Performance Installation: Week 2…
Our assigned reading was Hakim Bey’s Temporary Autonomous Zone. It’s a chaotic text, to say the least. In reading it, I knew what Tom was trying to do. Unsettle us.
TAZ is so far out of the box it’s nearly absurd. Or totally absurd. It’s the “ends of performance” as I like to say about work that is so far out there, meaning is lost in the ether.
I wish I could offer more reflection on TAZ, but it’s indefinable. Anarchic, chaotic, deconstructed. It’s a series of essays, thoughts, reflections, calls to action, examples, etc. from how to unsettle the hierarchy. As Joker might say, “Introduce a little chaos.” Or as Bey advocates at one point, go into the lobby of a Citibank and take a shit on the tile floor.
Of course, as my notes briefly reflect, what makes an action like this art? You could sign and date it, but is that enough? Where are the limits of art? Is it art if you’re the only one that “knows” it? This, obviously, gets into a much bigger discussion…which is exactly the point. I recommend it for anyone in the art world. Especially those in performance art and installation work. It’s a short read. And entertaining, when it’s not head-scratchingly insane..
Here are my notes…
But, in taking us to that extreme, now we can start to walk it back and find our own artistic identity along the way.
Or at least that’s what I took it for.