Monday, April 7, 2014

performance #4: today is sundae

For our forth performance we were required to use food in some way shape or form. Ideas that immediately came to mind were something like "food for thought" or making some sort of meal. Ideally I could do both. Once I decided on making some sort of food, I had to think of why/how I would do it as well as what I would do with it and what I would make... if that makes sense. I first thought sandwich and eat it myself but then I realized that that would be boring and pointless. After discussing it with a roommate I decided on a cliché and ideal ice cream sundae on account of the really cool ice cream dishes I have in my cupboard. The next decision concerned what I would do with the sundae. The choices were: eat it, destroy it, or give it away. I decided to give it away using Cage-like chance operations. The mechanism for chance was something I needed to figure out as well. Eventually I decided on flipping a coin to, one after the other, eliminate half of the class from contention until I was left with one person. Sadly though, that one person was Corissa who cannot eat any of the ingredients in the sundae, oh well.

The performance did some things right but as Sandy said, it was not complete. There was not enough of the "food for thought" idea involved. The sundae though, looked fantastic and cliché and ideal. It made everyone desire it (except Corissa). And flipping the coin did exactly what I want as it nicely built tension as the recipient was incrementally narrowed down to one person.

Afterwords though, Sandy had Corissa come up to the stage and read the ingredients to each part of the sundae while I (who missed lunch that day) ate nuts and maraschino cherries out of their containers. While she read and I ate I felt this kind of loss, like I felt bad for eating all these terrible chemicals in the ingredients but it of course did not stop me. This is when the light bulb went off in my head a little bit. If I were to do this again I would make a delicious sundae that the whole audience wants, then give it to an audience member making the rest of the audience jealous but then I would read the ingredients to each part of the sundae which would hopefully make the person eating the sundae a little less happy eating it and make the rest of the audience who did not eat it feel some relief for not putting 1,927,312 carcinogens in their body. Maybe for live art night, maybe not...


  1. I really really like the idea of giving the sundae to an audience member and then reading all of the unnatural ingredients listed on the packaging. Or, maybe just have two people on stage doing the performance, where one person eats, and the other person reads. It would show how some people don't care about what they put into their bodies, while others do. It would also be a comment on how processed and unhealthy food, especially in America, has become. The dangerously fast growing population of the world and the value of efficiency has created these types of foods. It is an environmental health problem. On another note, this idea for a performance could also comment on different social classes in America. Lower classes cannot afford nice, organic, healthy foods, whereas higher classes can. Lower classes are kind of forced to eat these bad, unhealthy foods because of society.

  2. Very good comment, Rio. And yes, Ben --- while the performance was interesting and had good structure, it lacked a social critique - the intention of the artist is very important -- and that intention in order for the work to be strong, but be simple, direct and make people think.