DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE (DOD)
Performance + Time-Based Media
Declaration of Dependence is a subversive performance art piece that took place in Mitchell Auditorium at Ohio University to an audience of freshman, faculty and some other folks who were there to see me perform.
With the use of actual parchment paper and my own handwriting, I decided to re-write the Declaration of Independence. The language remains as it originally is at times, but shifts to uses of particular modern phrases. The Declaration of Dependence addresses several modern day issues that range from the broken government regulated industrialized food system to the government gaining more control over the people.
The piece begins with the audience being told to stand as a patriotic video plays during an instrumental version of the National Anthem. As the audience claps, I walk in and take the stage to begin the speech. The piece ends with another version of the National Anthem being sung by my five year old daughter.
Considering the idea of dialectics, the speech is delivered by a main speaker on stage (me) and hidden audience members sprinkled throughout the auditorium. The speaker on stage is the politician fighting for the rights of the people—delivering a formal speech and forcing the truth from one side.
As the speech progresses, there are specific moments that the hidden audience members would stand up and read a personal narrative. These stories were written through prompts that I gave to a variety of people. These personal stories give the other side to the issues being discussed. They reveal the human feeling, honesty, pure truth—ranging from sadness, to freedom to humor.
I had response cards that were handed out after the piece ended. I took this documentation one step further and designed a poster, or analog blog, where I responded to the responses and posted it outside of the auditorium. This was my way of collecting data and discovering whether or not my message was clear.
Do not become a GMO—Government Modified Organism.
The actual video will be uploaded soon, as well as, the text in the Declaration.