Performance Art. Jack Bowman

Performance Art
Defined by Jack Bowman

When I did my first major performance art piece at the Cleveland Performance Art Festival on April 9, 1993, I handed out a flyer with the performance of Jack's Theorem and the Primal Thought. On this flyer I wrote "The Act is TRUTH. Nothing that was ever recorded is truth. Nothing that was ever said is truth. Only the ACT." This is the best definition that I am aware of for performance art. However, I can list some attributes of Performance Art that are unique to the medium.

1. A performance art piece is unprecedented.

2. It is difficult to censor since it has a good possibility of never being done before.

3. It is usually very current. This means that it is usually relevant of today because of the short time between conception and performance.

4. Performance art can involve the audience with taste, smell and sounds not available with electronic media and not practical with conventional theater. This is due to the usually small audience.

5. Performance art is the ultimate in creativity. Since it has so many possibilities at creativity, it's essence tends to become creativity.

6. Occupies an environment with specific objects and actions for a specific amount of time.

7. The space time restraints of performance art does not allow for elaborate sets/props and cost very little to produce.

8. Performance art can be produced in a coffee house setting.

9. Since the audience is usually small (around 30) the performers can actually give things to the audience, such as food or money.

10. Performance Art is brief, about 15 minutes long. This is a problem in that you cannot get people to come out to watch a 15 minute performance. Therefore, Performance Art Festivals are appropriate in contrast to an individual performance.

To see the Holy Grail of Performance Art go HERE. This performance has most of the attributes listed here. "Hell's Bullet" was created in 2006 ,about 15 years after these definitions were written.

The Perfect Performance Art Piece go HERE. This performance involved multiple performers and "Fred". "Fred" is the Internet web site located at The perfection comes in that all the performers could do their parts as a stand alone performance or their performance could be combined with any or some or all of the other performances and still be a Performance Art Pieces.

Jack Bowman

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