Conceptual artist Brian Feldman has one more performance of txt tonight, July 25th at 7pm at Urban ReThink (625 East Central Blvd.). I sat in on the first of three performances to sketch. I have seen txt performed several times before and was entertained every time. For the first time, I signed into the proper Twitter account and was prepared to send Brian a txt during the performance to be read aloud. Brian walked out and sat at the spindly desk waiting for his cell phone to vibrate. He read, "Let's get started with a couple of ground rules." Terry was busy munching on a bag of potato chips. I wrote my first txt, he read, "Rule number 1. No eating!" He shouted it out, pointing at Terry. I placed my phone on the floor and forgot about it as I lost myself in the sketch.
"Thor is wearing a shirt he bought in North Carolina." Terry must have written that, I thought. I looked at my shirt. Funny, I don't remember buying it in North Carolina. Tod Caviness walked in late. "This guy is late," Brian announced. I raised my hopes thinking Tod would offer some literary subtlety to the strange meaningless flow of ideas. As always, the unfiltered thoughts turned to sex. "Raise your hand if you want to have a 3 or 4 way later." "Oh, there are swingers in the room?!" "Rule number 16, if no one laughs I'm going to stand on Thor's shoulders and fart in your face." Who on earth wrote that? I thought. Do I know that person. Do I want to know that person? "Rule number 237. No sex in the champagne room with Thor." What?! I blushed. Alright, who wrote that? More important was it a man or woman? I looked around for a guilty face. Where on earth is the champagne room? I need to go sketch it now."Sex in the champagne room at Hue. See you at 8." Well that answers that question anyway, Hue is a night club. "I would totally rock Thor's hammer." "OK, who mentioned sex with Thor? It wasn't his wife and if she finds you she will scratch your eyes out." "Why is everyone talking about Thor, lets chat about Green Lantern! He is great too!" Thank Odin, the conversation wasn't about me at all. I'm so vain.
Across from me Peter Murphy was sitting next to Colleen Burns. She wore a blue dress. "Hey girl in the blue dress, don't wear a bra next time." I looked up at Colleen her mouth was open, aghast. "Awkward." Brian announced. "Later on I'm going to get down with that lady in the... (my eyes are bad)... The Blue dress!" "My boyfriend is obsessed with the girl in the blue dress." "The girl in the blue dress is taken." Well that settles that, I thought. "Imagine me planking on the lady in the blue dress later. Ha!" Colleen seemed to take all the attention with humor. "I am NEVER wearing a blue dress ever again!"
With no filters, no social niceties, people don't have a need for polite meaningful conversation. The Internet has unleashed an age of unrestricted self-expression and the results are often brash and ugly. Tapping out every thought that pops into our heads isn't art. Having contributed to this performance by tapping out my one tweet, I felt a little dirty. I was complicit in the crime of random expression. This show shocked and amazed me every time I saw it. It is a guilty pleasure. Several evenings later I saw Colleen at another event. She was wearing a blue dress.