[Editor's Note: The MCA's performance art series Here/Not There is a five-part series that runs through August 2. Starting with a bang with The Body Parlor (video link) by Katrina Chamberlin and James Kubie, then continuing on with Patrick Lichty: Summer of Love 2.0 this week, and runs through Saturday. Our goal is to cover the entire series, and my deepest thanks go out to Gretchen Holmes, who was a video-taping fiend. She is our resident expert on performance art and will be covering the series. The following is her review. ]
Patrick Lichty: Summer of Love 2.0 (Tuesday night performance only)
Review by Gretchen Holmes
Making good art with Second Life, Twitter, or Facebook sounds like a dicey proposition,
but Patrick Lichty's Summer of Love 2.0 commandeers all three social networking sites, making good art that uses technology to evaluate the depth and sincerity of the social commitment Web 2.0 fosters both on and offline. Tuesday night's performance featured a re-performance of Yoko Ono and John Lennon's Bed-In, staged in Second Life by Second Front, a virtual performance collective. This event kicked off the weeklong project, which turns the MCA's McCormick Tribune Orientation Gallery (the 12x12 space) into living installation where Lichty hopes to blur the boundaries between his online community and the MCA's undulating community of viewers.
It is easy to draw parallels between Free Love and the virtual promiscuity of Facebook friend requests (Lichty's Facebook Friend Wheel does look like a Sex Ed teacher's cautionary diagram), but Summer of Love 2.0's many moving parts tilt the conversation towards social responsibility and challenge tendencies to confuse the concept of "community" with substantive activism. As part of the installation, two flat-screen monitors show video reels including Iraq War combat footage, Buckminster Fuller meeting the hippies, and Second Front video projects. Second Front's video Car Bibbe, a Second Life enactment of Al Hansen's unperformed Happening, uses very contemporary, very detached forums for communal experience to mediate our nostalgia for the spontaneity of Happenings and Free Love. The video makes a powerful contribution to the installation and attests to Lichty's thoughtful use of technology to create politically engaging work that is not just about technology.
Lichty is accessible all week via Twitter and Facebook, and he invites all to join the Summer of Love 2.0 at any of these forums:
Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=80802449721 Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/patlichty
Ichat/Yahoo Messenger/Skype: patlichty
Second Life: http://slurl.com/secondlife/I%20AM%20Columbia/58/52/22
[Note on interview/video: This video above is sort of an "interpretative video" about the performance, as opposed to documentation. The audio is an interview with Lichty, and then the video is a huge mishmash - everything from actual video output from the "Second Life" virtual reality performance, to stills of Twitter pages, to footage of the actual happening at the MCA's 12 x 12 room, all compiled in my loose (ready sloppy) editing style. But I had fun with it. Hope you do too.]