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TASK Party @ MCAD with Oliver Herring

posted: 4/13/10
Image: wade.jpg

Tuesday, April 20
College Center
7:00pm - 10:00pm

TASK is an improvisational event with a simple structure and very few rules. TASK can be a planned, more formal set-up with an application process and a pre-determined number of selected participants (TASK Events); A more open structure without any limitations of size or divisions between viewers and participants (TASK Parties); Or tailored for the use in classrooms (TASK Workshop).

All TASK structures, the events, parties and workshops rely on the same basic infrastructure: a designated area (usually but not necessarily made from construction paper), a variety of props and materials (cardboard, plastic bags, pencils, tables cling wrap, tape, markers, ladders...) and the participation of people who agree to follow two simple, procedural rules: to write down a task on a piece of paper and add it to a designated "TASK pool," and, secondly, to pull a task from that pool and interpret it any which way he or she wants, using whatever is on (or potentially off) stage. When a task is completed, a participant writes a new task, pulls a new task, and so on.

TASK's open-ended, participatory structure creates almost unlimited opportunities for a group of people to interact with one another and their environment. TASKs' flow and momentum depend on the tasks written and interpreted by it's participants. In theory anything becomes possible. The continuous conception and interpretation of tasks is both chaotic and purpose driven. It is a complex, ever shifting environment of people who connect with one another through what is around them. It is also a platform for people to express and test their own ideas in an environment without failure and success (TASK always is what it is) or any other preconceptions of what can or should be done with an idea or a material. People's tasks become absorbed into other people's tasks, objects generated from one task are recycled into someone else's task without issues of ownership or permanence.


About Oliver Herring:
Oliver Herring was born in Heidelberg, Germany in 1964, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received a BFA from the University of Oxford (Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art), Oxford, England, and an MFA from Hunter College, New York. Herring has created stop-motion videos and participatory performances with 'off-the-street' strangers. He makes sets for his videos and performances with minimal means and materials, recycling elements from one artwork to the next. Open-ended and impromptu, Herring's videos have a dreamlike stream-of-consciousness quality; each progresses towards a finale that is unexpected or unpredictable. Embracing chance and chance encounters, his videos and performances liberate participants to explore aspects of their personalities through art in a way that would otherwise probably be impossible.

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