This piece was featured at the Madison Civic Center’s “Statics and Dynamics II” performance art showcase in 1987. It featured a Painter (friend/artist, Brian Frink), two, wired for sound, mobile painting elements (friend/artist, Lance Wilson, and myself), and a 10’ x 10’ painting, which was imbedded with speakers (behind each of the red dots). I wanted to do a work about the space between an artwork and its audience, and the physical exchange that occurs in such a rarefied space. Power Chords was a twenty-minute, interpretive look into this exchange, through the use of theater, sound, painting, and dialogue. The painting’s speakers broadcasted guitar power chords, over a bass funk groove, while the crawling painting element’s wired eye-speakers, played scrambled recitations of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. At five minute intervals, the music would drop, and the Painter would come out from behind the painting and ask the audience, point blank, about certain musical subtleties, or how they liked the performance so far. Then the music’s volume would be brought back up, and the mobile painting elements would resume their interaction with the audience. The performance ultimately finished with the Painter signing his own canvas.


Power Chords