09.09.08 at The Works
tEEth / Occurrence Hosted by Reggie Watts
2008 Time-Based Art Festival, PICA
Photo by Kenneth Aaron
All Rights Reserved, PICA
Posted by Dusty Hoesly
Reggie Watts acted as curator for a night of performance art pieces and videos featuring Mike Daisey, tEEth, Rush N Disco, Tommy Smith, and the legend himself, Reggie Watts.
Rush N Disco is a man and a woman who perform various musical routines, mostly comic. The highlight and obvious crowd-pleaser was their lusty rendition of “Smell Yo Dick” but they also sang songs reminiscent of the 1920s, led breathing exercises, roared, and rapped. While their skits were hit and miss, they mostly scored with the audience.
A video of Tommy Smith, called “Tommy Smith on Playwriting,” brilliantly lampooned serious drama writers. Beginning with the premise that musical theatre and revivals are popular right now, he shuns authors who write “important” new plays that no one performs and are only “read by thirty people.” Clearly tongue-in-cheek, Smith nonetheless reminds us of an author’s intended audience and the (de)value of work that no one experiences, especially theatre that never sees the stage.
Mike Daisey hilariously and meanderingly rants about how “art can’t save you,” how “we like to make ourselves artists,” how we are self-indulged in our “remix culture,” and how we marvel at the “levels” of referential art pieces then blog about them. As he eviscerated bloggers, he also acknowledges that we all judge constantly. The purpose and fun of the theatre, he says, is to create and energize mobs. With that, he says we should all “man up,” put our dick on the table and cut it a little, see if it bleeds, because we don’t really know what will come out; which is to say, we need to take our own risks if we are going to judge the risks made by others.
tEEth thrilled and disoriented audiences with their Halloweenish performance. The actors made scared faces, horrified moans, and reiterated a few gestures. Then an ear-blasting white noise pounded our ears as bright strobe lights flashed in our eyes, faster and faster, until the initially tame fright became truly shocking.
Reggie Watts offered more of his tried-and-true improv comedy, featuring manipulated dialogue and looped songs. Shifting accents, his voice waning in and out, muttering and singing falsettos, changing subjects, varying his vocal pitch, running through identifiable genres of discourse, Watts does what he does best. At times unintelligible, and with some improvisatory scenes falling flatter than others, Watts still manages to be funny, inspiring, and charming. He carries the show with the force of his personality and the enormity of his talent.
Posted by Dusty Hoesly