Thanks again for assembling this discussion Victoria and Suzy. It's been wonderful and I've learned a lot...the creative juices are flowing!
On Mar 24, 2014, at 9:29 AM, Victoria Bradbury <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> In the spirit of CRUMB's practical approach to research, I propose that we
> spend the final week giving examples of performativity and code within our
> own work by responding to a question of When:
> When, in your own art practice, does performativity occur? Is it when the
> code is written? Is it when you perform with your body or voice? When a
> participant encounters your work? At all of these points, at another time,
> or not at all? Can you give a specific example?
> You may choose to comment on the way you are defining performativity in
> your answer (many definitions have been offered over the course of the
All of the above, + life. Life is a performance that is revealed through the artifacts we construct.
The performativity of spectatorship. Institutional looking, local and distributed looking, what it means to look at and be looked at. Human and machinic looking. Not only do we use computer vision to track lookers, we simulate their “viewpoint” and mirror that to the network. The machine performs the look, creating a hybrid subject (complete with errors). Here, the situation is a sort of "stage set" for the performance of viewing.
Open House (2010-2):
Again, a stage set for the play of looking, but also the tangibility of interacting. The squatters embody the space/place simultaneously living in an artwork. Viewers, both local (neighbors), and distributed (network via computer or mobile) commingle with the space/place/squatters, so the encounter is performative and durational (2+ years). The set of performances discussed in the video below, are more traditionally structured “acts” that play out specific aspects of conceptual interest within the “set.”
Maintaining Appearances (2010):
The performance of social code; the act of obscuring “reality” to preserve order. Simultaneous performativity from first and third person points-of-view. Documentation of a first-person life performance.
Murphy’s Well-Being (2012):
Multiple levels of performance here. We, the EmerAgency (collective), performed as an art consultancy, advising the community on social policy, privileging well-being to complement the typical advice provided by corporate, governmental and scientific experts. While that was a “performance” we took it seriously: art can provide/perform the missing balance in social deliberation. Then there was the performance of the community in our dealings with the issues surrounding ecological disaster, particularly when the work was unveiled to those on opposite sides of the battle. The code was performative in that the set of conditions that structured the display of information was designed to create dynamic associations through montage, etc.
That's more than enough. I think any work that incorporates interactivity necessarily engages performativity. I recall a sculpture I made back in the '90s called "Blink" that was essentially a Donald Judd chrome box with a switch and shutter. I was reading (and barely understanding) Whitehead at the time, and like Curt mentioned for himself, it had a HUGE impact on me. I was thinking about how interaction (computer or otherwise) interrupted classic notions of contemplation and context.
So for me, performativity, via code or otherwise, naturally emerges from concept and context. Very often it is the way we assist understanding rather than illustrate it; doing versus showing, enacting versus watching, emphasizing behavior more than process.