YOU CAN’T SURVEIL STARDUST
AMY-ELLEN FLATCHESTEDMAMA TREFSGER
The Museum of Museums (a new art space in Seattle) was still in renovations when they posted on social media that they had just installed security cameras. They stated in that post, “Those cameras blinking above actually work. And it’s impossible not to think about all of the potential for performance art.”
The announcement of surveillance cameras in this new art space created the desire to comment that one cannot surveil an artist’s ideation phase.
Two days later I visited MoM and performed for said security cameras. The building has three floors. I dropped my belongings and secondary attire on the top floor, in view of one camera, then walked down to the bottom floor. Directly in front of one of the security cameras on the bottom floor, I started to flag a message in semaphore. Semaphore is a maritime based communication system that uses hand held flags to convey information at a distance. Twenty-six different arm positions represent each letter of the alphabet.
I flagged to the security camera, “YOU CAN’T SURVEIL STARDUST.” Once I was done flagging the message I stripped in place, pulled out a marker that was hidden in the clothing and connected my visible moles like constellations, starting with my shins and moving up to my chest and arms. I then walked naked from the bottom floor to the top floor, in view of numerous security cameras along the way. Once back at my previously placed items on the top floor, I dressed and flagged, “FIN” to signal the end of the performance.
At the age of 44, nudity felt like a grasping for relevancy in a youth and fertility focused culture. Nudity was new in my work so I added it here, as a performance element, while it was not being viewed by any public in real time. To my knowledge, the performance was not viewed by anyone.