PIER / PLATFORMS IN THE SOUTHWEST
“PIER / Platforms in the Southwest” is durational performance action wherein I traveled alone by car from Toronto, Canada to the United States’ Southwest over a period of sixty days during which time I salvaged materials from dumpsters and alleyways, which I then used to build a pier. The pier was designed and built so it could be disassembled and fit in my car, enabling me to move it from one location to another. Over the sixty days I performed over 25 desert installations and a handful of urban installations, documenting each widely with photo video and by transmitting the performance action through social media and maintaining a blog. The first three weeks of the project were driven by the use of the pier as a platform for interaction; I invited people to participate by spending a day with me to salvage materials, build a section of the pier, or sit on it with me. In the latter five weeks, I mostly worked independently, traveling through very remote areas, camping, installing the pier in deserts, and documenting these performance actions with photo and video.
“PIER / Platforms in the Southwest” bridges social practice, performance action, and site-specific installation and was directly informed by my earlier piece, “One Year and Twenty-Four Days of Fishing,” for which I carried a fishing rod and wore rubber boots everywhere for over a year. In “One Year and Twenty-Four Days of Fishing,” the fishing rod prompted spontaneous reactions from people, who, more often than not, were random strangers. When people asked where I was going and what I was fishing for, I would simply tell them where I was going and what I was going to do there—I didn’t tell people it was a performance project. At times, conversations that began with the fishing rod ended hours later, building a sense of connection between us, while at other times, people thought I was being a smart-ass and just didn’t want to tell them where I was really fishing. Moving to Toronto in my mid-20s, I was exposed to Darren O’Donnell’s “Social Acupuncture,” before it was specifically named as that, and I started producing work within this climate—driven to move outside of conventional performance streams and treat conversation as content while working outside the conventional frame of the gallery and museum.