1 year performance video is an homage to Tehching Hsieh's One Year Performance 1978–1979 (Cage Piece) in which the artist locked himself in a cage for one year with only a bed, pail, and wash basin. In MTAA's update of this seminal work, a webpage displays videos of the artists performing mundane activities in cell-like rooms, which the viewer is meant to watch for one year. However, endurance is not required from either party; the videos of the artists are pre-taped clips that are rearranged by a computer program and the viewer can close the browser window at any time.
"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.