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twisted triage

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Outside the Octagon (the Library) & the reception area I passed and was dragged into what looks like a twisted battlefield triage, medical drips hanging, nurses & doctors questioning, interrogating people. If you are seen you are immediately taken aside & asked to prove your identity, empty your pockets and follow pointless instruction after pointless instruction.

Its a strange sensation, I went along with this because its part of the conference and it would seem churlish not too, yet I was very busy and had things to organised. Why was I letting myself be manipulated this way? Such a simple activity highlighted how easy it is to be made to do things we don't want to do, to follow the crowd so we don't stand out - at which point do we say no?

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comment[104] | submitted by Yenrab | Fri, 2006-06-16 12:19

This happening sounds quite fascinating, but I am curious as to how well it would be received outside of the conference atmosphere. While I am enjoying the conference, I cannot escape an incredibly insulated feeling. I feel as though we are all progressive and intelligent artists and activists, yet the fact remains that live performance tends to polarize the public into those willing and able to attend, and those who are not. While this specific excercise questions concepts of performance agreement, I wonder how a crowd coming out of a pub after England's win last night would have reacted. Or a group coming out of a church, or grocery store. We are attending a performance studies conference. We expect these happenings. How do we integrate the public so as to resucitate live performances/happenings such as this one in postmodern society?

comment[105] | submitted by tomski | Fri, 2006-06-16 13:07

I cannot escape an incredibly insulated feeling... I wonder how a crowd coming out of a pub after England's win last night would have reacted

It all depends on context, the happening I described had a very specific angle which I wouldn't have been able to engage with on a completely random basis, or I would have watched from the sidelines and tried to sus what it was about - we do have a very long history of street theatre after all and people are used to seeing 'things', yellow chair is an interesting project which tackled the "how do we make it relevant" issue in that a simple action of placing a yellow chair outside a house inviting interaction, at first generated hostility, then became a useful tool for enabling dialogue.

Those willing and able to attend

Those willing and able to attend are the elite groups who maintain their status by holding events which confirm and heighten their status and further distance themselves from those that are truly affected by the issues that are discussed, we luxuriate in this space while making money off the backs of disempowered groups - its seen as easy to get funding for a 'socially minded' arts projects, but not so easy for the groups themselves, because they are busy feeding our machine - we are all part of it :)