Ox and O's performance at Mobius 1/16/10
_ I returned from my trip to Boston and my performance in the Mobius Work in Progress series feeling elated. The Ox and O’s piece was well received and seemed to engage the audience as participants as I had hoped. There is always some trepidation when attempting to encourage the audience in a participatory event. Beyond the “will they participate” jitters lies the wondering if they will engage on the level you intend or horrors… engage in ways not intended or imagined.
Audience participation in Ox and O's at Mobius
My work on this project, while being essentially worked out here on the blog still has many aspects that I was pleased to have an audience; for the experience of this feedback aspect. Initially thought of as personal symbols, my handstamps developed a game aspect as well as becoming a vehicle to examine identity and the role of choice. At Mobius I decided to present this as a game performance with the audience invited to use 40 of my carved pieces on prepared tic tac toe grids as a collaboration. The audience was simply invited to play with no further instruction and could take the collaboration home at the end of the evening. Three other artist were simultaneously performing their pieces as the audience freely moved about either observing or engaging the artists.
Question and Answer artist discussion after performances
I had a chance to get some insight as to what people found interesting in this piece. Luckily people did seem to find it interesting... on two levels; both how the game operated in relation to choice and how the stamps were beginning to function in a semiotic sense. The fact that I’m starting to have enough symbols to evoke a nascent vocabulary seems like an avenue for further exploration. One question pertained to whether I would begin using contemporary symbols. This also seems like a great area to explore as there are certainly current events and choices therein that continue to form and change the identity. A further suggestion on future display of audience produced works has led me to consider another video highlighting the play aspect of this piece as people became more adventurous "outside the grid".
Melissa McCarthy and I
William with Jane Wang; experimental and performance member artist of Mobius