Loud and Clear
Blue Star Contemporary Art Center
August 4, 2006
Loud and Clear was a companion video performance art piece that opened the video installation Tell Me a Story. Because this was a captive audience I approached it differently than the general public. Dealing with the general public does not require success. If one person does not like you then simply move on to the next. This setting required that the audience be given something, to be allowed to return home with smiles, with a sense that their attendance was worth it, and possibly with warm fuzzy feelings inside.
I constructed a pulpit like structure containing, sound amplification equipment, a video projection screen, hidden cameras, and two towers of televisions. Similar to previous performances, costume played a major role. My head was completely enclosed in a fabricated, opaque plastic box. In addition to my head and brain, the box housed cameras and microphones pointed towards my face. The signal from these cameras and microphones was delivered to the projection screen and sound amplification equipment on the pulpit. This was how I communicated with the audience without being able to see the audience directly.
The exterior of the plastic box had clips that held ten mini-cameras. These cameras had long AV leashes that connected back to my helmet. The final destination for the signals from the mini cameras was the two towers of TVs by the pulpit. The audience was invited to take the mini-cameras in their hands and document anything that they chose to in the gallery and surrounding area. Movement was not be limited` as the leashes were considerably long. As this developed I boomed my thoughts through the sound amplification speakers and traveled about the audience.
This act leveled the gap between the performer and the audience members. They contributed as much to the experience as myself. Everyone was a director for a moment. People did and said things in front of the mini-cameras that they did not expect and at the same time they forgot that everyone could see them on the TV towers. A completely enveloping and interactive experience and event was achieved.