Then She Set Off the Jollity Klaxon
The Doing of Social Science

I Hammer Culture Into Your Tiny Minds

This time, by bringing you the vast artistic talents of Ms Jane Wang.

Ms Wang is perhaps best known for hosting the Earthdance Music and Movement Jam in Plainfield, Massachusetts, where “dance and music dialogue together” every second Sunday of the month. Often to stunning effect. Ms Wang’s areas of expertise are of course numerous and include “installation art, fluxus, performance art, phone photography” and “videotaping with her ultra-flip cameras.” When not dazzling audiences with her fluxus, Ms Wang also collaborates with other, equally bold artists, with projects including the breath-taking Wire Man (2008) and Giant Red Ruby Shoe (2009). The latter being part of an “installation/meditation” shown during the Politics of Shoes artistic mega-event, the profundity of which can, thanks to video recordings, be pondered here and here

If further proof of aesthetic genius is needed, I’ve managed to track down video of Ms Wang collaborating with Shizu Homma on a “guerrilla performance piece” on a bridge in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The length of said recording, a mighty 24 minutes, is necessary to convey the magnitude and seriousness of the work in question. Brace yourselves. Things really kick into high gear about 50 seconds in.     

No, you mustn’t. They’re explorers, curators, keepers of the culture. We should be thanking them. Begging them for more. 


Karen M

This "guerrilla performance piece " looks a lot like care in the community.


I think it's a typo


When not dazzling audiences with her fluxus,

I'm not even going to ask.

What I do want to know is were they starved of attention as kids or given too much of it?


That was grueling, yet fairly excruciating.


Couldn't they at least set themselves on fire then jump off the bridge?

No imagination, some people.


No laughing, you philistines. It’s a bold and powerful work.

Though if you stick with it, it is almost funny, albeit inadvertently. Despite their best efforts to elicit some response from the non-needy people using the bridge, no-one takes the bait. There’s barely a glance at the two narcissists aimlessly rolling about with a piece of cloth, even when they do their best to obstruct passers-by and get underfoot.

Imagine the indignity. They were artists, damn it, doing a “guerrilla performance piece,” being terribly transgressive… and, scandalously, no-one gave a fuck.

virgil xenophon

File under: demented and/or institutionalized escapees..

These people can't possibly actually be living and functioning on their own in modern society...wait, THAT's the point. It's that any society that allows such people to roam free is on the final terminal glide-path. In earlier times they would've been institutionalized at a very early age so as not so scare the horses, children or small animals , lol.


As I find with most borderline entertainment, this piece could be significantly improved my simply adding a monkey. Don't you agree?


Damn, I just clicked Dodderer's link and see he already made my point. Great minds think alike, I suppose. Looking forward to this idea catching on.

Paul Nottingham

Actually I think that was a brilliant work of art and shows us the way forward. The only cost appears to have been for a piece of cloth which, let's face it, they could have liberated from a bag of old clothes left outside a charity shop. Cost of performance art - almost insignificantly low, subsidy needed zero. That's my kind of bad art.

Just as a word of caution, please do not perform this work when I'm taking my dog for a walk off lead as he tends to be a philistine as far as his appreciation of the arts goes and also has a short way with anything he considers darned foolishness. Not a good combination in a muscle bound staffy cross as far as performance artists go.

On the other hand I am prepared to let him make his contribution voluntarily and it will draw more spectators. It will also enable the artist to run away from the bridge at a far greater speed (until the dog notices them) than was seen on the video.

I like to think of myself as a patron of the arts and an enabler.

Paul Nottingham

I've just checked with MOMA and evidently Fluxus can be categorized as Neo-Dada so that's a relief, I was a little worried.


this piece could be significantly improved by simply adding a monkey.

Or lions. Hungry lions.


Begging them for more.

Begging them to stop.


Highly entertaining yet light interplay between the dancers lend background to the real presence of the show, White Veil. Sometimes choreographed sometimes improvised White Veil teases a performance from our dance troupe rivalled only by the fun yet introspective piece "Shoes. Lightly Tossed" from a few years back at the community gallery. Look for more challenging themes from these three in the future.

R. Sherman

Well, at least it's not that old, naked chick fighting against menopause again. That's a relief.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

They had an exhibit called The Politics of Shoes and there's nothing about Imelda Marcos?


I was trying to figure out the deeper meaning of this work.

Was it "I don't care what you think. I don't care what you think. But I will perform where everyone can see me." ?


“I don’t care what you think. But I will perform where everyone can see me.”

Pretty much. It’s sort of, “I desperately need you to notice me being non-conformist.” And gosh, how radical is that?

Farnsworth M Muldoon
phone photography” and “videotaping with her ultra-flip cameras.”

Translated into English that means, "I am too cheap and lazy to buy and learn how to use a real camera and video recorder."

That these people, and especially the slap fight people in the video at the "Often to stunning effect" link, take themselves seriously is rather sad. In a kinder society they would, as Xenophon pointed out above, be institutionalized.

Ofay Cat

I want a pound of whatever they are smoking.


ultra flip for the ultra hip baby


Fluxus? Does she mean flatus?


this piece could be significantly improved by simply adding a monkey.

Or lions. Hungry lions.

Or gunfire.


Sorry, gave up after 3 minutes. What I saw in that time was crushingly inelegant and utterly clumsy. Not a shred of grace in it.

I do wonder, as this pair struggled to pose in their self-absorbed way (and passers-by registered zero interest) whether a little voice in their simple heads whispered: "What the holy poo are we doing out here?"



According to the flickr account cited, the rolling about on the bridge was 2010, or earlier. The shoe politics were even earlier, 2009. The website seems to have things currently scheduled, but that "jam" rather reminds me of a friend's description of what he and some other friends of his do, only his description to me rather freely amounted to, basically, "Yeah, we call it a band, but we really just get together just for the fun of it and nothing more, where all we do is just sit around and putz about with instruments . . . "

David, what you've posted is certainly a break from falling airplanes and a different narcissist politician , but just how did you manage to dredge this one up?

Hopefully by contrast, what d'y'all think of something more recent? A) It was shot this last Sunday instead of four or more years ago, B) all that is promised or expected is that a camera recorded stuff at point A, then recorded stuff at point B, then went back to point A, then editing occurred . . . I'm mildly shocked at the level of traffic it's getting compared to the rest of . . . But, Ehn, one does things because one is moved to, and then sees what occurs . . . . .


Hal, only had time for 90 seconds of that but from what I saw, no monkey. Nor hungry lions nor gunfire for that matter. Any of which would be an improvement if not, in this instance, a necessity.


. . . . from what I saw, no monkey.

Bingo!!! . . . . . Apparently a lot of people keep getting caught in that bit of But . . . But . . . they're doing community support fundraising?!?!?!!?!? Ok . . so the Sisters do guerrilla theatre, and the Buddhist church is doing the community street dancing, both as an introduction and as a springboard into . . . community support?!?!?!?!?!!!

Why yes, not a single explosion or 45 minute political harangue . . . .

I know, how horrifyingly prosaic. Imagine what we'd all have to deal with if this caught on elsewhere . . . .


They had an exhibit called The Politics of Shoes and there's nothing about Imelda Marcos?

Cue Mark Knopfler . .

Some number of years ago, and my Googlemancy is not turning up the details, the Oscar awards near inevitable references to audience size had native language greetings from expert translator Robin Williams . . . .


We have viewers from Germany.

Guten abend!

We have viewers from France.



Na how ma!

The Philippines.

Come On Down! Shoe Sale, Shoe Sale, Big Shoe Sale, We Got WhatEeeeever Shoe You Looking For!!!!


R. Sherman

You want art? I'll give you art.

God bless it.


The work is sadly derivative of other "guerrilla performances" one can witness in most British city centres late at night between Thursday night and Sunday morning.

Except in those cases, the performers tend to be noisier and actually use real kebabs in their performances rather than just pretend they are there.

Also, their lengths of white cloth tend to have 'L' plates stuck to them.

Chris N

Did anyone watch all 23:51 straight through?

I sure did, and I was transfixed. I can see how the exploratory public space of the footbridge spanned over the bowl of Nature, just as that loose skein of material clearly represented a protective cover against the male gaze, or perhaps a gauzy placenta of solidarity stretching in the breeze. Maybe it was Gaia's veil, ever-lifting and lowering as we approach the Natural World, yet binding us in our ignorance.

Not a breath, an Earth movement, nor second of tape wasted with these two.

Pure Genius.

Five Stars.

B Moe

I would have called 911 and reported someone having a seizure. When the EMS and police showed up that would have been some entertainment.


They seem to have lost their keys...


The difference between these artistes, and your down and out homeless person?

A homeless person doesn't get funding from an arts council.


Piercing our ignorance with the shining nail of TRUTH?

Nah. Pass.

Revnant Dream

I bet this charade was paid by tax dollars from a public grant


I bet this charade was paid by tax dollars from a public grant

Ehn, the rolling about being ignored on a bridge? Only if there is actually some definite comment to that effect.

That was apparently done in the early 21st century. And visual access at this point is ubiquitous

Why bother demanding grant money when it now requires more effort?


@ 50 seconds, noticed the two guys walking buy giving them the WTF look, were afr0can-americans.

To me an interesting bit of meta performance art would be forcing the black guys to watch these two ala clockwork orange while pointing to them and saying... "see see this is who you have sided with! This is what you validate. Stuff like this is paid for with your tax dollars thanks to the power fo the democratic party."


@Chris N | July 30, 2014 at 23:05

Your the kinda person I would really like to hang out with.


Once I realized that the piece was titled, "Agony of the Cankles" I was quite moved.


It has a name? For God's sake, why??

Jim Whyte

Their behaviour is not unlike that of two people that showed up to bother my family at different times last Wednesday evening. One was, I think, mentally ill, the other, I think, a con man.

But (as Dietrich said in an episode of Barney Miller) there's no reason you can't be both.


I've seen this piece of art outside my local pub...many times. This is a very poor imitation I'm sad to say.


Wow I'll bet even Yoko Ono would've asked WT?


I can't believe I wasted the battery power on that!!!



I think the weed was a little too strong that day.


Well, I thought it presented a devastating deconstruction of Patriarchal Capitalist Western Society. So much so that I've burned my membership card and gone to join a Marxist-Feminist commune.

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