performance art

Diggin’ in the crates once again, in this segment of our old TV series we meet New York art maverick Kembra Pfahler: glam rocker, wrestler, Calvin Klein model, and mastermind behind the legendary freak show “The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black,” she blurs the line between life and art, pleasure and pain, and terror and beauty.

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Witness the spirit of Mars summoned three weeks ago in Los Angeles in haunting and beautiful fashion, as Butler invokes forces I would be scared to tamper with:

L&M Arts presents The Bartzabel Working, a performance by filmmaker and artist Brian Butler, on December 4th, 2012. Based on a ceremonial evocation of the spirit of Mars, first written and performed in London in 1910 by the famed British occultist Aleister Crowley, the ritual later became part of Los Angeles history in 1946 when Jack Parsons conducted his own version of this rite with the intention of placing a Martial curse on a pre-scientology L. Ron Hubbard.

Pure obnoxiousness or consciousness-raising performance art? In a series of videos dubbed ‘Surveillance Camera Man,’ an unseen and anonymous individual strolls the streets of Seattle filming people with a camera for no apparent reason, eliciting furious responses. Is the goal to force us to acknowledge that we are constantly being surveilled in this very manner, although both the recording mechanisms and the persons on their opposite ends are typically concealed?

This past June, the Chilean arts group Los Casagrande dropped more than 100,000 poems, printed on scraps of paper, from a helicopter above central London in a performance titled the Bombing of Poems. They have done the same in Warsaw, Berlin, and Santiago — all cities which have been bombed during wartime.

Local government approved of the Bombing of Poems as a jubilant spectacle anticipating the pomp of the Olympic festivities to come, but the stunt’s meaning may be more ambiguous. Was the poetry drop an emergency measure in an era in which funding the arts has been deemed no longer possible, and the metropolis is dominated by finance? Is it a commentary on the blanketing of the city with propaganda?

OB-OR341_0711da_G_20110711214633Perhaps channeling 1970s World Trade Center daredevil Philippe Petit, aerialist Seanna Sharpe gave a performance from high on the Williamsburg Bridge, the Wall Street Journal reports. A crowd gathered to watch before the police used two vehicles and a helicopter to catch her:

It took approximately seven minutes for Sharpe to scale the tower, followed by fifteen minutes of midair twirls and flips. During that time, she remained tethered to the bridge only by a length of silk rope she had tied to the bridge beams.

MartinaSpetlovaMillieBrownPIs it disgusting? Is it genius? A metaphor for the artistic process or our consumerist society? I’m not sure how I feel about the art world’s vomit trend, but I’m not leaning too close to look at the paintings. AMY&PINK writes:

In the name of cre­ation, the New York per­for­mance artist Mil­lie Brown throws up in her lat­est pro­ject “Nexus vom­it­ing” in all col­ors of the rain­bow on white screens, while the opera singers Pa­tri­cia Ham­mond and Zita Syme sup­port her with an acoustic per­for­mances and men­tally pre­pare her for the phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal bur­den. So styl­ish and an­gelic only a few humans can vomit.

If you thought Lady Gaga was weird, check out what happens in Sweden. This is electro sensation Fever Ray, popular in indie music circles in the U.S., giving her acceptance speech after winning “best dance artist” at P3 Gold, a Swedish equivalent of the Grammys.