Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Public performances in 2008 - so far i've done this.

I've been trying to make a minute to get my 2008 forthcoming gigs/shows/etc. calendar up on here, but have been distracted by the actual off-line work that this schedule of work has me committed to complete.

I've already done two public performances this year. The first was at the January 3rd "Open Mic, Open Minds" show at 1919 Hemphill. The frigid temps had us all bundled in blankets, sipping hot chocolate and tea, as we listened to the performers. I headlined for a 25-minute set, accompanied on some new pieces by Ramsey Sprague, playing guitar or clarinet. This is a new collaboration, to work with Ramsey (aka "The Shortest Distance"), and we'd actually spent a total of only 5 hours or so working up our set in the two days before the show. Still, we did pretty good for a first outing together, and the folks there seemed appreciative enough. I sold a couple of books, and got a modest guarantee, which I promptly shared with Ramsey.

The next gig was a last-minute sweat-and-inspiration effort to make good on an invitation from Lori Thomson, she of the Firehouse Gallery. Lori had asked me, on the night of the "Buzzworms in the Backyard" art exhibit, if I wanted to present or perform something in her "That's Not Art" show to be held at the F6 Gallery in Arlington--a warehouse space outfitted for art-making and -exhibiting by cohorts Kevin Thornton and Cameron Thompson, et al.

Saturday, January 26th
That’s Not Art - exhibit/reception
F6 Gallery, Arlington

What I ended up presenting was my M.P.S. prototype. M.P.S., or Mediated Peep Show is an interactive intervention performance box which consisted mostly of me being the peeped-at artist in a large cardboard box with cut-out peepholes. I sat and did the M.P.S. for about 30 minutes on Saturday, January 26th, wielding a handheld Sony audiocassette recorder which captured the comments and responses to questions I whispered to my viewers through the peepholes. It was a provocative study of: the lure of peepshows; the vulnerability of the peeper as well as the peeped-at; and the expectation of titillation and engagement despite being disconnected strangers. It was a little scary for me, in terms of my questions and spoken commentary being improvised on the spot as well as in the matter of making myself an object of gratification for people whose intentions and motivations were largely unknown. It was, of course, obvious to me which of the peepers were friends and acquaintances, and in those cases, the play was delightful and non-threatening. In other moments, however, it seemed that the peeper was aggressive and demanding--several folks pushed at the peepholes, pressed heavily against the cardboard box, and in one case, when I dabbled too long in theoretical conversation, the peeper slapped at the box and hastily stepped away. I would like to present M.P.S. again, in various and different environments, to see what kinds of responses and interactions might transpire.

Photos come soon.

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