BILLY X CURMANO
The “24-hour Worldwide Rolling Nap” was live art on a Bed o’ Nails with a Blanket & Pillow of Tiny Tacks. It was a metaphoric demonstration of sleepless nights and the difficulty slowing down in our hectic modern culture. It is unequivocal. There is a direct link between human activity, over-activity, and climate disruption. This performance called for a paradigm shift and a system change to help mitigate climate change. Sometimes solutions are not about doing more–but doing less. Less is more. I became the American Idle.
Slow down. We move too fast. I researched and wrote a daily blog for the Franklin Furnace InClimate project and became obsessed with climate disruption. I did some math. The world’s annual energy consumption could drop by about 623,292,349.6 kWh if everything simply shut down for an hour each day.
The “Rolling Nap” began with a manifesto and web site demanding downtime for naps, relaxation, meditation, hobbies, friends, family, lovers, and all the things that make us human.
Objects are important to my work. I labored on an installation. My bed boasted 2,395 shiny galvanized steel 3 inch nails while the pillow and blanket carried 3,406 half-inch cut tacks. The altered Pooh Bear added another 55 tacks. Then, with a nod to absurdity, I hand-tailored Kevlar pajamas custom fitted with an aluminum butt plate, foam padding, and elbow guards for protection.
Margarita Baumann, D.L. Hunt, Dirk Nelson, and Steve Smith served as control monitoring the nap with constant video surveillance. Each hour an image and statement were posted online. Three control members witnessed eerie orbs of light floating around me. They examined the room for possible light sources or reflective surfaces, but the phenomenon remained a mystery.
I viewed my bed as the physical manifestation of a koan—a Zen device used to escape the prison of logic and help practitioners be in the present—to not be in the past or the future. Monks use insoluble puzzles, paradoxical anecdotes, or riddles, while I chose nails and tacks.
My nap circled as the world turned and I slept, at least conceptually, with most everyone. The nails and tacks kept me in the present, but I must admit there were times I longed for that dawn like a child longs for Christmas. After 24-fit-full-hours, I arose with the first sunrise of spring on March 20, 2015 at 6:33 a.m. C.D.S.T.