Performance venue: Seattle, USA
The medium for the collective action in this performance is the US national anthem. As Benedict Anderson has made clear, national anthems experientially tie together the nation and its citizens. The national anthem can also satirize an era, depending on the context. Jimi Hendrix’s performance at the Woodstock music festival in 1969, where over 400,000 people gathered, attests to this reality.
In this work, four white men perform the anthem while tied together by ropes. This constricted performance turns each performer into an obstacle for the others. In other words, there is an inverse relationship between the degree of ease of carrying out the performance (goal) and the number of performers involved. This performance had these four musicians attempt the anthem inside of this contradiction.
Nowadays, we are always connected to someone via social media, and while being privy to their daily life, we are aware that we our lives are likewise being monitored in return. Although these platforms offer us a way of direct and instantaneous self-expression, they also cause us to increasingly regulate ourselves. This work satirizes this dilemma of connection and restriction, while presenting an image of us resisting in the process.