VICTORIA ANNE REIS
The performance took place on my half-birthday, and was presented as an offering from me to the audience. Inspired by the I Ching, an ancient Chinese divination text, I had previously prepared 64 index-sized cards, each with its own signature “fortune.” Each fortune had two parts. One side of each card had a pair of snowflakes sourced from Wikimedia Commons; eight different snowflakes with 64 total permutations, so that each card had a different pair of snowflakes. On the other side of the cards were koans, or verbal imagery, inspired by each of the 64 potential outcomes of the I Ching.
The performance began with my “onstage” explanation of the cards, which I then offered to audience members. Audience members selected cards for themselves from the “deck,” while I circulated through the audience. The performance concluded with an “onstage” reading of some audience members’ verbal fortunes, which I then orally corresponded with the correlative I Ching outcomes.
This performance was designed to explore the relationship between individuals and the collective consciousness as mediated by attention and chance; and, in its framing as an offering, speaks directly to my desire to treat art like a gift (“beyond commerce”). The performance is in conversation with Joseph Cornell’s shadowboxes, which he gave to celebrities as presents, and also to candy-raver culture’s trading or offering of candy bracelets or other trinkets to new friends during raves.
The performance was the first in a series of performances and artworks for my “Gummi Cheeseburger” movement, which makes replicas cuter and sweeter than the originals.