"1 year performance video" continues MTAA’s series of Updates. Our Updates resound seminal performance art from the 60s and 70s in part by replacing human processes with computer processes.
"1 year performance video" updates Sam Hsieh’s One Year Performance 1978-1979 (aka Cage Piece).
When a viewer enters the piece she is presented with side-by-side videos of the artists trapped in identical cell-like rooms. The artists go about the mundane activities possible within a cell: in the morning they wake and breakfast; at around 1PM and 7PM they eat; sometimes they exercise; sometimes they surf the net; sometimes they sit and stare at the wall; they piss; at around midnight, they go to bed.
The viewer is meant to watch this activity for one year.
But, in the work we only mimic endurance; the videos are pre-taped clips edited at runtime via a computer program so that each viewer sees a different sequence. The audience can just close the browser and walk away. No one needs to suffer on this one; failure is built-in at the front end.
"1 year performance video (aka samHsiehUpdate)" is a 2004 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation.
About MTAA (M.River & T.Whid Art Associates)
The artist collective MTAA (M.River & T.Whid Art Associates) produces conceptual and net art works, ranging from interactive online performances to software and sculpture. Primarily working in new media, M.River and T.Whid—pseudonyms for Mike Sarff and Tim Whidden—bring internet culture and the economics of art under the lens. One of their best-known works, 1 Year Performance (aka samHsiehUpdate) (2004), updates the artist Tehching (Sam) Hsieh’s first performance, The Cage Piece (1978–79), in which Hsieh lived in a cage in his Manhattan loft for a year. MTAA reconfigures the piece so that the two artists appear in separate cell-like spaces that can be viewed online over the space of a year via what look like webcams. The videos of M.River and T.Whid are in fact looped recordings that demonstrate the ability for new media to alter the perception of time.
American, based in Brooklyn, New York