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Chance in Performance Art

Overview of performance art works mentioned in our readings from "Chance" edited by Margaret Iversen

Ellen Mueller

on 29 October 2011

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Transcript of Chance in Performance Art

in Performance Art Introduction "News from home", Chantal Akerman, 1976 A film about a newcomer to New York, Akerman herself, this
film consists of carefully set up long takes with a fixed camera. Marcel Duchamp
"The Bride Stripped Bare
by her Bachelors, Even"

Many elements in this
work were created by
chance. Ed Ruscha
"Nine Swimming Pools
and a Broken Glass"

Shattered glass also
shows up here (as in
Duchamp's piece). Unpaginated artist's book with 10 color plates, in a new cloth folding box. 1968.
Documents variety of southern California swimming pools. The final image is of a broken glass. Walead Beshty
'FedEx' sculpture

Glass boxes that since
2005 have been
undergoing continual
damage as they are
sent long distances to
be exhibited. Ed Ruscha, "Royal Road Test" (1967) Book recording performance of friends who
threw a typewriter out of the window of a
speeding car. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_bD11k5TRU4c/S7IUlwI5-4I/AAAAAAAAA5s/pIxZtm43XHM/s1600/ed+ruscha+34+parking+lots.jpeg Ed Ruscha
"Thirty-four Parking
Lots in Los Angeles"

The photographs are
the combo of
instruction, performance,
and chance. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sK28vZecr1A/Ters_VpUIDI/AAAAAAAAFpY/i4NhA9adX8Y/s1600/Ruscha%2BRoad%2BTested2%2B1967.jpg http://artsintherightplace.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/dscn67881.jpg http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=4277124 http://www.mnstate.edu/gracyk/images/Duchamp_Bride.jpg Lawrence Weiner

"Removal to the
lathing or support
wall of plaster or
wall board from
a wall." http://radicalart.info/concept/weiner/ John Cage

Performing silence
allows the chance
ambient sounds in
the room to be heard. George Brecht
"Motor Vehicle Sundown"

2008 Reprise George Brecht
"Word Event"

2009 Reprise The card this performance is written on
has a large bullet point and the word, EXIT. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_2Cl4a7oD5ug/TKrgQ55MexI/AAAAAAAABh8/Gprp7N56OLY/s1600/tumblr_kz9xrxnl771qz5g75o1_r1_500-747109.jpg Nam June Paik
"Zen for Head"

An interpretation of
La Monte Young's
"Composition 1960 #10"
which states: draw a
straight line and follow it. http://dome.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.3/2266/37751_sv.jpg?sequence=2 Vito Acconci
"Following Piece"

He set himself the task of following a randomly selected stranger walking in the street while remaining himself unobserved. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_o8xEQUMYkUA/THBgGe5HnEI/AAAAAAAAEA4/FItqzgaA3w4/s1600/amos+and+bas.jpg Bas Jan Ader, "In Search of the Miraculous II" (1975)
His final performance was this failed attempt to
cross the Atlantic solo in his 12'6" sail boat. http://tiffobenii.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/sophie-calle.jpg Sophi Calle
"Suite Venitienne"

She decided to travel
to Venic, track down
a man she had met
once at a party in
Paris, and follow him. http://www.phillipsdepury.com/xigen/lotimg.aspx?salenum=NY010710&lotnum=1&height=600 Felix Gonzalez-Torres
"Untitled (March 5) #2

March 5 was the date of
his partner's birthday (he
had recently passed away).
The piece consists of two
burning lightbulbs, and
to the impossibility of
knowing which will burn
out first. http://www.thewhitereview.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Gabriel-Orozco-Yielding-Stone.jpg Gabriel Orozco, "Yielding Stone" (1992)
He rolled this ball of soft grey plasticine throught the streets, gathering whatever fragments and marks it encountered. Robert Rauschenberg on "Automobile Tire Print" ( 1953) Francis Alys
"The Collector"

Francis Alys
"The Leak"

He strolled through the
streets of Sao Paulo
dribbling blue paint
from a can. Jiri Kovanda

He walks and bumps/
brushes passers-by. http://dome.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.3/3272/100801_sv.jpg?sequence=2 Man Ray
"La Marquise Casati"

He claims the double
exposure was an
accident. Bruce Nauman
"Mapping the Studio I
(Fat Chance John Cage)"

He filmed his mouse &
moth infested studio
at night using special
cameras. Allan Kaprow
Interview Allan Kaprow

Building is built
then left to melt.
http://georgemaciunas.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/La-Monte-Young-1.jpg La Monte Young
Compositions From the maker of this video: "This piece consists of a B and an F# held for a long time. I accomplished this by taping down the B key and putting a metronome on the F# key." George Brecht
Motor Vehicle
Sundown Jacquelynn Baas
The Sound of the Mind Yoko Ono, "Secret Piece" (1962)
The directions say: Decid on one note you want to play. Play it with the following accompaniment: The woods from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. in summer.
(not sure why the performer sang a little song - that's definitely not in the directions...) Yves Klein
(1960) Klein later remarked,
“My old Monotone
Symphony of 1949,
which was performed
under my direction,
by a small orchestra on March 9, 1960, was destined to create an “after-silence” after all sounds had ended in each of us who were present at that manifestation.Silence … This is really my symphony and not the sounds during its performance. This silence is so marvelous because it grants “happenstance” and even sometimes the possibility of true happiness, if only for only a moment, for a moment whose duration is immeasurable.” Yoko Ono
"Voice Piece for

Reprise at MoMA 2010 Yoko Ono
"Painting to Be
Stepped On"
(1960) Leave a piece of canvas or finished painting on the floor or in the street. Yoko Ono
"Cut Piece"
(1965) Yoko Ono
"Smoke Paintings"

Light canvas or any finished painting
with a cigarette at any time for any
length of time.
See the smoke movement.
The painting ends when the whole
canvas or painting is gone. Alison Knowles "Make a Salad" (1962) Vito Acconci Jiri Kovanda Bas Jan Ader Bas Jan Ader "Fall 1" & "Fall 2" [1970] Broken fall (organic), Bas Jan Ader [1971] Bas Jan Ader "Nightfall" [1971] http://editions.patrickpainter.com/artists/Ader_BasJan/zz_assets/images/a01.jpg Bas Jan Ader
"The Artist as Consumer
of Extreme Comfort"
(1968) "I'm too sad to tell you" Bruce Nauman http://drawnassociation.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DSCN3946-1024x768.jpg
Full transcript