34 35th St., Unit 26, Brooklyn, NY, 11232
1/9: ART AS ADVENTURE
In Parfyme's Street Canoes, this group of Danes (and an American) used grappling hooks and tow cables to ply the streets of Queens by Street Canoe, pretending that the pavement was water, and they were some sort of viking.
In the Harbor Lab, they turned a parking lot into a studio/workshop/home (that's my tent on the roof) to engage the public in rag-tag explorations of new potentials for the Copenhagen Harbor, including a floating museum, a series of weekend adventures in paddle-boats, and the creation of water-borne shelters, breakfast nooks, and reading corners along the harbor's edge.
In True Love IV, Gelitin attempt to launch a home-made rocketship on a 25 year mission to venus and back to earth. "The mission's objective was to investigate in the nature of love and return samples to earth to obtain knowledge about how humans could rebalance the different love-forces on earth."
In Weltwunder (in between), Gelitin installed their piece in the Hannover Expo 2000 three meters under ground, visible only by diving into a pool and swimming underground.
My major questions as I analyse these works are:
- What tactics are being used?
- Who is having the adventure?
-Things to avoid, investigate in your own work?
I see the street canoe and rocket ship as works that use art to craft an adventure scenario for the artists themselves. The public experience these works as spectacle, not as participatory adventures. To be clear, I do not believe there is anything wrong with using the constructs and structures of art to create adventures for yourself - one of the most amazing things about the art world(s) is that they can provide a venue and mechanism for people to truly invent their own jobs and lives outside of any previously accepted realm.
But there is clearly a difference between the canoe/rocket works and the harbor/diving works in terms of particpation. In Parfyme's harbor lab and Gelitin's diving piece, the adventure is created for the participant. Like a computer program or immersive installation, a specific environment and set of rules are established, and then the public are able to experience their own adventures within those boundaries.