Cruising for Art
A series of one-on-one performances curated by Brian Lobel playfully exploring the practice of cottaging and similar encounters in public spaces…
This performance installation/ party features the work of 8-12 artists on a given night, each presenting an intimate one-on-one performance. Audience members are given bandanas (a nod to hanky codes of the past) and told to ‘Cruise’ for performances. The rules of Cruising for Art are as such:
#1 Cruise with your eyes, not with your voice.
#2 You may be and most certainly will be touched.
#3 If you see people already engaged, you may watch from a distance, but it’s impolite to join them without invitation.
#4 The order which the Cruisers choose for their participants is based on eye contact and their personal desires. Do not form a queue.
#5 Don’t let the official Cruisers have all the fun. Try it by yourself with a punter of your choice.
#6 You may leave empty-handed. Try to take that pent up excitement somewhere else constructive, and with someone that you met in #5.
Artists who have so far participated in Cruising for Art include Mamoru Iriguchi, Lois Weaver, Stacy Makishi, Season Butler, Ivan Ramos, Johanna Linsley, arkem, Boogaloo Stu, Rosie Wilby, The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein, Bryony Kimmings, Rachel Gomme, Alyssa Sorresso & Kevin Corbett, Timberlina (as Tim Redfern), Mitch & Parry, Katy Baird, Jenny Edbrooke, Rachel Mars, Tinned Fingers, Tania El-Khoury, Benjamin Sebastian, Eirini Kartsaki, Liz Rosenfeld, Harold Offeh, Brittany Chavez, SurfCampCity, H Plewis, Owen Parry, Xana Marwick, Ellie Dubois, and more…
Presented at: Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Forest Fringe, Edinburgh; Latitude Festival, Suffolk as part of Forest Fringe; The Basement, Brighton; Vogue Fabrics, London; PSi 17, Utrecht; BFI, London as part of the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
“mischievous living installation”
“Funny, illuminating, disgusting, brilliant and of questionable legality, Cruising for Art was one of the best nights out Brighton’s seen this year”
But how does it actually work???
8-12 artists are spread throughout the gallery/club/performance space. Audience members grab a bandana to wear and everyone becomes a cruiser – making eye contact, looking to connect with a stranger. Audience members cruise around the gallery hoping to make eye contact with a performer: while some performers are extravagantly dressed, others are dressed normally, encouraging everyone to make eye contact with everyone… who knows what can happen? If the audience member and Cruising artist connect, the Cruising artist brings the audience member to a private space for a 1-to-1 performance. All performances are different and created by the artist themselves – some will be funny, some provocative, some personal, some sexual, some simple, some meditative… Audience members will see as many performances as they can “get” based on their own eye contact. It’s fun, sexy, and a great new way to see interactive and intimate performance.
In May, 2012, Brian spoke about Cruising for Art at the Tate Modern, as part of an Axe-Grinding Workshop lead by Feminist Art Gallery (FAG) and featuring the work of Michele Clarke, Charlotte Cooper and Kay Hyatt, Ann Cvetkovich, Christa Holka, Ochi Reyes, Christina Zeidler and Nazmia Jamal. The short manifesto-style talk that was given is available here.