Recently I have been using mobile phones as a tool to connect with the audience during a live performance in order to interact within a heterotopic space. This methodology creates a dichotomy in experience for the viewer/participant: in some ways the performances become a one-on-one experience for each participant, and in other ways this methodology creates a distance/adds a layer of abstraction to the performance with the participant since it becomes mediated through their device.
Throughout the COVID-19 quarantine I have been creating an on-going performance-for-camera series “x-in-waiting,” that has been developed into a mobile app. The work asks viewers to wait for eight minutes with the performance artist in various videos. Each video shows the performance artist engaging in a form of performative mediation/occupation of their own choosing. These performances involve everyday household items and situations found within the home under quarantine scenarios. Each scenario embodies something commonplace; however they are orchestrated/curated into a “serious” art performance moment, rendering them to be quite humorous (e.g.: the artist balancing on a plethora of inverted empty wine bottles). The sites used are familiar to the audience as they are a reflection of the spaces that we have all been sequestered into and “maintain” in order to ride out the pandemic. The common thread connecting each eight-minute performance is the visual aspect of the artist being on their phone while passing time while creating a “waiting” performance (this mimics what the viewer is doing when they watch the performance on their phone).
“x-in-waiting” refers to the period of stasis that occurs for something (the variable ‘x’) to become something else. For this work the “x” stands in for whatever occupation the artist is consumed with while being ‘in waiting’.
This “art meditation app” is a platform that delivers the performances directly to audiences. It asks viewers to take some time out of their day to pause and wait/perform/watch with the artist. Push notifications alert users when a new performance/meditation is uploaded. This app as artwork will ‘finish’ when the quarantine restrictions are over: the app alerts users that the waiting has now ended and the app will ‘self-destruct’. The performances and app will live on as an online archive of this period in time.
This work was premiered during the London Ontario Media Arts Association (LOMAA) Virtual Encounters exhibition in 2023. Audiences attending the festival was prompted to download the free app onto their mobile devices. Audiences can then explore the already uploaded performances created over the 2020- present COVID-19 period. During the festival new performances were uploaded.
After the festival audiences can continue following the performance series until the project is over, where the app will “self-destruct”. The whole series will be available as an archive online representing LOMAA and every other platform that has supported this project. I have been broadcasting these performances online and this series/some performances have been featured in a group show for the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Presently in 2021 and with “Quarantine Qapsule” - a Myseum project curated by Teabase.
Download the app here:
Here is the link to the Apple App Store for iphone:https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/xinwaiting/id1672785046
Here is the link to the Google Play Store for android:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.torshore.xinwaiting
Elements of x-in-waiting was exhibited:
x-in-waiting-app - Virtual Encounters: New Entanglements in Performance and Media, London Ontario Media Arts Association LOMAA, 2023
Re-connect Art/ Prague Biennale Projekt/ Prague, Czech Republic, 2021
x-in-waiting/ The Social Distancing Festival/ online, 2021
Presently, Art Gallery of Peterborough, 2020
Quarantine Qapsule/ Myseum curated by Tea Base/ Toronto, Canada, 2020