C. MEHRL BENNETT
The symbolism of the shoe, a simple practical item common to all of humanity, is fluxus in spirit. I initiated an early aspect of this score at a gallery venue in Ohio where my partner and I warmed up the audience by performing poetry/sound art before the main event, which was to be a performance of Kurt Schwitter’s “Ursonate.” A left shoe box was presented to each person who entered the venue as a means to register them for a door prize and was useful in keeping our tiny audience captive until the main event. The humorous intention of this was to get the audience to anticipate the door prize, which would be the mundane gifting of their own left shoe. The AfterMAF 2016 performance of “LEFT SHOE” involved significantly greater participation of a much larger audience. A cacophony of chaos was enjoyed at the newly written conclusion of the event as the door prize was finally awarded to everyone. The action of yelling the number of one’s own left shoe, but not the number of the shoe one is holding up in the air, while listening for the number of the shoe one is holding up in the air, and searching for one’s own left shoe, engendered a spirit of communal cooperation and interaction with humorous confusion.
“LEFT SHOE” Score As people enter the venue, request that they register for the door prize by depositing their left shoe into a box marked “LEFT SHOE.” Hand the audience member a ticket, tearing off the other section with identical number to attach to their left shoe, “left” in the box. Later on during a performance break or at the end of the evening, collect all the numbers from the audience into a hat, while asking the audience to remember their numbers. Pull a number from the hat and announce it. Winner is then presented with a bagged shoe (but not same number so NOT his/her shoe!). Continue to pull and announce numbers and award shoe door prizes until all the numbers have been called. The audience is then asked to come forward and are given performance directives: Hold the left shoe in the air while calling out the number of your own left shoe. In this manner, all shoes are returned to their owners.