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Warm Ups (for Allan Kaprow) : eleet warez


Allan Kaprow produced a large body of books surrounding his activity based projects. These books took the form of instructions for rather than documentation of specific events. He was clear, in his introductions, that they were meant to help people create their own versions of the activities being described. This move also dislocates the content from a particular moment in time and allows the reader to imagine the activities happening anywhere or anytime.

Theater, sports, and other scripted or rule-based forms of human interaction are a constant thread through many of the works. However, Kaprow manages to maintain a human warmth within the rather rigid format of these books. Warm Ups is a perfect example of these sources and tendencies. The title refers to the various exercises that both athletes and performers do before they hit the stage or the field. Within the book are staged photographs and textual descriptions of interactions between three participants. The interactions are centered around activities that create warmth in different ways. One of the examples describes two people holding an ice cube between their foreheads and one continually asking the other "is it warm yet?"

For my reinterpretation of the work, I wanted to create a sense of longing or loss through technological mediation. While this book and many of his others deal with a real sense of human intimacy, I wanted to create a piece that put the user into an awkward yet intimate relationship with an object - the empty pedestal. Through knocks - which only emphasize the emptiness of the pedestal - the user can communicate with the piece. A speech-to-text chorus of voices ask you to interact with the pedestal, yourself, and the environment; in ridiculous attempts to create warmth. The seance like rapping on the pedestal further highlights the sense of loss in the piece.

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