A normal obstruction









              Common understanding is derived from the use of Symbols that help to define who we and others are. When we wear a baseball cap we are not mealy using it as a utilitarian object but as a way we can segregate ourselves into categorical groups.  This is most clearly seen in how people identify each other according to sports groups. By wearing a costume that exhibits symbolism not included in the viewer’s visual syntax we create a group of unknown others. This unknown group creates a problem for the standard classification of symbol based alliances due to the viewer’s inability to associate the symbolism with an identity. This counteracts the viewer’s ability to instantaneously form an overview of who that person is; making them a truly unknown person.

              

The objectives for this piece was that a actor would wear a mask constructed from rubberized scraps of fabric and attempt to complete two public everyday tasks. The two tasks completed were to buy groceries and buy gas.

Preformed 09/27/10 in Chico, California.

 

Abschied Von Einem Bruder

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         As a culture our self perception of normality is so obvious that it has been left unexplained despite the essential and overriding role it plays in the realm of the everyday. Our understanding of acceptable action is the product of enculturation and therefore shuns the act of self reflection. Only by breaching expected normalcy can we subvert the social mechanisms of enculturation and allow for self refection. Breaching the understanding of acceptable action can only be achieved through confrontation and therefore demands a form of art that actively seeks to transplant itself in the viewer’s daily life. This form of art also must react to the viewer individuality taking on a dualistic quality. If a work has a commonly defined theme then it would only supplement one form of enculturation for another. Performance art allows for these elements to be attained by creating a situation that the viewer is forced to except. Just as a hacker infiltrates a computer with added programs, so must an artist infiltrate the subconscious with introduced experiences.

                The criteria for this work is that the proformer, dressed in formal attire, would pull a constructed wooden sled. Whenever they came across garbage they would have to attach at least one piece of garbage to the sled. The point of these activities is to challenge culturally assumed truths by bringing into contrast my actions compared to the respectability of my attire.  

Preformed 11/15/10 in Chico, California

Photos taken by Kennedy Coker