The Non-Performance

The DADA of 1916 tried to create non-art and concluded that you could not.   The act of self upon your environment created art even when you attempted to do otherwise.


The non-performance was a preparation for a performance that would not occur.   This preparation was to take place while the audience was on break and most were in the lobby.  Occuring in the lobby was the unannounced Environmental Theater piece.     (During The Cleveland Performance Festival "Performance Open" section the audience is given a 5 minute or so break so the next performers can place their props)  At the end of the set up the audience is called back in and Thomas Mulready, the festival founder and director, announces the next performance. 


The Columbine High School shooting was the top news story at the time of the non-performance.  I took three pages of the Dayton Daily News and glued them to a sheet of paper 4 feet by 10 feet.  I also lettered on the paper a line from the newspaper "Open fire at high school" and drew two telescopic crosshairs about two feet across.  I stuck this large poster to the black curtain at the back of the stage area.

I opened an umbrella that was decorated with the Dayton Daily News advertisement and put it to the left of the microphone stand..

smdestry.gif (5623 bytes) While most of the audience was out I placed in their seats my "Destroy This Paper" flyer.

To see a larger version click on the image.


As a costume I wore a black tee shirt with the word "Rituals" and a decapitated chickens head.  I wore military pants. Over these I wore a black trench coat with a swastika arm band.


After the audience was called back in and I was introduced by Mulready, I read this to the audience:

  For the last Cleveland Performance Art Festival I decided to create a performance that will never be.

  My last 10 minutes of preparation was for this non-performance.

  However there was an environmental performance going through out the world while I created the non-performance.

  In the Lobby was the performance "Performance in Plato's Cave".  It was performed by Michelle, Brandy and Sara Anne. (The three performers entered the stage at this time)

  It was the Tea Party from Alice in Wonderland and we adapted it to environmental performance.

  We also transmitted live on the internet to a potential world audience.

  We tried, as the PAF ended, to take it to a new plane, a new place in the world of performance.

  Thank you