Category:
Performance Art

The Trainee, by Pilvi Takala

Finnish performance artist Pilvi Takala got permission to pose as a trainee for a month at the accounting firm Deloitte. What she wanted to find out was how people at the firm would react if she did absolutely nothing... if she just sat at an empty desk all day staring into space. Predictably, the office workers grew increasingly perplexed by her inactivity, as can be seen in the video below.

More info from her website:

We see the trainee sitting at her workstation in the consultants' open-plan office space, or in the tax department library all day doing nothing. One of the videos shows her spending an entire day in an elevator. These acts or rather the absence of visible action slowly make the atmosphere around the trainee unbearable, forcing the colleagues to search for solutions and to come up with explanations for the situation...

What provokes people about this ‘non-doing’, aside from the strangeness, is the element of resistance. The non-doing person isn’t committed to any activity, so they have the potential for anything. It is non-doing that lacks a place in the general order of things, and thus it is a threat to order. It is easy to root out any ongoing anti-order activity, but the potential for anything is a continual stimulus without a solution.

I'm guessing her performance was inspired by Herman Melville's classic short story, Bartleby the Scrivener.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 16, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Work and Vocational Training, Performance Art

Rosa Hernandez: The Cleaning Lady

When San Diego performance artist Claudio Cano does her act, much of the audience isn’t aware that she’s actually performing, because her performance consists of dressing up as a Latina maid (whom she calls Rosa Hernandez) and sweeping or mopping the floor of art galleries. She notes that people in the galleries will often complain to the front desk about the maid cleaning while they're trying to look at the art, unaware that the "maid" is part of the art.

Cano also sometimes performs outside, where, in her maid outfit, she does stand out more. But even then, she notes, people rarely pay much heed to her, seeming to go out of their way to avoid her.

More info: ClaudiaCano.com, Only Here Podcast

Cano performing at SDSU Downtown Gallery



Performing at Oceanside Pier

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 27, 2019 - Comments (6)
Category: Jobs and Occupations, Performance Art

Mary Worth, the Full Version



This is an experiment where the mise en scene of the comic strip is done directly to film. MADE BY: stephanie barber, peter barrickman, sara boland, tate bunker, theresa columbus, yasuhuhiro ikeguchi, anna johnson, annie killelea, didier leplae, xav leplae, doug schall, naomi wyoming.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 04, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Comics, Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings, Performance Art, Surrealism

Singing at the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian has bought its first piece of performance art. Which means that if you visit the Hirshhorn’s sculpture garden you may find that a young woman will suddenly start singing while following you around.

The performance piece, titled This You, is the creation of Tino Sehgal, though he doesn't perform it. There are four women who do that, in shifts.

Sometimes the performers will abruptly stop singing in order to state the title of the performance piece: “This You, Tino Sehgal, 2006.” And then they'll start singing again.

More info: Smithsonian Mag, Hirshhorn

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 14, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Museums, Music, Performance Art

Pop Art

"Vital Capacity" by performance artist William Lamson, in which he battles black balloons. There's a longer, larger version of the video here (but not embeddable).

His website
Brief wikipedia article about him

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 01, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Performance Art, Pop Art

Hunting Groceries

For one week in 1992, German artist Christian Jankowski "hunted" his groceries in the supermarket with a bow and arrow. From his website:

Jankowski shot down frozen chickens, butter, toilet paper, and various other "essentials." His game, if edible, was not just dead, it was processed on a mass scale. Thus the reaction of the woman working the checkout counter: she remained wholly unimpressed by the trophies of his "bargain hunt," which she scanned with the arrows still sticking out of them.

Imagine trying to go into a supermarket with a bow and arrow nowadays to hunt your groceries.



Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 31, 2018 - Comments (6)
Category: Food, Shopping, Performance Art, 1990s

Squished Cockroach

In order to confront the stereotype of the "perceived passiveness of Asian people," the artist who calls herself Squished Cockroach painted herself yellow and then wandered through a crowded train while eating rice and stepping on printed articles strewn in her path. The articles referred to "the rise of hate speech against Asians, stereotypes against Asians presented by the media and increased crime rates targeting Asians."

She walked through the train and then was gone, leaving the befuddled commuters to wonder about "the many incidents of racial harassment that do in fact occur on public transport" as well as "the ‘progress’ of humanity."

More info



Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 21, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Performance Art

Page 1 of 11 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›

Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner




weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •