David Burns / Matias Viegener
Sunday, August 1st, 2004 3:00, 4:30, 6:00
These performances focus on the screwball folk tradition of the kitchen laboratory. Homemade soap, bathtub gin, and sewing clothes exemplify the American spirit of making things at home that you might otherwise obtain commercially. Drawing on sources from Popular Mechanics to Highlights and Sunset, weâ€™ve chosen three do-it-yourself laboratories that evoke a different America in which people and not corporations are in charge of their pleasure, their entertainment and of meeting their basic needs.
The Three Labs are three thirty-minute performances to take place on Sunday, August 1st at Machine Gallery in Echo Park. Each one is demonstrative and interactive, using everyday ingredients with commentary and clowning that ranges from the pragmatic to the political and the prurient.
1. Delicious. Why depend on stores for ice cream when it can be easily made with milk, cream, ice, salt and plastic zip-lock bags. Solidifying in less than ten minutes, the experiment yields a generous serving of surprisingly good ice cream. This performance focuses on pleasure, process and food. Why do sweet things make us so happy?
2.Disguise. A simple and common childhood pastime, the smoke bomb can be easily manufactured using table sugar and saltpeter (potassium nitrate). After simple heating & processing, the smoke bombs are non-toxic playthings for amusement & mischief. We stress the playful and positive uses of smoke, and the lab ends with igniting the smoke bombs in an empty parking lot next to the gallery.
3.Delirious. The active (and legal) ingredient in over-the-counter cough syrup, DXM has mild stimulative and mood-elevating effects. It can easily be extracted from Sucrets or Robitussin, and the process demonstrates several basic techniques of chemistry. The performance leads to a broad discussion of drugs, the body and government oversight into our everyday lives and explores prescriptive vs. non-prescriptive, age limits (and lack thereof), and other socio-political issues concerning healthcare and the government, and the rights of a personâ€™s body.
The purpose of the labs is as much to provoke thought on the nature and politics of everyday life as to provide a community service. We view this as part of a larger investigative project into the revolution of everyday life and a reconsideration of art and activism.