project image
Enrique Ortiz

first performed on September 14, 2013
Dee Why Beach, Sydney, Australia
performed nine times in 2013


Brooklyn, NY


I engaged the public as a colorful cape-wearing figure—a human cannonball sans cannon. In a series of roving street performances, I performed random acts of play inspired by the people or architectural features I encountered. Wearing a gold helmet, black boots and dark aviator glasses, I enlisted help from passersby to conduct random acts of boldness, bravery and fun. I invited people to interact with me as a sort of heroic “village idiot” willing to do anything. In part, I attempted to create space for the (formerly acceptable role of) the fantastic fool in everyday public life. For example, I asked people to carry—and thus propel—me across the street as if shooting out from a cannon. I asked a man to propose to and marry me on the beach boardwalk. We conducted a faux wedding ceremony involving his entire family. I carried people, asked people to carry me, sat on laps, rode skateboards flat on my stomach and invited people to stand on my back as I lay on the ground. I found ways to engage with elements of public space that have a specific function but are otherwise typically overlooked; for example, I climbed and posed atop a fire hydrant, cape flying. I stood or lounged on the edges of columns, ledges, fences, post boxes, water hose connectors, benches and so on, emulating the stance of a human cannonball flying through the air. I lay prone in a flying position on the sidewalk, on the sand, on newspaper kiosks, crosswalk lights, walls or post boxes. A fantastic take on the archetypal fool, the project was an invitation for people to consider the use of public space, to face the unexpected in mundane places and, together, to transform public space into an adventurous playground.