Slag Manifesto is an ongoing curatorial project initiated by Joey Cannizzaro in which participating artists are asked to author a manifesto and then degrade, destroy, or obscure it before, or in the process of, its dissemination. Each contribution is one part of The Slag Manifesto.
Participating artists: Nicholas Arehart Patrick Ballard Nathan Bockelman Danielle Bustillo Joey Cannizzaro Christopher Cole Ramzi Hibri Clay Kerrigan Emma Kemp Vidishia Fadescha Daniel Wroe
After Vidisha decided to end her performance, being unable to gargle any more fake blood without vomiting, the crowd was mulling around drinking and talking. From down the hill, Patrick Ballard, dressed as a large blue mascot figure (a pill presumably? but tooth-like) lumbered up the hill and began bumping into the people gathered on the patio. The crowd seemed to be enjoying it – he was rather soft and pillowy after all. The blue pill gestured for the crowd to follow and many in the group – maybe 20 people? – followed him bumbling joyfully into the dark. We followed him and followed him, losing no one as he guided us into the woods behind a shed and down a dark overgrown path, walking, shuffling, and following. We could see a light further down the path and we soon arrived at a clearing in the woods where a sculpture of what looked like a DNA molecule was dangling, with a single light pointing down on it from the trees. Under the model there was a large cardboard box. It became apparent that there was someone in the box because he was speaking to us: what seemed like a string of strange self-deprecating similes. People in the crowd tried to talk to The Box: questioning why exactly they were in the woods; how he, the box, had arrived there; what the blue pill was all about; what their relationship was, etc. The Box seemed depressed and would only respond as before. People began to notice at about this point that the Blue Pill had disappeared entirely and we were all just standing around in the woods talking to a cardboard box with a man in it who refused to reveal his identity or come out. An oddly hostile energy began to form (think Lord of the Flies) as people kicked at the box and demanded a more satisfactory response from it. A few accusations were thrown at members of the group, someone insisting, for example, that Vanessa was an insider because she was the first one to touch the box, and she put tape on it where it was breaking open. Others in the group were sympathetic towards the box. He certainly seemed depressed, and it seemed unlikely that he was, or could be, responsible for his own abandonment by (at the hands of?) the Blue Pill. At my suggestion there was a consensus to carry the Box up the hill, out of the woods, back to CalArts, and about 10 people got around and under the Box, supporting the weight of its occupant, and began to carry it like rowdy pall bearers. The hill was relatively steep, and after carrying the Box maybe 20 yards, everyone gave up, said their farewells to The Box and staggered away laughing and talking animatedly. A small group of 5 people remained with the box, out of pity or curiosity, and continued to converse with it for a period of time. No one met the occupant of The Box, although we inferred it was Nathan Bockelman who Patrick had listed as his collaborator, but he never showed up at the opening for the show, and despite all prodding he never emerged from the box. The remaining 5 people eventually dispersed and returned to CalArts. Molly said she turned around as they were leaving, when they were already some distance away, and could see the top of the box opening in the dim light, but made the decision to turn back around, and continue walking away.