[Darren] O’Donnell trained 10-year-olds to cut hair, and arranged to have them offer free haircuts to adults in salons around town. The objective was to flip the typical power dynamic, so that the adult yields control, trusting the child not to chop off his ear. “The sophisticated intimacy that develops between the young stylists and their adult clients intimates new kinds of social interactions among generations,” says O’Donnell.Then there's The Talking Creature:
Participants would approach people at random and invite them to a predetermined public place for a conversation — not to talk about anything in particular, but just to talk. In the process, the taboo (and fear) of talking to strangers was broken, and the encounters were remarkable for their “openness, relaxation, trust and joy.” What more can one ask of an artistic experience?There, now, have I cured you of your performance art anxiety?
ADDED: Actually, it gives me an idea for a horror movie. Our serial killer uses the guise of performance art like The Talking Creature to lure his victims. Sorry, that Boston thing is still on my mind. Yeah, those guys were artists/admen, but the wily psycho killer will take advantage of the "social acupuncture" they applied. All that openness, relaxation, trust and joy is just what he needs. He moves on from single victims to a big project that will blow up the whole city. Everyone points at the little Lite-Brite cartoon figures on buildings around town and laughs. They get it. Except they don't.