Nancy Popp

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes —

Before I actually reached the confines of Meeting Room 403A, I already found Nancy Popp & Co. out in the wild spaces of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

LOS ANGELES, February 25 — CAA: final event, final day: Performing Space.

CHAIR:
Nancy Popp, Independent Artist

PRESENTERS:
Sara Daleiden, Otis College of Art & Design
Matt Driggs and Janet Owen, Owen Driggs
Marie Shurkus, Pomona College
Alex Villar, independent artist

As the image captions describe, Popp, Daleiden, Driggs, Owen, Shurkus and Villar led conference attendees on a more-interactive-than-your-typical-CAA-session experience to conclude the centennial CAA 2012.

Seeing Popp, I joined her group, unaware that there were two other groups led by Daleiden and Owen Driggs. Before I knew it, we were riding the convention center escalators up and down and up and down...

What I love about even the simplest performance actions is that they tug at the loose threads of our lives and invite us to unravel the tightly wound assumptions of how to behave, perform, exist in this world. Riding an escalator in circles is not the most transgressive thing in the world, yet it is enough to invite a reconsideration of your day... of your arts conference...

After a while the group stopped riding the escalators and moved toward a large open space... I wasn't ready yet... perhaps mindful of Allan Kaprow's insight from his time at Black Mountain with John Cage, that "anything considered carefully enough, becomes interesting," I continued to ride by myself for perhaps another 10 minutes...

Popp's group at center-top, Daleiden's group on the red carpet triangle at lower-left where Otis College had held week-long conversations, and out-of-frame, Owen Driggs at lower right.

I found riding with the group to be a more cerebral experience as we discussed ideas... and riding alone to be a more visceral experience as I more directly experienced the phenomenology of this cavernous interior: the low, grinding rumble of the escalator mechanisms... the aerially vaulting superstructure of the convention center girders...

Allan Kaprow moments...

Meanwhile Popp and the group discussed... hmm... I don't know...

I eventually rejoined the group, we discussed our experience, and then rejoined the other 2 groups on the red carpet triangle.

Daleiden & Popp

A number of participants expressed that this final panel was the first "real" interaction they'd had in the 4 days of CAA. That the structure of the conference was more "sage on the stage" and less post-McLuhan multi-media interactive.

At center, Driggs & Owen. This last panel of the last day was the perfect way to end CAA 2012. It was a thoughtful, immersive, transformative experience that changed the nature of this event. Perhaps the only thing that might have been better... would be if it had been the first panel of the first day...

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    […] I wrote from CAA about shifting from art about Scarce Objects, to art about Participatory Experiences: • http://vaneeesa.com/2012/02/29/where-is-public-space/http://vaneeesa.com/2012/03/03/nancy-popp/ […]