exercise H [right action, wrong object]

We perform mundane actions all day long: brushing our teeth, opening curtains, giving a birthday card to a friend, making dinner, vacuuming the floor, etc. Rarely do we consider the complexity of all of the social, physical, and cultural elements that go into those scenarios.

This exercise requires observing everyday actions and designing a series of small performances inspired by those actions. Post the following on to your blog by Monday 03/16:

  1. BRAINSTORM — Brainstorm a list of 10 habitual actions you do daily or weekly. Pick your favorite action based on what you think will be the most interesting to examine further.
  2. SUBSTITUTE — Then come up with 4 different objects you could substitute in for the common object used in this action.  For example, if your action is drinking coffee, instead of drinking coffee from a coffee cup (traditional action) you might  “drink coffee” out of your hands, with a funnel, out of a shoe (non-traditional or surreal action).
  3. PERFORM — Perform the 4 versions of your action and capture it with video. Use any camera you have access to.

TIPS: The objective of this exercise is to engage in the process of creative experimentation and push non-traditional thinking. Don’t just chose ANY random objects to bring into your performance. Try to make the new objects as far from the traditional object as possible. The trick is to pick objects that enhance the meaning, feeling, or experience of the action to change our perception of it. To continue our example, if you switch from a coffee cup to a bowl, the meaning doesn’t change much.

RESOURCES: Fike & Harris, Dan Hakon Erichsen, Janfamily (below)


DUE DATE: Post your brainstorm notes and your final performance videos to your blog by Monday 03/16.

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