ONE SECOND OF PERCEPTION
This performance is based on the following instruction: pick a second sometime in the future and, when that second arrives, open yourself completely to whatever you happen to experience during it, without manufacturing the experience ahead of time.
This instruction is not much different from certain instructions used in Buddhist meditation practice, but meditation sittings tend to last for at least a few minutes, and generally even longer. I wanted to see what would happen when I tried to follow the instruction under extreme time constraints.
I performed the work as a participant in the Leap Second Festival, at 3:59:60 PST, having proposed it about two weeks earlier.
I found it extremely difficult not to manufacture the experience in advance. During the leap second, I felt a tightness in my chest, no doubt related to my anxiety about being ‘open enough’ when the time came. I also observed an irregularity in the wood pattern of the café table.