Wednesday, January 26, 2005

A Year or a Lifetime

I took the advice of see art/make art and checked out MTAA's 1 year performance video.

I love the concept. Riffing off of ideas investigated in process/time based works, MTAA takes Sam Hsieh's One Year Performance 1978-1979 (aka Cage Piece) and turns the premise around. The responsibilty for the success (failure) of the piece is left with the viewer. The time restriction of the piece (one year) is relative, not to the artist but to the viewer. Genius.
...we've transferred the onus of a 1 year commitment to the work from the artist to the viewer. The piece will be realized fully only when a viewer runs it for one year. As M.River put it:

"In the work, we mimic endurance without doing the labor. We also know the audience can just close the browser and walk away. No one needs to suffer on this one. The failure is built-in at the front end."

Will a viewer ever complete the work? It's doubtful.
The performance begins today.


Blogger Jean-Paul Kelly said...

Yeah, but don't you think that the early Warhol films and (some) later video suffice? The Screen Tests were tests of patience, endurance and performance for both audience and viewer. And within the 3 minute reels - all of the torture becomes apparent. Minds wander and then there is a bombastic blink or sigh of the stiffened "Superstar" on screen and the whole thing blows wide open, again. What about Gilbert & George's Living Scultpure pieces. I think that this type of project could perhaps benefit from the idea of preservation. Like large drives meant to collect/archive/preserve the "document" instead of the flow and passage the net, here only collecting the number of minutes and days experienced. Indentured servitude to "documenting" seems much more taxing - neurotic - with, ultimately more room to play. That will be commitment. Lacie Terabyte drives going forever. Never checking the old footage, only aware of its presence, continually anxious over its well-being. It would be a different project but, I like the actual suffering that MTAA are dismissing - if you are going to make false penance it kinda depends on irony and humour in order for it to be compellingly humane.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

i understand what you're saying about irony and humour, etc (like we need more of that in the art world today!) but, although i saw the falsity (trickery?) in this piece, it was the tivo-ization of the concept of time (convenient, controllable,dismissable) that, for me, was key to it's success. I liked that, in order to view the work properly, the viewer has to identify him/herself so and accept a cookie which could keep track of subsequent visits. this may be somewhat connected to your idea of the lacie drive, except that the information being stored is slight and it is kept on and maintained by the viewer/user's own storage device.

also, i find it easy to dismiss the publicly "suffering artist" as false. especially when the suffering is available later on dvd.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Jean-Paul Kelly said...

I was saying that it needs more irony and humour. I want more of it here. Yes, there is too much in the art-world but, irony is a very basic practice of making things uncanny - using something familiar and filling it with something unexpected - and this is here, but is somehow dead or so stoically conceptual that it might as well be Snow's "Wavelength" for all it's false pandering. Its humour seems like a really dull rim-shot that does not make for a compelling work about humanity, human capacity in technology, or human capacity to let technology create humanity. Sorry, just seems dry and too arms-length to me.

By the way, I don't think you can (as an average consumer) buy Warhol or G & G on DVD (although, they have been transfered, that's a whole different discussion). And, while this marks a point of priviledge that the Museum or Gallery is oft accused of (especially in the face of interactive, "populist" technologies or institutions), is there not a similar submission to distant powers in allowing for cookies? The artist is still here, "making", "on display", yes, although, they say it is a joke (though it misses the punch-line) "suffering." So what if we haven't bought a copy. With the amount of people on-line who are unaware of the processes of surveillance, consumer profiling etc. does this project not simply enforce the same parameters as the institutions that such endeavors were meant to be "alternative spaces" to? Is the criticism that dense? Or, does its revelation fall play, again to its "conceptual" stoicism and lack of interaction? After all, even a DVD is more interactive than MTAAs piece.

Great blog, by the way. Is that a painting up top? The pillow is beautiful.

5:59 AM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

that's where we differ. i don't want it to be a joke. i want it to bust open (suspend, reconfigure) the concept of time mush as the internet does, which is why i think this piece is perfect for the internet.

also, i'm doing alot of research on the ideas surrounding webcams and the "homecam" which this piece, again, for me, addresses.

i don't like irony as a rule and i wish this piece had less. for example. i think it would be better if the work was not explained. the viewer would come into it seeing it as yet another artist's webcam (there is an inordinate number of artists' studio webcams online). the kicker is the detail of the timestamp. that's what i find brilliant. but, we can agree to disagree.

thank you for the comments, jean paul. i am enjoying my little blog. and that is, indeed, a painting up there. there are alot of big homes in penticton with walls that need filling. that is not irony. that is honesty.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Jean-Paul Kelly said...

I think irony and honesty are inextricably linked - just that some artists or makers are often callous and fashionable in the implementation of the set, resulting in that distancing form of Irony that I think both you and I would rather forego. Anyway, so be it, we disagree. Are you going to include any cam stuff here? I mean moving cam stuff besides your photos?

11:52 AM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

no cam here and no cam at the moment. i'm still getting things set up. i can't seem to use the cam i have at present. damn technology.

and this site is not for projects specifically. if i can get a cam site going again, i'll post the link on here but that's it. this site is just for thinking about masturbation. not for actually doing it.

1:09 PM  

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