Discussion 10: Installation/Performance in Everyday Life

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As many have noted, performance and installation art are merely specialized versions of more general cultural phenomena. I addressed a few of these in class (like Disney World rides or Kanye West concerts), but I think the genius of installation particularly is that you can apply its logic to *any* environment which has an aesthetic effect. That is to say, the logic of installation as an enfolding aestheticized space can be applied to areas outside the museum, places that move you, that make you feel a particular way. Likewise, we can think of performance as something we do every day (mostly in a mundane way). Like a performance artist, our behavior in everyday life is a performance, a performance of ourselves. Obviously we tend to de-emphasize the weirder aspects of this (people don’t generally scream or sing or even run in public).

For this post I’d like you to reflect on either a space that you get an aesthetic effect from (I like the 589 expressway at night when there’s no traffic: the uniform lights, the smooth freeway pavement, and the speed turn the quotidian act of driving into something more like a nightclub) or to describe a way that you perform outside of quotidian or normal ways of behaving (a habit I have is that I whistle in public or sometimes shuffle my feet in a dance-like way to move around people and things).

This is a weird discussion, I suppose… so get weird!

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