2017 Los Ange­les
Los Ange­les Nomadic Divi­sion
Dura­tion: approx­i­mate­ly 30 min­utes
A live work in 3 acts. 24 par­tic­i­pants rotate posi­tions and roles with­in a con­struct­ed are­na, per­form­ing a guid­ed sequence of social coop­er­a­tion. The work envi­sions a sym­bol­ic activ­i­ty based on trans­fer and reci­procity. Inspired by Mar­cel Mauss’s ternary for­mu­la­tion of rit­u­al giv­ing — “l’obligation de don­ner, l’obligation de recevoir, l’obligation de ren­dre” — the work unfolds in 3 repeat­ing cycles as the par­tic­i­pants, orga­nized in three groups, con­sec­u­tive­ly occu­py each of the 3 con­cen­tric enclo­sures of the square-shaped are­na.
In rep­e­ti­tions of 3s, The Ring explores cycli­cal sys­tems of giv­ing, receiv­ing and rec­i­p­ro­cat­ing as well as pro­vid­ing, acquir­ing and dis­trib­ut­ing. Par­tic­i­pants attend to each oth­er direct­ly in a chain of sup­port­ing, feed­ing and con­sum­ing. The for­mal alter­na­tion of roles and trans­fer of rit­u­al objects and pro­vi­sions under­lines the ephemer­al­i­ty of one’s imme­di­ate cir­cum­stances. The equal lim­i­ta­tions and poten­tial of each posi­tion are exposed, and indi­vid­ual val­ue is sub­sumed in the sum of col­lec­tive action.