Performance Anthology: Source Book for a Decade of California Performance Art (1980)
By Carl E. Loeffler, Darlene Tong
Published February 1st, 1980
SOURCE BOOK FOR A DECADE OF
CALIFORNIA PERFORMANCE ART
Richard Alpert. Strategy for a Dance. University of California, Davis, Ca., 1974. "In the front of the entrance to the room in which the performance took place was a container dripping water onto a hot plate, and a video monitor showing an overview of the interior of the room. I began the performance by writing a statement about the relationship between the different parts of the performance in chalk on the floor. After I finished writing, I picked up the hammer and began to strike a lead ball which was suspended from the ceiling. As I continued to hit it, small fragments of lead were thrown about the space. The performance ended when the ball had disintegrated."
Richard Alpert. Hand Generated Light. Museum of Conceptual Art, San Francisco, Ca, 1975; performed in MOCA's Second Generation series. "The performance was situated in a room adjacent to the main exhibition space. Attached to the front of the door, the only entrance to the room, was a small light-bulb. For the duration of the three-hour show, I was in the room with the door locked from the inside generating electricity from a hand-crank generator to the light bulb. The amount of electricity that I could produce varied over the length of the exhibition, causing the light emitted from the bulb to fluctuate, going from intensely bright to barely visible, but never completely going out. Corresponding to the degree of light intensity were the changing rhythms of the generator's mechanical sound and the accompanying vibrations felt in the floor outside the room."
Richard Alpert. Finger. 80 Langton St., San Francisco, Ca., 1975. "This piece was a static installation. The room was in general darkness except for lights aimed at several areas in the space. An unidentifiable sound could be heard from the rear of the room. The first illuminated area approached upon entering the space showed the sentence "Chris-I went to the hospital- I think I cut my hand bad" alongside a knife and some bread. In the second spot was found a photograph placed on the floor. At the rear of the room was a spotlighted door out of which protruded my two fingers as my only visible presence in the room. As this area was approached, the sound in the space could be heard coming from an adjacent room through an open doorway, and could be identified as that of a ball bouncing in a confined space. The lighting was set so that it was difficult to see into the room without entering it. Upon entering, the source of the sound, a tape recording playing, could be seen in the almost totally dark room."
Richard Alpert. Sylph. La Mamelle Arts Center, San Francisco, Ca., 1976. "This piece took place in a darkened gallery space. Around two of the corners that protrude into the space there were two green tape lights that circumscribed 270-degree circular areas on the floor. In the larger circle the tape light was facing inward and in the smaller one it was facing outward. A small monitor was placed on the floor within the smaller. During the performance it showed a close-up view of my hands and arms cranking a generator while drawing with it against a white panel. In the larger circle, a tiny light bulb connected to the generator behind the wall illuminated the color photograph on my driver's license. The rhythmic sounds of the drawing process were audible from behind the wall. An invisible element of the piece took the form of several women having been asked to come to the performance heavily perfumed giving the space a scented odor. A perfumed card was sent as an announcement for the piece."