theory / theatre: an introduction OR networkofnonevents
Art is not about stories.
Art is about dying.
And how we get there.
Act now or die.
Manifesto 2.0 – PERFORMIX
1. Theatre is not better than TV/the internet. It would be if the live existed.
2. We need to break free of binaries and hierarchies. And outdated definitions of performance.
3. PERFORMIX is how the social is reinvigorated. Our reality—the hyperreal— can become a radical, transformative space/place/subject/temporality. Via performix.
4. Art is not about stories.
5. Art is about dying. And how we get there.
6. Act now or die.
On February 23, 2009, IdeaAssassins installed a 60-poster provocation campaign in the Fine Arts Building at The University of Alberta. FAB is home to the departments of Drama, Visual Arts/Design, and Music. Although the posters were focused to interrogate the students and faculty in the Drama department, the poster project aimed to question the institutional, academic, artistic, and personal biases of all the “Fine Arts” at the university.
The project lasted two days- ending with a “Ideas Intervention” performance which included the take-down of the posters. Each poster shared two elements: the title- theory/theory: an introduction, and a link to the project’s manifesto (which begins this post). The content of the posters varied greatly and included general statements and questions about art practice, theory quotes, direct pulls from the Drama website regarding their programs, and state-of-the-world opinions (Obama’s election, robots, theatre versus film etc.).
For a closer look at each poster, click the link under “pages” on the right.
Poster Installation – Day One (23 February 2009)
Poster Installation – Day Two – Documentation of Interventions (24 February 2009)
On the second day of the project we documented the anonymous interventions made to the posters. Responses included the take-down of posters and general responses written directly on the posters. One poster was ripped in half and written on. Responses continued in one-on-one conversations. They included the desire to have the posters removed, confusion regarding the creation of and the meaning behind the project, and support for the project. These photos document the interventions.
Poster Installation – Idea Intervention (Poster Take-down)
The poster project was removed from the walls of the Fine Arts Building via a staged intervention/performance on Day Two. The Graduate Seminar on Provocation was removed from their class, handed a card with YES on one side, and NO on the other. Flyers with the project’s manifesto were also distributed. The Provocation students moved from one part of the project to another, answering questions about the content of the posters. These short discussions began with YES/NO questions, and, when necessary, follow-up questions were posed. Each time a poster was removed, it was handed off to one of the provocation students. They were responsible for transporting the posters to their final destination. The intervention culminated with the staged photos below. Each participant was asked to pick the poster which they had the strongest response to. They then formed a line in front of the empty display cases on the second floor and had their photo taken. They were left there. They only stayed a few moments.
Please note one of the participants demanded that his photo not be posted on our site. That is the reason for the slight alteration to the photos:
On the day following the removal of the project, two (seemingly) separate mimics/responses were posted in the Fine Arts Building.
Response #1: A poster printed from a computer was placed in many of the same places as our posters had been.
Response #2: As part of the advertising campaign for an upcoming dance, hand written posters were placed in several locations around the drama department.