Performance Art Redux: One Year Performance Video
Turbulence.org and artists MTAA‘s “One Year Performance Video” is a 21st century update to Sam Hsieh’s seminal 1978-1979 One Year Performance, in which the artist voluntarily sequestered himself in a self-built jail cell for a year, beholden to a set of strict rules: no leaving, reading, writing, entertainment, or conversing with others.
Hosted on Turbulence’s website, “One Year Performance Video” shows the two artists that comprise MTAA meandering about identical bedrooms, with a second counter at the bottom of the video recording how long visitors have been tuned in. Viewers are asked to sign in to keep track of how long they’ve been watching, the goal being to sit through it for a full year. The video is looped and not streaming, but is loaded according to log in time (those that start watching in the morning will see morning time activities; those watching at night will see the artists sleeping). This reintrepretation of Hsieh’s year long performance uses technology to transform the humanity-testing aspect of the original piece, placing the performative challenge on the viewer.