David Thompson
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January 21, 2015

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rjmadden

Through Bush, Through Briar is loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

You spoil us, David.

David

You spoil us, David.

I know, I really do.

Though I was faintly entertained by the chap in the audience furtively checking his phone, perhaps hoping someone might call with a family emergency, and the guy near the end who, having gorged on art, gets up and walks out, leaving an audience of five whole people.

David

Incidentally, Ms Armstrong tells us, “Artists should be compensated for their work, but entrance fees should not limit access.” Which I suppose means that some other sucker, possibly taxpayers, should be made to pick up the tab.

bilbaoboy

Thanks David

I have just discovered my calling.

Do you have a living room I can use?

Do you think regular visitors might be interested in me and my perception shattering performances?

I will go to sleep, fart in my sleep and snore.

Tremble world, revolution is nigh!

Lordy, does the world really need these people?

Crazed Weevil

Loosely inspired? As in, they were both created in the same universe?

I do like the guy leaving at the end though..."Quick! Lets get outta here while they're not looking!!"

David

I do like the guy leaving at the end though

It looks like the woman next to him is his girlfriend. I notice he leaves her behind in his rush to escape.

Joan

video of highlights from the hour-long performance

I'm just glad they cut out the crap bits.

The original Mr. X

"I am not an entertainer."

Well, at least we agree on something.

David

As so often, you can’t help but notice how these supposedly daring and radical people are all being “transgressive” in much the same, generic and impotent, way. The same dishonest and absurdly mannered language, the same relentless self-flattery, the same desperate pretension. Why, it’s almost as if the people attracted to such things are needy, incompetent and laughably conformist. And it may be significant that the performers in the video above rarely face the tiny audience, which you’d think would help them to convey the full subtlety and magnitude of their art. Instead, it seems, they’d rather be focussed on themselves and their fearless radicalism.

Rob

They are as transgressive as Goths who dress in a very, very dark shade of black instead of very dark black.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

In the very olden days I was being goaded to try LSD but wisely declined as this matches very closely the description of a bad trip, though I must admit I was transfixed by the radical act of throwing soda cans into a pan - sheer genius.

Kevin B
Oral fruit play… binding breasts in tape… kissing with black lipstick… spitting in your mouth…

I hate to tell you this David, but all this has just been banned in Britain by that great libertarian David Cameron. (or possibly Mistress May.)

David

this matches very closely the description of a bad trip

Ah, but LSD can be fun, or at least interesting. In that respect, it differs quite a lot.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Ah, but LSD can be fun, or at least interesting.

That I was told, but, given my luck, the risk of 12 hours or so of the above failed the risk/benefit test - it is not as if I could bail out as the they at the end did.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

WTF? I could only get in as far as the bearded...person...braying into the mic, but...I'm befuddled, which is rapidly becoming my natural state nowadays.

Franklin

Once more, with feeling!

galah23

David, I love the way you find these examples of performance art, and how you very much want to share them with the rest of us, but there is no way in this world I will be compelled to watch any of them. Just a description will suffice for me, thanks.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I could only get in as far as the bearded...person...braying into the mic...

No, you must go back, the electric razor on the tin bucket reminds one of the primary theme of the works of Burroughs as the defining characteristic, and eventually the meaninglessness, of neotextual society. It is quite breathtaking, really.

The Lurker on the Threshold

And no, I’m not unlocking the doors until you’ve watched the whole thing.

I watched 30 seconds - is that enough?

(the horror, the horror)

R. Sherman

I wonder how much in taxpayer student loans are responsible for this? And now, Obama wants us to give everyone free community college tuition. I can only imagine how much more of this sort of thing we're going to get.

Microbillionaire

Someone broke the italics end tag, I think

And on topic, oh god the pretentiousness. Also the arrogance, callousness, indifference (to the audience), incompetence, entitlement, vanity, lack of a sense of scale or perspective, and sheer hubris...

Farnsworth M Muldoon

"Someone broke the italics end tag, I think"

My apologies - I will now head to the penalty box.

David

Just a description will suffice for me, thanks.

No, no. I insist. Besides, I had to watch it and I don’t see why you lot should get off lightly.


Someone broke the italics end tag, I think.

Curse you, Muldoon.


the bearded...person...braying into the mic

I think the chap without trousers and struggling with his equipment is fellow performance artist Matthew Ryan Rossetti, whose other contribution to human advancement can be found here.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Curse you, Muldoon.

I blame the video. Having been struck dumb and blind by the sheer radiant beauty of the work, I was unable to see the keyboard through the tears of joy caused by having my perception of the world shifted.

Anna

Once more, with feeling!

Once more, with nail gun.

David

Once more, with nail gun.

Heathens, the lot of you.

wtp

I fear we've crossed the singularity. Have "friended" Buzz Aldrin on FB and I see he posts today That his Buzz Aldrin's ShareSpace Foundation is promoting replacing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) with STEAM, where the "A" of course is the addition of "Arts".

Can someone offer me some hope that we are not doomed?

sk60

I am not an entertainer.

Watching that has made me appreciate entertainers a lot more.

TheTooner

The scary part is at the end when the screen offers "more from eames armstrong"

David

I feel some kind of caption may be in order.

Let’s see… um…

“Pulp comeback gig not entirely successful.”

Sam

I feel some kind of caption may be in order.

"30 minutes into 24-hour performance art marathon, hostages pray for death."

wtp

With apologies to Edward Hopper:

“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to dance.”

Farnsworth M Muldoon

The Chatahatchee Springs Community College Players enact the lost act of Wagner's Götterdämmerung wherein Stiefmütterchen, the God of lost lederhosen, passes a kidney stone.

Hal

. . . the deeply melodious, mind-shattering creations of Ms Eames Armstrong . . .

'k, got it; she can't sing and if she has a mind, it's shattered.

---and I, too, am one who skipped the video and just skimmed through the commentary . . . Then again, when offered video of news, I do rather tend to skip all such and go hunting for the textual report . . .

Paul Nottingham

Be fair, it does make you think. I thought, "I fancy a bacon and fried egg sandwich." I don't know why but nevertheless I was glad of the enlightenment.

Paul Nottingham

I also appreciated the other piece of performance art towards the end, "Man exits rapidly through door in search of a stiff drink or twenty."

Karen M

Be fair, it does make you think.

It made me think I'm paying too much tax.

Paul Nottingham

Did anyone else think, "This could be improved with the introduction of a troop of ferocious and un-housetrained baboons"? I think it would help us envisage our tenuous links with nature, also the best way of extricating a baboon's teeth from the performers throat.

David

I’m leaning towards Anna’s ‘audience-expresses-dissatisfaction-with-nail-guns’ approach. Or for the squeamish, Tasers. It would, I think, make things more interesting and could scarcely be dismissed as being less artistic.

wtp

"This could be improved with the introduction of a troop of ferocious and un-housetrained baboons"

Monkeys. As I've repeatedly pointed out, any performance can be improved with the addition of monkeys...and maybe some alcohol, you know for the monkeys...and in extreme circumstances, a hand grenade...or two.

Paul Nottingham

"Monkeys."

But I was thinking that baboons have bigger teeth and red bottoms. it enhances the comedic motif.

jabrwok

I wonder if we have any Girl Genius fans here. The linked comic seems apposite.

Sam Duncan

Since I don't have Javascript enabled, the player comes emblazoned with the legend, “What's going on here?” across it. Good question, Vimeo, good question...

brinster

What, no encore?

AC1

Next show will be called "my favourite bathtime gurgles"?

R. Sherman

And no, I’m not unlocking the doors until you’ve watched the whole thing.

Well, I for one am glad I paid for the premium membership so that I can skip through directly to the comments.

The rest of you pikers have to suffer.

Bru-hu-hu-ha-ha!

BritInMontreal

Disappointed, didn't see any binding breasts in tape. I feel like Augustus in I Claudius - My Lords, nothing I could say on this occasion could match the depth of my feelings - in spades. I'd rather watch porno movies, at least people look like they are enjoying themselves. And I think you owe me $1000 for watching this - I'll take Canadian, since I live here. I mean, Christ, even the chick with the barbed wire and cling film was better, even accomplished.

Mac McCubbin

"... also the best way of extricating a baboon's teeth from the performers throat..."

Why might you want to do that?

Hal

"This could be improved with the introduction of a troop of ferocious and un-housetrained baboons"

Monkeys. As I've repeatedly pointed out, any performance can be improved with the addition of monkeys...and maybe some alcohol, you know for the monkeys...and in extreme circumstances, a hand grenade...or two.

Go with a Chimpanzee.

tidbit

Couldn't get a chimp on short notice, but 3 rye and sodas did make it more entertaining.

bobbyv

of course vimeo works perfectly fine for this crap.

The Lurker on the Threshold

This seems an apposite quote from Christopher Fowler.

By ‘fun’, I mean that the reader/viewer/listener must be rewarded a little for the effort of paying attention

David

Here’s another taste of Ms Armstrong’s obscurantist blather:

Our independent, though intertwined, practices deal with ritual transformation, queer love, teenage fandom, and the cloudy space between the live act and documentation. We believe that the space of performance is akin to the sacred space of ritual… In performance as in ritual, materials and actions take on symbolic meaning which can persist outside the time and space of the performance.

Feel free to juxtapose that, or the guff about “destabilising visibility” and “transgressing conventions,” with the actual flummery seen in the video. And then imagine a mind in which that juxtaposition isn’t mortifying or laughable. A mind in which one is a credible description of the other.

Connor

But the video ends before we get to hear the deafening applause.

Jonathan

Clearly 'Care in the Community' has failed as a policy, or these jokers thought: " I wonder how much taxpayers money we can get before somebody rumbles us?"

David

Would it be unking to suggest that these are children who never really grew up?

gs

Not enough cowbell.

Watcher in the dark

When a kid, the phrase bandied around was "arty-farty." I had no appreciation then of how true the last part of that phrase was.

mehere

There are people walking past the window, cars driving along the street, who are wholly and totally oblivious to the fact that great art is being performed and perceptions being changed! I demand a headline in The Guardian about this!

Sundling

Waterboarding just seems so innocent now!

Hal

. . . the cloudy space between the live act and documentation.

Or, as filmmakers call it, editing.

Henry

This comes to mind... when Claudius, future Emperor of Rome, is hauled to the Palace by the lunatic Caligula, and wonders what fate awaits.

His effusive reaction at the end is, I think, precisely how we should be greeting Ms Eames Whatever-her-name-is-can't-be-bothered-to-scroll up-to-find-out's "work".

Is it time for Friday ephemera yet?

David

hauled to the Palace by the lunatic Caligula,

Heh. Quite. Oddly enough, the Other Half and I were watching an episode of I, Claudius recently, not for the first time. Murder, intrigue, madness and Wilfred Josephs’ excellent title music. What’s not to like?

Is it time for Friday ephemera yet?

Just after midnight, same as usual.

Jimmy

I don't know what's more disturbing; the actual show or the fact that this is a predictable and not uncommon outcome of contemporary art education.

JuliaM

Meanwhile, in the 'Guardian', how being discreet about bodily functions is just another weay the patriarchy keeps womyn down:

"How daft, though, to think that talking about periods requires courage. I do it all the time (too much, my friends think)..."

Really..? That's a surprise.

David

Meanwhile, in the ‘Guardian’, how being discreet about bodily functions is just another way the patriarchy keeps womyn down

The attempt to associate normal discretion with the horrors of third world sanitation is a bit sly, though par for the course, as is the standard, lazy conceit that not liveblogging one’s period is a sign of shame and submissiveness. Says Ms George, “I’m not supposed to be saying this out loud. I’m meant to excrete the lining of my womb discreetly, fragrantly and silently.” To which, I’m inclined to say, “Well, yes, madam. That would be appreciated by those in your proximity, who may not wish to hear a pretentious running commentary on your vaginal outflow. Is it too much to ask?”

Also in the Guardian, there aren’t enough cocks on TV. Insert gag of choice.

Jimmy

Meanwhile, in the 'Guardian', how being discreet about bodily functions is just another way the patriarchy keeps womyn down:

I don't get it. It's taboo, and yet here's an article in a widely read rag talking about it in detail. Clearly it's not as taboo as we thought?

I noted the statistic about Iran (In Iran over 40% of girls surveyed by Unicef thought menstruation was a disease. Note the flow of the article at this point.) and showed it to my wife, who was incredulous about the claim. As a girl growing up in Iran (she's 34 now) she was taught all about menstruation at school.

It turns out that the study used to derive this unflattering claim consisted of a survey of a mere 250 girls (likely immigrants) in generally poor suburbs of Tehran. The original study claimed that 48% of girls when questioned thought pain during menstruation could be a disease rather than normal pain. The unicef report also claims that around 50% of Iranian girls don't bathe for 8 days after a shower, then later claims that the same 50% don't take a bath for 8 days. The original study mentions taking a bath, but baths are not common in Iran; they generally use wet showers (which are awesome btw). SO, basically, a survey of 250 girls gets translated into 40% of iranian girls are ignint 'bout their period 'cos patriarchy and taboos' when the case is that, contrary to what the writer is clearly suggesting, girls in Iran are educated about menstruation and not forbidden to talk about it because it's taboo.

and from the comments...

It then goes on to point out that in backward countries - and I don't apologise for that term, because they're largely corrupt dictatorships with religious patriarchs sticking their noses in where they don't belong - that menstruation is considered a disease and unclean. Because those countries are backward and don't educate their people.

Hal

. . . there aren’t enough cocks on TV . . .


It's not T.V., but here y'are with all you could ever want.

Henry

Also in the Guardian, there aren’t enough cocks on TV. Insert gag of choice

Oi tink there's a joke there somewhere.

Spiny Norman

Here’s another taste of Ms Armstrong’s obscurantist blather:

Our independent, though intertwined, practices deal with ritual Transformation, queer love, teenage fandom, and the cloudy space between the...

> BANG! <

Enough of that. Damnit.

Would it be off base for me to assume this is a post-modernist dance interpretation of Vogon poetry?

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