Performance art...

Posted: 8/19/2006 8:51:28 AM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

I honestly cringe at the thought of calling this a technique, but I'm being open minded.

Guy in Speedo on bike plays theremin:

Karma rears its ugly head towards the end.
Posted: 8/19/2006 9:47:08 AM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

"My White Bicycle" reminds me very much of the Tournemiere "Victim Paschale Laudes". Both started out as improvisations, both are loud, and they both utilize bold dissonances. In fact, with the opening sound of "Bicycle" my first reaction was, "Ah, Tournemiere!"

"Bicycle" stands as a sensitive (if not at times cloying) homage to the aleatoric composers of the 20th century. In an innocent and unpretentious manner, the performer takes us on a sonic journey as if to say, "jump on this bike with me and we'll explore the universe together".

The work of Escher comes to mind wherein people walk up stairs endlessly and keep ending up where they started. The idea of pedalling a bike yet never moving anywhere is an obvious reference to the "Escherian aesthetic".

While many will note the excellent plot and soundtrack, what really shines in this work is the set design and costuming. How did they get that costume to fit so snugly?

The video's numerous jump cuts suggest the newsreel sequence in "Citizen Kane". While few videos will achieve the sophistication of "Citizen Kane", the jump cuts immediately bring "Kane" to mind and one can only imagine what the creators of "Bicycle" will produce in the future!

I was disappointed to find that there is no bonus feature about the making of this video.

I appreciate music that gives me the Alex-being-forced-to-listen-to-Beethoven feeling, and like the Tournemire, "My White Bicycle" delivers.

Ok enough of this...

Time to chill out with some Slayer...
Posted: 8/19/2006 1:19:41 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Ah, Kevin, you have fallen for their cunning ploy.

The creators of this performance, the seahorse liberation army, describe themselves as Dadaist guerilla semioticians, and are hence dedicated to the violent overthrow of sense and meaning by the creation of works of non- and anti-art that mock the art establishment by deconstructing and caricaturing accepted genres by consciously imbuing them with meaninglessness whilst simultaneously challenging the audience to find artistic merit in the work, thereby highlighting the vapid pretentiousness of the art/critic dialectic.

Posted: 8/19/2006 2:10:35 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

[i]"Ah, Kevin, you have fallen for their cunning ploy ...highlighting the vapid pretentiousness of the art/critic dialectic."[/i]

Oh, no! I've been found out. :D
Posted: 8/20/2006 7:20:22 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Only at the cost of shooting myself in the foot. I can't believe I said "dialectic".

Pretentious? Moi?

Turn up that Slayer, Kevin.

Posted: 8/21/2006 1:53:28 AM

From: Undisclosed location without Dick Cheney

Joined: 2/21/2005

Of course, by creating performance pieces made carefully full of meaninglessness, they are in fact creating art about meaninglessness, which highlights the vapid pretentiousness of... them.
Posted: 8/21/2006 3:58:40 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Come now Tom, a little sympathy for this "poor player/ That struts and frets his hour upon the stage" - has he not suffered enough for his art? Did he not receive a big hurty bruise on his shin when he fell off the bike?
Posted: 8/21/2006 2:59:17 PM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

That's art though, isn't it.

Art is useless, but there's nothing wrong with creating something useless if it's appreciable.

If a beautiful statue was found and displayed in the Royal Academy, and then it was discovered that in fact it was nothing more than a windcarved rock from Cornwall, would it still be art?

Does the artist's intent actually matter if the work is appreciable?

"To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim." - Oscar Wilde
Posted: 8/21/2006 4:21:35 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

"To reveal art and conceal the artist [i]in Speedos[/i]..."

"Bicycle" is an elegant elaboration on the meaninglessness topic which, besides translating the space to levels heretofore unexplored, redefines the paradigm in a compelling manner. Of course, one is immediately drawn to the juxtaposition of the bicycle's round wheel and the rectangular pedestal.

The awesome musical score reenforces the anti-rhetoric of the video, exorcises the bland nothingness motive, eschews the retrograde anti-climactic episode's opposite, and achieves all this in a concise, easily understood context.

One cannot fail to be impressed with the pivotal breakthrough that "Bicycle" represents.
Posted: 8/22/2006 4:42:57 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

And, consistent with his new-found role of art-critic, kkissinger is away in a world of his own, missing the single most important aspect of this piece. This is an homage to Marcel Duchamp (

The most obvious reference is to [i]Bicycle Wheel[/i],


but also the repeated skidding around and falling reminds us of [i]In Advance Of The Broken Arm[/i], the movement of [i]Nude Descending A Staircase (No. 2)[/i], the theremin of [i]With Hidden Noise[/i], the nudity of [i]The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even[/i] and the Speedos of [i]L.H.O.O.Q[/i] (a pun in French - pronounced "elle a chaud au cul" - "she has a hot bottom".)

We are also indirectly reminded of Duchamp's seminal [i]Fountain[/i] by the seriousness of the work. (Fountain is a urinal, inverted so as not to accept urine, or more colloquially, "not taking the p*ss".)

Duchamp also supplies the answer to Charlie D's important question: Can a found object be art, if not created as an art-object? Yes. His readymades, such as [i]Bottle Rack[/i] are precisely that - Duchamp's role in this and similar works was simply to identify an object as being of artistic merit and label it as such.

Hence the familiar cry of the modern artist: "It's art because I say so!"

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