionary architecture and to integrate microminiaturized electronics inside the body. We have evolved soft internal organs to better operate and interact with the world. Now we can engineer additional and external organs to better function in the technological and media terrain we now inhabit. It also sees the body as an extended operational system- extruding its awareness and experience. Another alternate functionality, aside from this remote listening, is the idea of the ear as part of an extended and distributed Bluetooth system – where the receiver and speaker are positioned inside my mouth. If you telephone me on your mobile phone I could speak to you through my ear, but I would hear your voice ‘inside’ my head. If I keep my mouth closed only I will be able to hear your voice. If someone is close to me and I open my mouth, that person will hear the voice of the other coming from this body, as an acoustical presence of another body from somewhere else. This additional and enabled EAR ON ARM effectively becomes an Internet organ for the body. The body now performs beyond the boundaries of its skin and beyond the local space that it occupies. It can project its physical presence elsewhere. So the notion of single agency is undermined, or at least made more problematic. The body becomes a nexus or a node of collaborating agents that are not simply separated or excluded because of the boundary of our skin, or of having to be in proximity. So we can experience remote bodies, and we can have these remote bodies invading, inhabiting and emanating from the architecture of our bodies, expressed by the movements and sounds prompted by remote agents. What is being generated and experienced is not the biological other – but an excessive technological other, a third other. A remote and phantom presence manifested by a locally situated body. And with the increasing proliferation of haptic devices on the Internet it will be possible to generate more potent phantom presences. Not only is there FRACTAL FLESH (bodies and bits of bodies, spatially separated but electronically connected, generating similar patterns of recurring activity at different scales); there is now PHANTOM FLESH(Phantom not as in phantasm, but as in phantom limb. Haptic technologies generating tactile and force-feedback that results in a more potent presence of remote bodies). The biological body is not well organ-ized. The body needs to be Internet enabled in more intimate ways. THE EAR ON ARM project suggests an alternate anatomical architecture – the engineering of a new organ for the body: an available, accessible and mobile organ for other bodies in other places, enabling people to locate and listen in to another body elsewhere.”- sourced from Stelarc.org 

2010 New Territories Podcast: Stelarc on Excess and Indifference; The Cadaver, The Comotose and The Chimera

VALIE EXPORT (born May 17, 1940)  is an Austrian artist. Her artistic work includes video installations, body performances, expanded cinema, computer animations, photography, sculptures and publications covering contemporary arts.Valie Export, Tap and Touch Cinema, 1968-1972

Vito Hannibal Acconci (January 24, 1940 – April 27, 2017) was an American designer, landscape architect, performance and installation artist.

Vito Acconci, Trademarks (1970).

Sitting in front of a camera, Acconci performs a series of contorted poses and bites into his arms, legs and shoulders, resulting in impressions of his teeth left on his skin. He then covers these marks with printers ink and used them to stamp various surfaces.

Gina Pane (b.May 24, 1939 – d.March 6, 1990) was a French artist of Italian origins. She was a member of the 1970s Body Art movement in France, called “Art corporel”.

Gina Pane Discours Mou Et Mat (1975) 
Pane, dressed in white and wearing sun glasses, performs various actions using objects laid out in the room. A poem is being read out, the subject of which is the mother figure and birth. She smashes her reflection in a mirror to pieces. The word ‘Aliention’ which is written across her mirror image is destroyed. Pane ends the performance by lying down beside the naked female figure, the mother. Restful violin music surrounds them, she looks upwards through binoculars. The camera does not play an active role in this work, but only serves to register Pane’s actions. The performance is attended by an audience, which now and then is briefly filmed by the camera.

Video documentation excerpt: http://www.li-ma.nl/site/catalogue/art/gina-pane/discours-mou-et-mat/2848

Adrian Piper

Adrian PiperCornered, 1988

Medium: Video installation with birth certificates; single-channel video, color, sound; monitor; table; chairs
Dimensions: Dimensions variable
Credit Line: Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Bernice and Kenneth Newberger Fund (1990.4.a-p). Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Throughout her career, Adrian Piper has provocatively analyzed cultural biases and their impact on the individual, holding firmly to her conviction that art can operate as a catalyst for change. Cornered entangles viewers spatially and intellectually in the moral, social, and political complexities of racial determination. Positioned defensively in a corner behind an upturned table, the video features the artist speaking directly to viewers, informing them about the history of miscegenation in America and challenging people to honestly address their black ancestry.

Interview with Adrian Piper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyie3doKyUw

VALIE EXPORT- Genital Panic

sourced from Tate.org

Action Pants: Genital Panic is a set of six identical posters from a larger group that the artist produced to commemorate an action she performed in Munich in 1968. The posters show EXPORT sitting on a bench against a wall out of doors wearing crotchless trousers and a leather shirt and holding a machine-gun. Her feet are bare and vulnerable, as are her genitals, and she holds the gun at chest level, apparently in readiness to turn it on the viewer towards whom her gaze is directed. Her hair stands up in a wild mop above her head, emphasising the strangeness of the image.

The action that gave rise to the photograph Action Pants: Genital Panic has become the subject of apocryphal art historical legend. EXPORT performed Genital Panic in Munich in an art cinema where experimental film-makers were showing their work. Wearing trousers from which a triangle had been removed at the crotch, the artist walked between the rows of seated viewers, her exposed genitalia at face-level. This confrontation challenged the perceived cliché of women’s historical representation in the cinema as passive objects denied agency. In a 1979 interview with Ruth Askey published in the Los Angeles-based performance magazine High Performance, EXPORT is quoted describing her action as having taken place in a pornographic film theatre. In this version of the story, the artist carried a machine gun and offered her sex to the audience while pointing the gun at people’s heads. As she moved from row to row, people silently got up and left the theatre (High Performance, Vol.4, Issue1, Spring 1981, p.80). Although it fulfils the promise of the image in the poster, this version of events has been emphatically denied by the artist (VALIE EXPORT, p.32).

The performance of actions outside of traditional art venues was a central concern for EXPORT during her early years of art-making. Born and educated in Linz, EXPORT attended an arts and crafts school there before going to Vienna to study textile design. In 1960s Vienna, the artistic avant-garde existed in small groupings such as the Wiener Gruppe, the Viennese Actionists and the experimental film-makers. EXPORT’s earliest works, such as Abstract Film No.1 1967 (Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna), played with the medium of film, and in 1968 she was invited to participate in a meeting of international independent film-makers in Munich. During this visit she performed Genital Panic in a cinema and presented another well-known work, Tapp und Taskino (Touch Cinema), on the street. Wearing a wooden box fronted by a curtain on the upper half of her body, EXPORT invited people to reach inside and feel her breasts. Like Genital PanicTouch Cinema forced people to encounter in public parts of the female body that they would normally touch or view in a private space or in darkness, where they would not be observed by unknown others. EXPORT has commented:

I didn’t want to perform in a gallery or a museum, as they were too conservative for me, and would only give conventional responses to my experimental works. It was important for me to present my works to the public, in the public space, and not within an art-conservative space, but in the by then so-called underground … When I was performing my actions in public, on the streets, in the urban space, new and different forms of reception developed. In the streets I provoked new explanations. I wanted to be provocative, to provoke, but also aggression was part of my intention. I wanted to provoke, because I sought to change the people’s way of seeing and thinking … If I hadn’t been provocative, I couldn’t have made visible what I wanted to show. I had to penetrate things to bring them to the exterior.

(Quoted in VALIE EXPORT, pp.148-9.)
The black and white photograph, Action Pants: Genital Panic, was taken by the photographer Peter Hassmann in Vienna in 1969. EXPORT had it screenprinted as a poster in a large edition of unknown size in order to flypost the image in public spaces and on the streets. At the end of the 1960s, the notions of guerrilla warfare and revolution on which it played were particularly pertinent – in 1967, the famous Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara was executed, and the following year students rioted in Paris, and the American cities of Baltimore and Washinton DC were shaken by civil unrest after the murder of Martin Luther King. In 1994 the image was flyposted in Berlin, where EXPORT was teaching at the Hochschüle der Kunste (the Academy of Arts). Tate’s holding of six, which the artist has specified should be exhibited as a group, reflects this history of the image by emphasising its status as a multiple. Another photograph with the same title taken by Hassmann in 1969 shows the artist sitting on a wooden chair next to a wall in a room with a parquet floor. She wears the same outfit and holds the same gun, but she has incongruously feminine sandals on her feet and holds the gun pointing upwards. This version of the image was issued in 2001 as a gelatine print in an edition of twenty. In Action Pants: Genital Panic EXPORT defends her female body with the male phallic symbol of the gun. Her self-exposure emphasises her lack of a penis, demonstrating the symbol of power to be a prosthetic and its possession to be a product of role play, positing action over biology. The combination of macho aggression with femininity is typical of EXPORT’s imagery from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Further reading:
VALIE EXPORT, exhibition catalogue, Centre national de la photographie, Paris, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva and Camden Arts Centre, London 2003, pp.20-22 and 145, reproduced p.14.
VALIE EXPORT: Ob/De+Con(Struction), exhibition catalogue, Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, Santa Monica Museum of Art and Otis School of Art and Design, Los Angeles 2000, pp.13, 18, 32.

Elizabeth Manchester
March 2007

“the voice as performance, act and body”, 2007

Link to website: http://www.valieexport.at/en/werke/werke/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=2018/&/tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=81/&/cHash=44ae34762b

 

 

Chris Burden

Doomed, 1975

“My performance consisted of three elements: myself, an institutional wall clock, and a 5′ x 8′ sheet of plate glass. The sheet of glass was placed horizontally and leaned against the wall at a 45 degree angle; the clock was placed to the left of the glass at eye level. When the performance began, the clock was running at the correct time. I entered the room and reset the clock to twelve midnight. I crawled into the space between the glass and the wall, and lay on my back. I was prepared to lie in that position indefinitely, until one of the three elements was disturbed or altered. The responsibility for ending the piece rested with the museum staff, but they were unaware of this crucial aspect. The piece ended when [a museum employee] placed a container of water inside the space between the wall and the glass, 45 hours and 10 minutes after the start of the piece. I immediately got up and smashed the face of the clock with a hammer, recording the exact amount of time which had elapsed from beginning to end.”- Chris Burden

http://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/chris-burden-my-god-are-they-going-to-leave-me-here-to-die

 

Zachary Drucker

sourced from www.ZacharyDrucker.com

2008-2009, Live Performance
17 minutes

The Inability to Be Looked at and the Horror of Nothing to See is a live performance that takes form as a group meditation. Viewers are directed, by a disembodied voice, through a series of breathing exercises, new-age visions, and dark, dysphoric confessions, all the while being instructed to pluck out the hair from an androgynous, stripped body in the center of the gallery.

Performed: PRAXIS Mojave in Joshua Tree, CA 2008. Resonate/Obliterate at Sweeney Gallery, UC Riverside, CA 2009. Visions of Excess at Spill Festival, London UK 2009. APF LAB, New York, 2009. Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles, 2009.

Moon Ribas

Waiting for Earthquakes (2013)  is a dance piece created by Moon Ribas, and it’s based on the interaction between the movements of the earth and a dancer. The dancer wears sensors attached to her body that allow her to feel earthquakes as small as 1 in the Richter scale in any given place of the planet during the performance. The intensity of the movements are based on the intensity of the earthquake. There are usually small earthquakes every 2-3 minutes. If there are no earthquakes, the audience and the dancer will wait together in what might feel like a waiting room. The performance is intended to last for several hours or days, the audience should be able to enter and leave the space freely and sit around the performance space. If the earth decides not to move during the performance, the dancer will not move. We like the use of technology as an extension of human perception. In this case Moon is able to perceive all the earthquakes around the world. It’s a use of technology that not only extends the senses of the dancer but brings the dancer and the audience closer to nature itself. We don’t like the use of technology that alienates artists from nature, we like the use of technology that can allow us to extend our perception to the level of other animal species and perceive or sense nature in greater detail and intensity. Expressing ourselves through new sensory inputs.

Wafaa Bilal 3rdi

sourced from http://wafaabilal.com 


“I am nothing if not a storyteller. My work to date has been concerned with the communication of public and private information to an audience so that it may be retold, distributed. The stories I tell are political dramas, which unfold through my past experience and into the present where they interact with the currency of media as the dialectic of aesthetic pleasure and pain. Through various layers of distribution and interpretation, pictures are drawn using interactive models established through the stories’ (technological) framework where they are revealed and shared. With an audience locked in participation, my story may be retold.

The 3rdi is just such a platform for the telling and retelling of another story. A camera temporarily implanted on the back of my head, it spontaneously and objectively captures the images – one per minute – that make up my daily life, and transmits them to a website for public consumption.

During my journey from Iraq to Saudi Arabia, on to Kuwait and then the U.S., I left many people and places behind. The images I have of this journey are inevitably ephemeral, held as they are in my own memory. Many times while I was in transit and chaos the images failed to fully register, I did not have the time to absorb them. Now, in hindsight, I wish I could have recorded these images so that I could look back on them, to have them serve as a reminder and record of all the places I was forced to leave behind and may never see again.

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. Barthes has said, “…from an aesthetic point of view the denoted image can appear as a kind of Edenic state of the image; cleared utopianically of its connotations, the image would become radically objective, or, in the last analysis, innocent.” It is this ‘innocent’ image that I wish to capture through the 3rdi.

Technically, the 3rdi is an automatic photographic apparatus that is comprised of three different components: a small digital camera permanently surgically mounted to the back of my head with a USB connection, a lightweight laptop which I carry on my body connected to the camera with a USB cable, and a 3G wireless connection to access the internet. The website www.3rdi.me acts as storage and display for the images captured by the camera. The functioning of the apparatus, in theory, is as follows: The camera, through no intervention of the artist, captures an image automatically once a minute and send this image through the USB connection to the receiver (the computer) on my body. The receiver then sends this image through the 3G network to the website, where the images are archived and made available to the public.

The 3rdi makes a technological apparatus part of my body and distributes the recorded content openly within space using the internet. The arbitrary imagery captured by the device will retain fractured records and distribute a narrative to be completed by the viewer as their corporeal space is also compromised by the presentation. Benjamin has described the storyteller as one “who could let the wick of his life be consumed completely by the gentle flame of his story.” (Illuminations) In this way I become locked to the story as its teller, passing the interpretive mode to an audience with little context so it may be transformed for their subjective interactions and subsequent expressions. Using this narrative triangle, the work will comment on ways in which imagery is used for the telling and retelling of stories, whether they belong to us or we make them ours.”

Installation Description

“In addition to the 3rdi device and its online presence, a physical installation opened December 15 in Doha, Qatar as part of the Told/Untold/Retold exhibition inaugurating the new Arab Museum of Modern Art. Hence the 3rdi is in total: a device, a website, and a larger installation that mimics the online platform from which the images are intended to be viewed. The installation will act as a concentrated display that asks the viewer to experience the images in both time space.

The physical installation consists of three distinct rooms. The first, a smaller room, acts as an entrance to the main installation space and provides a separation from the gallery at large. This room prepares the viewer by providing information via wall text that describes the philosophy and background of the 3rdi project. The text is displayed on the wall to the right of the installation entrance. On the left is a medium-sized LCD display with a loop of a documentary on the 3rdi. The exit from this room is open and directly opposite it is a large wall partition that masks the exit from the second room, the main installation space. On this wall is a life-sized photo of the artist facing away from the camera with the 3rdi attached to his head. The partition leads the viewer to either the left or right to gain entrance to the main installation space.

The main installation space is much larger than the first room. After walking around the partition the viewer is confronted by a large bank of small LCD screens, displaying the 3rdi images, stretching from the floor and curving to the ceiling. When a viewer gazes at a certain image, this image stays stable while the other images shift to form a virtual halo around the viewer. Opposite the LCD bank is a large mirrored surface that serves to double the images and broaden the space. The floor too is composed of a mirrored surface further doubling the images from the LCD displays and again broadening the space. The space itself is painted black. Interaction within this portion of the space is subject to both the number of bodies occupying the room and their movement within the space; the number and rate of images is affected by the number of people present. More people means faster movement of the images; with fewer viewers the images slow down. Movement through the space also triggers a flickering and whitening of the images. As a viewer moves from the entrance to the exit of the space, the images nearest them flicker and turn to white. The images in this mode of interaction are elusive to the viewer.

An exit leads to a third room, where the viewer can sit and observe the images as they stream in live from the 3rdi device. This space is a viewing room and a reprieve from the previous installation space. Viewers here will be able to converse and discuss the images as they are transmitted. It is intended to be a sharp contrast to the overwhelming experience of the installation space, allowing the viewer to digest the prior experience while integrating the new information constantly coming in from the 3rdi. This portion of the installation has an exit into the gallery at large, ending the 3rdi space, and allowing the viewer to pursue the 3rdi on their own.

On a whole the installation is intended to provide a broad viewing experience, similar to that of the internet, for the 3rdi apparatus. The extension of the 3rdi into physical space explores issues of perception, image recognition, surveillance, internet viewing, and information saturation.”

 

3rdi footage: http://www.3rdi.me/ 

 

Coco Fusco

all material sourced from http://cocofusco.com/ 

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Coco Fusco and Ricardo Dominguez, Dolores from 10h to 22h | 2001

Once upon a time in a not so faraway free trade zone at the northern edge of Mexico, a woman who cobbled machines together for a living as accused of trouble making at her job. Her boss locked her up in an office without food or water or a phone. He tried over and over to cajole her into signing a letter of resignation. He watched her to see if she would break down. She held out for twelve hours, and later she sued the company. Her boss told the judge that she was crazy and that it never happened. No one would claim to have seen her.

Dolores from 10h to 22h is based on a story that no one saw.

Dolores from 10h to 22h is a net.performance by Coco Fusco and Ricardo Dominguez that took place on November 22nd, 2001 from Kiasma, Helsinki’s Museum of Contemporary Art. It was also simultanously broadcast at the Art in Motion Festival in Los Angeles, the Galerie Kapelika in Ljubjlana and iNIVA in London.

link to video to download: dolores_web

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Observations of Predation in Humans: A Lecture by Dr. Zira, Animal Psychologist
Performance | 2013

When the chimp psychologist from Planet of the Apes travelled back in time to pay our civilization a visit, she charmed and terrified humans who sensed that her kind would soon overtake them. Try as humans did to destroy Zira, and thus engineer a different future for their race, they did not succeed in ridding themselves of her or any of her talking ape brethren, who return in endless sequels and remakes to this day.

Zira is an expert in human behavior. In Ape City she conducted experiments on human subjects and dissected their brains. Her civilization was designed to avoid the human forms of aggression that lead to calamities, and her behavioral studies were key to forging that split between those hominids who destroy each other and those who would not.

For this performance, Zira shares her observations of human predation with a lecture followed by a question and answer session.

Commissioned by The Studio Museum in Harlem for the Radical Presence exhibition’s visit to New York City. Premiered in December 2013.

For more information about Dr. Zira’s 2014 tour, please contact Coco Fusco.

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Coco Fusco, Room of One’s Own: Women and Power in the New America
Performance | 2006-2008

“Once upon a time, the great novelist Virginia Woolf wrote that women needed a modest income and privacy to express their creative genius. Woolf told us that every woman had to have a room of her own if she was going to show her strength.

Now, at the onset of the new millennium, American women finally have what they need to demonstrate their valor. The War on Terror has provided a great opportunity to the women of this country. Our nation has put its trust in our talents, and is providing the space and support we need to prove that we are powerful forces in the struggle for democracy.

The battle for freedom is being waged in rooms just like the ones Woolf spoke of. In these sanctorum of liberty around the world, American women are using their minds and their charms to conquer our enemies. American women in uniform are leading our nation’s effort to save the civilized world from the threat of terrorism. I know I am proud to be one of those women. And today, I am here to tell you how you can be one too.”

This performance is presented as a lecture about the expanding role of American women in the War on Terror.

video excerpt to download: room