Concerning Performance for Museums, Galleries and Public Sites

John Cage wrote that for art to be contemporary it must be fluent with its environment. That is, it should not interfere with the real world that is happening around it, and what naturally occurs in the environment around it need not be stopped to accommodate the art.

The performances I make for museums take their inspiration from and are relative to the architecture and art of the specific site. The performance art itself as well as the art and architecture are mutually enhanced when and because they coexist. By occupying the same space and time, they give new perspectives on each other.

This mutual elucidation happens when color, texture, speed, volume, scale, timing and juxtaposition are all carefully considered. The work of the performance maker is to ensure not just compatibility and coherence, but beautiful marriages.

My particular aesthetic tends toward the contemplative. The body-based installation-performances that I make contribute to the consideration of the environment as a whole, the performance being one of many elements.

There are a few practical considerations.

*Normal function of areas is respected. Unless there is a publicized event occurring at a specific time, stairways are not blocked, resting benches are not occupied, thoroughfares are not impeded.

*Designed views of either the art or the landscape are emphasized, not interfered with.

*Viewers should be made as comfortable as possible. A schedule of what they may discover is helpful. At the same time the element of surprise can be advantageous. To turn a corner in a museum and unexpectedly come upon the elegance of the gesture of a human being, can be wonderfully arresting. Still, it is important to know how best to prepare visitors.