Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Desire for Evidence: Documenting the Ephemeral

A performance by Marylin Arsem, documented by her class at the SMFA.


The performance began outside the main entrance. Marylin gave the class instructions.

1. Don't talk.
2. Follow me.


We followed her across the street, photographing and videotaping as we went. We came to a stream, next to which was a large tree.


3. Join me one at a time behind this tree, but wait until the person ahead of you leaves the tree before you follow.


Kirk went behind the tree and walked away within a couple of minutes, Daisy followed, then Sarah, followed by myself and finally Jody.


Once behind the tree, standing with Marylin face to face we were given more instructions.


4. Close your eyes
5. Listen
6. Think of the question you've been asking yourself
7. When you've found it, ask yourself silently

She then placed her hands in her pockets and agitated what sounded like multiple small objects. She pulled one object from each pocket and held them in each fist.

8. Choose a hand

I chose the hand that was occupied by her wedding ring. We were each handed a small round object.

The last instruction...

9. Walk back to the atrium, don't look at the object until you get there and you can choose to share the object with the others if you want to.

The objects were small wooden disks each with its own inscription. Mine said:

"What did you overlook?"

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