for an outlet for your inner performance artist? Oliver Herring
is looking for you. As part of his current survey exhibition
Me Us Them at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum
and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Herring will need 35
people to participate in a Task event, and one of those
people could be you. To be considered you will need to apply
at cms.skidmore.edu/tang/task.cfm or pick up an application
by visiting the museum or by calling Megan Hyde at 580-5066.
The short application is due by Feb. 27, so don’t delay. In
addition to contact information, you must provide your age
(the minimum age for participation is 14), your occupation,
and why you want to participate in Task. This information
is necessary because the artist wants as diverse a group as
possible. And by the way, he prefers that participants are
improvisational community art project will take place on Sunday,
March 22 from 10 AM-5 PM at Universal Preservation Hall at
25 Washington St., Saratoga Springs. Past Task events
have taken place in several locations including the Hirshhorn
Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Seattle Public Library.
For an idea of what might happen go to oliverherringtask.wordpress.com.
There you can link to previous Tasks and to videos
and photographs of the Tang Task party that took place at
Skidmore last November.
are asked to bring three meaningful pieces of writing and
sound or music along with two additional sets of clothing.
The event will unfold over seven hours in three acts with
participants getting breaks in between. To begin the process
there is a “task pool” made up of 35 tasks. Each participant
picks one and interprets it however they like. They can act
it out or merely contemplate it, but once they decide it has
been completed the participant then writes a new task and
adds it to the “task pool” and picks up a new one. A task
might be “Find five people to walk with you around the stage
as you walk for three minutes,” or “Build a wall,” or “Do
a little dance.”
explains that Task is “an improvisational event with
a simple structure and very few rules.” A stage is often designated
in the space by laying down construction paper. Certain materials
and props are provided such as cardboard, plastic wrap, scissors,
markers, string, tape, and clothes pins. As the participants
get to know one another and feel more comfortable with themselves
and the space, tasks often become more complex. Throughout
the seven hours, Herring films the event. Anything is allowed
so long as it does not cause harm or is destructive to property.
Task becomes, according to Herring, “a little utopian
micro-society with its own logic, rules, and momentum.” It
functions as an expressive outlet for people who don’t always
have one in their everyday lives. Task evolved from
the artist’s interest in making connections between people
and in giving people a positive way to interact. Even if you
aren’t selected to participate, the event is sure to be entertaining.
If it’s anything like past Task events, spectators
and participants will experience just how much creativity
can happen when people are given the opportunity to collaborate
and be adventurous in an unusual circumstance.