C.O.P.S. class notes: Hello/Goodbye 07/17/11

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I’m taking classes at the Conceptual Oregon Performance School this summer and I’m a huge nerd. Here are my notes from class and related links. This is a video based class so the majority of the links are videos.

Class notes/discussion topics:

  • Initial aspects of endurance: impressing others, consistently topping oneself or others.
  • Endurance as viewer: How long will you watch?
    • Once you’ve seen/watched it, you “get” it.
    • Question of the necessity of watching a long form piece in entirety.
      • [see Andy Warhol’s “Sleep”, from the YouTube comments: “imagine this 10 minute clip lasting 5 hours, yeah, crazy shit”]
  • Watched the San Diego Zoo’s Polar Cam while class read “A Hunger Artist” aloud.
      • [apparently the live cams at night are soothing/interesting, just barely seen waterfalls, abstract night vision]
    • Shift from initial interest in spectacle to boredom.
    • Longer work looses you from finite time frames, allowing you to come and go.
  • Everybody can smash a guitar on their head. (Chunky smashes guitar on head) So why do/imitate it?
    • Documenting assholery.
      • Bas Jan Ader, Fall 1 [watched last class]
      • CKY Roof Fall [not a good example, but their early work does reference the masculine body work of folks like Ader]
    • Public interest hasn’t waned, but the bar has risen.
    • Memetic ability
    • Cover band: take a piece of something that is popular/powerful
  • Why watch it?
    • Atrocity tourism: this is terrible, do you see how terrible.
    • Why else?
  • Günter Brus: Vienese Actionists, 1965 action
  • Documenting the challenge, the dare, Guinness Book of World Records
  • Japanese game show, “Pass the Critter
  • Sidebar: Shepard Fairey Obey Giant Mayday Jeffrey Deitch
  • Criss Angel Mindfreak



  • During the guitar smash video it was remarked that the room “was perfect” and agreed that to create that same space on purpose for use in a video piece would be difficult. Set dressing is, like costuming, a surprisingly detailed and involved process. It takes work to make something have natural looking detail that informs the piece. Note the falconry (and “avian control” van in the foreground pint-balancing video. You can’t make that shit up.
  • WTF video source: Found Footage Festival
  • WTF video and edited video source: Everything is Terrible
  • WTF edited video source: Four four
  • Supercuts can be definite viewer endurance, due to repetitiveness