Live Performance Art—Straight to Your Laptop

One of the main reasons why performance art struggles to find a wider audience is because, almost by nature, it cannot reach a wide audience. A performance artist works in time—once the performance is over, it’s over. More than for any other medium, you really have to be there. Those problems may finally have met their match through modern technology. Beginning today, Thursday, March 22nd, BMW Tate Live: Performance Room will bring live online performances to an international audience simultaneously across world time zones, shattering the performance art barrier and, perhaps, introducing performance art to people who could or would never have attended a performance before. At 8 pm in the United Kingdom (3 pm on the east coast in the United States), a revolution in the history of performance art begins.


First up in the lineup of the five planned shows is choreographer and dancer Jérôme Bel. Bel’s courted controversy in the past with nudity and public urination in his work, but for the most part, as in The Show Must Go On (excerpt shown above; click the link to see a brief film excerpt), which features a group of headphone-wearing individuals bopping and singing along to pop tunes, Bel’s performance pieces are fun, cool, ironic, and, best of all, accessible. He’s the perfect choice for the leadoff position. Joseph Beuys stroking a dead hare may be a landmark in performance art history, it’s not the best introduction to a wide, uninitiated audience.

Audiences should enter the online Performance Room via at 20.00 hours (8 pm) in the UK, at 15.00 hours (3 pm) on the east coast of the US, at 21.00 hours (9 pm) in mainline Europe, and at 23.00 hours (11 pm) in Russia. BMW Tate Live: Performance Room takes advantage of social media not only to allow viewers to chat among themselves, but also via Twitter (twitter.com/tate; hashtag #BMWTateLive), Facebook (facebook.com/tategallery), and YouTube (youtube.com/tate) to ask questions of the artists and curators. By showing the performance live around the globe rather than on some kind of delay, the performance keeps the same sense of danger and risk that makes any live art form exciting. Even better, the social media features let you “talk” during the show without interrupting the performers and gain access to the performers and curators in a way you’d never be able to at any live performance. If you miss the Bel performance, you can catch later performances by Pablo Bronstein on April 26th, Emily Roysdon on May 31st, Harrell Fletcher on June 28th, and Joan Jonas sometime in mid-July or September (all at the same times as the Bel performance).

Performance artist Marina Abramović, probably the most famous practitioner of the medium of the last four decades, has established the Marina Abramović Community Center Obod (MACCO) in her homeland and the Marina Abramović Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art in her “second” home in America to educate and train the next generation of performance artists as well as to further the legacy of performance art itself. It would be interesting to see someone like Abramović embrace and even perform in BMW Tate Live: Performance Room to help bring this challenging, diverse, exciting, and, yes, sometimes fun art form find new fans and rescue it from the perceptions of elitism and exclusiveness that threaten to make it an irrelevant curiosity. If you’ve never seen a performance artist at work, tune in, log on, and open up your horizons.

[Image: Jérôme Bel. The Show Must Go On, 2001. © Jérôme Bel. Photo: Mussacchio Laniello.]

[Many thanks to the Tate for providing me with the image above and other press materials related to BMW Tate Live: Performance Room.]

How getting in sync with your partner can lead to increased intimacy and sexual desire

Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.

Pixabay
Sex & Relationships
  • Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
  • The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
  • Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Keep reading Show less

How humans evolved to live in the cold

Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Surprising Science
  • According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
  • Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
  • Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
Keep reading Show less

Stan Lee, Marvel co-creator, is dead at 95

The comics titan worked for more than half a century to revolutionize and add nuance to the comics industry, and he built a vast community of fans along the way.

(Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Lee died shortly after being rushed to an L.A. hospital. He had been struggling with multiple illnesses over the past year, reports indicate.
  • Since the 1950s, Lee has been one of the most influential figures in comics, helping to popularize heroes that expressed a level of nuance and self-doubt previously unseen in the industry.
  • Lee, who's later years were marked by some financial and legal tumult, is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia "J.C." Lee.
Keep reading Show less