Many Mini Residency: Houston

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This article was written on 15 Jul 2011, and is filled under Residencies.

Robert Boyd

I wasn’t sure what I’d write during my Many Mini residency, but one of the requirements of the residency is this:

We request at least one digital photo and a short statement but can also accept video, links or other supporting material posted online. Please send one image immediately following your residency to be updated the same day.

So I am fulfilling my obligation with this post.

A series of small personal emergencies kept me from coming out to Skydive early this week until last night. When I showed up, Britt Ragsdale was just starting her residency.

She was using the space to film people pretending to get shot. I was one of the “victims.” The group that was following her residency was Sketchy Neighbors, so she recruited a bunch of them to die for the camera.

Meanwhile, on the porch, Matt Gorgol was hand-shaving ice to make snow-cones. They were delish and very refreshing on a hot night. He’s a sculpture major at UH, so I guess you could call this a social sculpture or a relational artwork.

The Sketchy Neighbors did a performance piece called The worst thing you can do to people is forget them.  This is apparently the group’s first performance piece. The performance required that viewers enter a room one at a time. So they had people line up.

A doorman controlled access to the performance, letting people enter for arbitrary reasons of style.

When you walked into the main room (where I am currently typing these words), the Sketchy Neighbors began cheering wildly. And it was all for you. The viewer would hear cries of “You’re number one!” and “You! You! You!”

But they didn’t stop until you left. So the longer the viewer stood there, the more uncomfortable it became. Eventually it was obvious what the strategy was, and viewers moved on (to the porch, where they could get a snow cone).

The Many Mini residency is going on for today and tomorrow–and there are lots of public hours. Feel free to stop by–even if there is no performance or event happening, you might find yourself roped into helping someone with their artwork, or at least having some interesting conversation. But also check out the events–this evening, there are two. The Chapel, a meditation period by Rachel Hecker, featuring her portrait of Dave Gilmour as Jesus. Come out and get comfortably numb. Then following that is Death Star, about which I don’t know what to expect. Jonatan Lopez seems to be the prime mover here, but a bunch of people are involved.

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