Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Fling Itself

As a Performance artist, I used the tools from my father’s shop for absurd purposes to rail against the rigidity of business. When I was in business,  I told people to stop looking at tools and look at outcomes instead. Now that I’ve created a “performance-art-like” exploration of tools, I’m trying to expand my perspective.

In this clip from my favorite TV show of the eighties, Northern Exposure, Chris, the resident philosopher is using a trebuchet to fling a piano, and he explains that it is not the piano that is important but the flinging itself. So is he focused on the tool and not the outcome? When you see the reactions of the other characters, you realize that this absurd act actually had an effect on people. That is the outcome.

That was TV though. Let’s try it in real life on a smaller scale. Stack up some empty soda cans (don’t forget to recycle when you’re done) and find an adjustable wrench. There’s something familiar and gratifying about the weird center of gravity of an adjustable wrench. Think of the monkeys in 2001 Space Odyssey. Now fling the wrench at the soda cans.

Your brain released chemicals twice during that experiment: once when you felt the centrifugal force of the wrench leaving your hand, and once when you heard the uncomfortable racket of the crashing cans. Did those feeling have value? Do you think you could make use of that effect some day?

Note: this episode was my first exposure to a Trebuchet and inspired this post

No comments:

Post a Comment