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Two Performance Artists book by Scotch Wichmann
Two Performance Artists Kidnap Their Boss And Do Things With Him
Inspired by my crazy adventures as a performer on the road, this is the story of two performance artists who cook up the ultimate performance: to kidnap their billionaire boss...and turn him into the wildest performance artist the world's ever seen.

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Posts Tagged ‘Performance art’

A Performance Artist’s Year of the Sheep

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Performance artist Scotch Wichmann performing DOPPELGANGER in Ventura, CA, 2015

Performance artists (like standup comedians) believe that performing within a day of January 1st is mandatory if you want to ensure good luck for the coming year.

I can’t remember who first handed me this superstition, but I obey it religiously, though, I’ll admit, sometimes with a last-minute scramble to find an available stage or mic with the year’s final hours dwindling. It doesn’t have to be a pro venue, mind you; performing three minutes in a watering hole or an alley for a few drunken cohorts earns you the Karma.

My 2015 started with a healthy dose of luck: the photo above was taken during Doppelganger, a performance to celebrate Year of the Sheep at the beautiful new ALoft Gallery in Ventura, California on January 2nd.

(I don’t always perform in front of mirrors, but when I do, I like to scribble WOLF on my back and dress up like a Dutch girl covered in cottonballs).

For me, the Sheep arrives right on time as a reminder of the Bruegel parades of blind leading the blind, with the most glaring example perhaps being the screaming pitch of shitty throwaway culture and memes now born, mindlessly traded, and then discarded at terrifying Internet speeds—and I’m as culpable as anyone for adding to the bright-n-shiny baubles that increasingly distract us from digging in to become something greater.

Forget mere loss of spirituality; I’m talking about the forgetting of something far more primal: what it feels like to be a living alien creature, evolved but still part animal, now imbued with the potential to imagine and dream, inventing rituals as we go, conversing with plants and stars, on a planet spinning through cold, empty space. Maybe I’m not alone. Do you feel it? Your primordial ancestors beckoning to you through your DNA to remember what magic feels like? The call to invent from the gaping maw of nothing instead of just consume?

I drove to Arizona last month. At the risk of sounding like a mid-life-crisis Burner cliché, the time I spent in that rugged expanse of desert emptiness pried me open with an irresistible call to reconnect with my primality and instincts that have been rendered barely detectable beneath the raging din of commercial, political, technological, and dilettante clutter.

Your list of resolutions for 2015 may be long, but if you’re inclined, maybe scribble somewhere near the top:

    Alone in the dirt with a drum and a bone.

On Holes & Galleys

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Performance artist Scotch Wichmann performing at SOMArts 100 Performances For The Hole in San Francisco, 2014
First things first: the 100 Performances for the Hole at SOMArts January 4th in San Francisco killed, with 100 consecutive performers each doing a 4-minute piece in a 4-foot concrete hole in the gallery’s floor. The crowds were amazing—half drunk and game for anything, their numbers ranged from 200 to 400 at any given moment. My inner art critic felt there wasn’t enough site-specific attention paid to the hole by the performers generally, but there were some amazing spectacles nonetheless, with one of my favorite pieces being “Bare Suit” by 100-Hole veteran, Pete Ippel.

My piece, Echolocation for the Unconscious, involved a quick rundown on the history of the mischievous Greek nymph Echo, tips for measuring echo distances in time and space (the distance from yourself to yourself), and then my following my echoes down into the concrete rabbit’s hole with the aid of a rappelling harness and rope. Fortunately, the far end of the rope was held tight by my pals Ryan and Patrick, two super-strong dudes. But unfortunately, the ground was slippery from a prior band of performers who’d sprayed the floor with tissue paper confetti. When the time came to rappel, my helpers slipped on the paper, causing me to fall 4 feet (almost) flat on my face…but it looked great. I only suffered a busted-up thumb and a pulled shoulder. And in its drunken exuberance, audience members began echoing everything I said almost from the beginning—sometimes a few people, other times hundreds—the sound was gorgeous. No doubt, somewhere Echo was laughing her ass off off off.

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY: I just learned that the bound galleys for Two Performance Artists have arrived! They’re large & sexy, a full 8.5 x 11″ for easy reading, and available in E-formats also for Kindles, iPads, and all the rest. If you’re a book reviewer, hit me up for your copy! The novel comes out April 10th—just three months away!

Come Watch My Seed

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Is our “twitterization” making us spill more details than we should? Have we exchanged our interior voices for external ones? Are we becoming masters of telling at the expensive of showing? Come find out this Friday when I unveil Seed, my new performance art work with citrus, surreal psychic brain rewiring and more! Fri. July 6, 2012, 8PM at the Sylvia White Gallery in Ventura, CA. FREE! Let’s operate!