Month: September 2018

Bauer Score for the Stars

Score for the Stars

Sit on the roof at night

(Alone or with others)

Look at the stars

Light a candle

Remember where you came from

and where you will be

Artist Statement

Score for the Stars draws on the human need for connection, both with others and the world around you. In a world so focused on constantly moving, on doing the best you can be, it can be hard to forget that you need a moment to breathe. Score for the Stars intends to give you that moment, allowing you a short break to sit quietly, by yourself, by those close to you, with strangers, and remember you are not alone. As you spend more time gazing upwards, more and more pinpricks of light appear. While at first you could see only a dozen, the way your eyes adjust to the dark bring out more and more reflections. Soon the candle you brought with you is one of hundreds, each returning the light you are sending out into the darkness. Even by yourself you are not alone.

This piece was primarily inspired by three works, Yoko Ono’s A Piece For Orchestra, Ben Vautier’s  Total Art Matchbox, and a two hundred word role playing game by Daniel Adams called StardustStardust’s message of being one with the stars created a jumping off point for the idea, as it intends the players to feel like stars themselves, to remember what being a star was like. This idea resonated with me, but I decided I would rather keep the individuality and humanity of the participants- the people engaging are not stars, but have been, and will be again. Yoko Ono’s piece inspired the observational aspect, as you observe you take a more active part in the things around you- your watchful eye draws you closer to the stars, or windows in Yoko Ono’s piece. Total Art Matchbox was not inspirational for it’s view of destructing art, but rather it’s basis on the temporary nature of things. Over the course of the night, the candle the participants lit will burn out, finally leaving them in the dark, with only the light of the stars. In this world of remembrance, isolation, and permanence, there is still the fleeting aspect of this candle, a reminder that all things end.




Score “Sound of Sharing”


The Sound of Sharing

Take a blank 8.5 by 11 white sheet of paper.

Find a partner.

Tear off a piece of the paper to hear its fibers.

Hide your pieces but share the remaining paper.

Have your partner do the same.

Continue tearing to never make the sound end.


Artist Statement:

With my score “The Sound of Sharing”, I am experimenting with human sociological behavior. Humans naturally have evolved to be either altruistic or egoistic. However, commonly within today’s business-oriented power-driven society, egoistic individuals have found it easier to achieve. The feeling of altruism is intuitively a humane trait, which I would love my audience to re-experience, that of a place with humility and humble beginnings. When presenting the audience with the dilemma of tearing paper without no end, which could be taken literally or figuratively, I am waiting to see if the rules of “hiding your piece” would be broken, and if the activity will end when all the paper is torn into pieces that can’t be torn anymore. In essence, it is a test between individuals — when one has a large amount of resources, would one share them for the sake of keeping the deprived content? And a more philosophical question, when the tearing stops and the resources completely depleted, what happens then?

This activity draws some inspiration from Fluxus artist Yoko Ono in the way common household objects are the medium for the activity. Using terms such as “tear”, “hide”, “hear” create a powerful, vague, yet satisfying action for the audience to experience, words that derive meaning with the flexibility of intention. I have specifically chose to use tearing paper as the activity, as though a seemingly boring activity, I try to appeal to the satisfaction of the human impulse through action. It is therapeutic in a way to see impulsive action be immediately rewarded with an expected result. I chose a specific form of paper, the 8.5 by 11 standard white paper, for all of the characteristics that paper is represented to be. It could be taken as a form of breaking restrictions from the norm — the white paper is meant to be printed on, used for assignments, school, and anything corporate. “Tearing” that is a way of straying from the norm that confines us in society. The paper is also is blank, white, empty, and meaningless, yet if the audience has the capacity to create value and share “nothing”, then they would have the capacity to share anything.


Design Iterations and Testing

Initially the piece was tested in a large classroom with a large number of students, but the intended effect of sharing was not implemented. Therefore, I limited the activity to just two people and pairs. The line “Find a neighbor” is now changed to “Find a partner”, limiting the activity to two people.

The biggest problem with the score was the line “Hide your piece but share the remaining paper”. Many groups hid only one piece, and then stopped hiding the rest of the pieces, and assumed it was only supposed to be done once. As a result, I’ve clarified it by changing it to  “Hide your pieces”, making it known that you should be keeping all of your pieces.

The results:

My ideal results were two endings, where the first would be the activity ending with a very very small piece of paper that could no longer be torn, but with the participants leaving the large pieces that were “hidden” alone. This had happened twice with many iterations.

The second result was when the piece was no longer able to be torn, the participants would tear up all of the remaining paper until every bit was torn. This is the ideal result I wanted to see from the piece.

An interesting third result was displayed which had interesting implications. Participants would tear the paper in a loop-like way to avoid tearing off a piece, but continue one long strip to maximize the amount of “tearing” that could be possible. I find it an ingenious way of problem solving and thinking to create a way to create as much sound as possible without losing the integrity of tearing off pieces. In my opinion, this third result goes to show the mental capacity of participants who enjoy thinking out of the box for solutions, rather than accepting the proposal that I gave.

Artwork 1: Drink Piece


By Julia Smead

Pour out a glass or mug of your favorite drink

Each time you take a sip, write down a positive affirmation on a piece of paper

Do so until the glass or mug is empty

Hang this paper on a surface you will see often


Artist’s Statement:

This piece is inspired by my struggle with mental illness, particularly depression. I often have negative thoughts about myself and find it hard to drag myself out of these thoughts. This piece is intended to encourage the reader to really think about what they like about themselves and think positively. One of the things I do when I’m having negative thoughts is drink tea or coffee. Drinking a warm drink is a comforting action to me, and I thought it would be a good way to both enhance the experience of thinking positively and limit the number of affirmations the reader needs to write to a reasonable and doable number. I specifically wanted the reader to write on paper rather than type their affirmations for a couple of reasons. The first is that writing is a much more intimate action, and it feels more personal to me than typing. The second is that I wanted the affirmations to be hung up. The hanging of the sheet of paper on a surface you see often is to remind the reader to think positive thoughts on a regular basis.



A mug of coffee and blank sheet of paper

A half-full mug of coffee and some affirmations

An empty mug and a paper full of affirmations

Hanging the affirmations on a door



Original iteration:

Pour out a glass or mug of your favorite drink

Each time you take a sip, think of one thing you are grateful for/one thing you like about yourself

Do so until the glass is empty


Artwork #1: Score

Sky Piece:

Find a Tall Roof

Look Over The Edge

Count the Cars

Fall Upwards

Count the Stars

Tend to the Light at the End of the Tunnel

From its inception, Sky Piece was intended to be a contemplative homage to some of Yoko Ono’s most open-ended and perhaps more existentially geared scores. In particular, I was inspired by much of her more metaphorical work in Grapefruit that didn’t seem performable or would yield no material results but could bestow a particular insight and motivate reflection or introspection. I originally considered having readers actually perform the piece, finding a tall roof at which they would find the next line, and so on. However, there seemed to many variables and safety concerns to this, so I compensated for that sense of adventure/discovery by placing all of the lines in a box once they had been packaged. The main inspiration for this was the kind of childlike wonder that Flux kits seemed to evoke. There is no underestimating the mystery and excitement that comes with the prospect of a sealed box, even one as dilapidated and worn out as the one I decided to use.

The state of the box, of course, was chosen to contrast with its contents and to prove the prior point about how eager we are to resolve the uncertain even when hidden by the poorest, least attractive means. Inside the box performers would find six envelopes, all numbered, increasing in aesthetic complexity as each line is unpacked, opened, read, and then unpacked in the performer’s mind before moving on to the next line. The decision to place each line in an envelope was motivated by a need for progression and pacing. Each package introduces a new element or combination of materials usually found on decorated envelopes, increasing in quality and complexity until the very last one. Each envelope is trying to convey something to the performer, just as each line of the score they contain. Similarly, the progression of the envelopes mirrors the progression of the score’s themes and perspectives, reaching death via the commodification by the last card which is a cheesy Hallmark birthday card that contains the line about “the light at the end of the tunnel”.

The score itself is meant to be a a sort of call to perspective. Many of us desire progression/ascension in our daily lives (take climbing the corporate ladder for example) but often fail to place ourselves above the hustle and bustle of daily life. I had originally wanted performers to seek out that height literally by asking them to find a tall roof, but figured everyone has at least once and should be able to recall the perspective it gave them. Regardless, finding a tall roof is simply to look upon/consider the rat race from the top down. The card this line is on is not colored, as the others are, to represent the beginning of a new journey/endeavor.

“Look over the edge” asks of the performer to either do something they are not inclined to (perhaps out of fear) or to do what logically comes next (depending on how you feel about roofs). Regardless of the positioning granted by the previous line, one must peer into the void if they are to discern its contents. This line is an explicit call to action, the application of which, made implicit by the first line, could be easily ignored. The card this line is on is therefore painted yellow, a color often associated with fear and trepidation and something that I wanted to use to guide the contemplative performer’s sensory experience into the state of mind of the literal performer. This is a recurring theme among the cards.

“Count the cars” and “Count the stars” are two very similar lines with very similar interpretations, but they mirror each other (both in rhyme and symbolism) because the ideal performative (and contemplative) outcome is to gaze down at a sea of cars and then look up to find a similarly thorough spattering of gaseous balls of fire across the sky. This is, of course, impossible because the emissions made by automobiles make it impossible to see stars, and so wherever there are plenty stars there are usually much fewer cars. The juxtaposition is a handy insight into the influence of our technological progression on our ability to keep the stars in sight and all that entails (health concerns over greenhouse gasses as well as the fact that no city kid can ever look up at the stars and imagine a universe ripe for adventure). This theme itself stands in contrast to the grandiosity implied by the contemplative outcome of being told to count the cars and then count the stars. Ideally, the performer in this scenario would draw a connection between the number of cars and the number of visible stars in the sky. In doing so, I want the performer to consider our place in the universe, whether we are truly alone, and whether that really even matters. It is reasonable to consider that, even though we may be totally alone in the universe, our existence has still managed to proliferate thoroughly and will likely continue to do so such that we echo the presence of our very own cosmic background; such that we occupy so many cars on our worlds as there are visible stars in the sky (the dust of which it is often said humans are composed of). The “Count the cars” card is painted green for nature and Earth in irony of the message it contains about loud, polluting machines. They may be cold, sterile machines, but they are of the earth and unto the earth they will return. “Count the stars” is painted a fiery red/orange for the actual color of stars as they burn in the vacuum of space and for the color that penetrates our eyelids when we close our eyes in the sun.

“Fall upwards” mediates both “count the cars” and “count the stars”. Upon visiting a roof, one’s first thoughts are often of the height they are at, of falling and what that would be like; the wind rushing past you at unimaginable speeds as the narrow becomes wide and the pavement rises up to meet you. Will I hit a car? Would I fall on somebody? I wanted to subvert this commonality and observe its effects on the performer. How would they envision it? Would it be a simple floating or would a similar rush inevitably come to mind? There is no floor at the top so how would it feel to cross the layers of the atmosphere? Would you ever reach a star falling upwards as easily as you would reach a car? In a lot of ways, “look over the edge” and “fall upwards” are the same line, but the former carries an implication explicit in the latter, while the latter is a more direct catalyst for the imagination. The card this line is on is blue for the color of the sky that will inevitably surround you on your ascent.

The final line, “tend to the light at the end of the tunnel” is a reference to the fact that all things end in death regardless of the perspective or meaning that they have conjured, been confronted with, or otherwise maintained. Whether you fall off the edge as is implied in “look over the edge” or you “fall upwards” into the vacuum of space, the only certainty is that death awaits. Furthermore, regardless of what you discover in life, you can discover nothing beyond the true final frontier that is death. There is no plane that supersedes the one we occupy to our knowledge, and there is no knowledge that seems to apply to the death-state. We can only guess at the game we are playing as we hurtle towards an uncertain end, the nature of which we may never truly grasp, and so we wait by the door, letting the anxiety and uncertainty that it incites occupy our state of mind. We “tend to the light at the end of the tunnel” in a way no other creature does. This card is white, because rather than paint it black and imply nothingness, I wanted the endless possibility implied by the first card to bookend the performer’s experience and provide an optimistic outlook on the nature of death and its implications for the human soul.

The card itself is a cheesy hallmark birthday card with the inscription “You are so easy to celebrate” written on the inside. I found this interesting because, while the final card is supposed to represent the death of art through commodification, the inscription it came with was similarly a capitalist nail in the coffin for the very meaning I wanted the score to attribute to the experiences of the individual. Yes, you are supposed to be easy to celebrate, but its one thing when I suggest that its because you are a miraculous expression of the universe’s will in an attempt to experience itself and another thing entirely when your aunt carol buys you this card and calls it a year.

This stands in stark contrast to the point made by the other cards. Just as I wanted the performer to have an aesthetic experience in reading the score itself, I wanted the aesthetics of the presentation to promote an italicization of experience; for the performer to feel every untying of a ribbon or string, the snap of a wax seal as it comes off the envelope, and the smell of each distinct perfume in the latter three envelopes. Each card built on or explored a possibility presented by the last, mirroring the journey of discovery implied by the score, until the performer’s arrival at an overdone, wonky mess of a last card that seemed more ornate but less deliberate; a product rather than a labor of love.

Score – Collaboration Between an Artist and Whoever Wants to Be One – Darin O’Meara

One thing that’s always interested me is music. I’m a very musical person, with my constant tapping on desks, chairs, etc. always being mistaken for sheer restlessness, but it’s usually just me tapping out a rhythm. So, I decided to take some of that random noise that I tend to make and turn it on its head, making it the objective.

The final score after a couple iterations that I decided on was as follows:

Collaboration Between an Artist and Whoever Wants to Be One

Find music.

Play it loud.

Start a recording.

While it plays, play your own notes.

Stop and listen to what you’ve made.

My thought process behind this is fairly simple. It seems to speak on two things:

  • Musical collaboration and its absurdity at the top level
  • Arguments

As for musical collaboration, the title calls this out. It’s a collaboration between an artist and whoever feels like they want to be one. These top artists of today only collaborate with people of similar stature. I’m sure most will agree that the artists at the top of the charts right now aren’t the best in some cases; there are people no one’s heard of that are far better and more talented. Collaboration at the professional level is based solely on stature, not on the quality of product. This score allows those with no stature to essentially collaborate with top artists, or whoever they feel like collaborating with. It’s open ended, meaning you could take it as seriously or jokingly as you want. Someone could record a beautiful vocal duet using the background music’s vocals as well and really try and make something great, or, as you’ll see, someone could just bang on a bunch of tables and make a ton of noise.

As for the argument side of things, this could also be seen as a fight between two voices, each talking over each other with neither prevailing. If two songs (or collection of sounds) go against each other at the same time, do either of them really get fully appreciated? It’s the same for arguments: if both people keep talking over the other, neither will ever get their point across. That being said, sometimes we should step back and let each voice speak independently.

Test Results –

I ran my playable iteration of this in class with everyone involved. I expected most people to be shy about the idea and most to not be involved. Boy was I wrong. I don’t know why I expected art school students to hold back but they sure didn’t. We never got through the full score, as the last step was cut short due to time, so for those who were in class at the time, here’s the last step.  – It’s sideways, sorry. The audio is what matters most anyway

At the beginning, only a couple people went at it, with one drumstick and the trashcan. Eventually, everyone was involved in one way or another either hitting things, using surroundings, or using their own belongings to just create noise. Most people managed to stay with the correct tempo, which surprised me. People seemed to enjoy just letting lose and hitting things though, which was good to see.

Overall the score was a success, as the result of letting everyone bang on everything while a track played in the background resulted in a mess that was neither the song playing or just the noises, demonstrating the argument analysis of the score. In addition, I recorded a drum cover over the weekend, and looking at the score, does that not fall into an iteration of this? That cover would describe the opposite side, the actual musical collaboration part. So, with all objectives covered, I’d call this a successful score and something to look into performing sometime, musician or not.

-Darin O’Meara

Waiting Piece



Buy ice cream. Wait for it to melt before you eat it.

Mix paint. Wait for it to dry before you use it.

Call someone. Wait for them to hang up before you speak.



Ice cream:


Took 4.5 hours to melt.



Took 6 hours to dry to tacky and over 24 hours to dry the white paint completely. I was able to peel off the thick dried pieces (photo 3).

Phone call:

Took 27 seconds to hang up. (Audio starts at 00:08).


Artist Statement:

This piece was inspired by my reading of Grapefruit by Yoko Ono, specifically her exploration of burning things and if they retain their object-ness after being burned or destroyed (“when you burn a chair, you suddenly realize that the chair in your mind did not burn or disappear”). I was also inspired by her HIDE-AND-SEEK PIECE, which is essentially hiding or waiting until “everyone goes home… forgets about you… [and] dies.” This got me thinking about objects that have an “expiration time” before they lose their original purpose, especially those in my everyday life — tea, paint, phone calls. I constructed my score with this in mind and ordered the three parts so that each was more out of the ordinary than the one before.

I performed the score by myself over the course of a day. I tried to be as present as possible during the waiting process, to contrast how I normally do this waiting passively and unconsciously.

The ice cream melting took much longer than I anticipated. I tried to wait with it, without doing anything, but it took almost 5 hours so I ended up doing homework while it sat next to me on my desk. I found myself getting impatient, and my roommate even commented that she was invested in how well this ice cream melted, even though she wouldn’t get any reward (my reward was eating it). The “prize” at the end of the waiting meant that I was more impatient for this part of my score and was very conscious of how long it was taking.

During the paint mixing, I laid out my palette and mixed paint with an image in mind that, because I let the paint dry, I couldn’t paint. While waiting for the paint to dry, I ended up bringing it with me to the store and back; this was interesting in that no one seemed to notice, but I was very self-conscious about carrying around palette paper. This waiting period was pretty passive because I knew there was not much to do with the paint afterward. After it dried, however, I realized I could peel the paint off in pieces. Waiting turned the liquid paint into a different object. (I might glue these pieces to paper and make a multimedia piece of art later.)

I called my mom for the phone call. I actually wanted to talk with her, and keeping myself from doing so was hard. Once she had hung up, I talked to her. For some reason, it was easier to say nice things when she couldn’t actually hear and respond to them. This waiting period was more difficult than the other two because by not speaking I was preventing an interaction with someone else, instead of changing or preventing a solitary action. It felt disingenuous to my mom to pretend that I couldn’t hear her, but the experience was also cathartic.

In the end, my score became more of a self-reflection or meditation than a contemplation of the objects themselves. It helped me focus on impatience, my mental painting process, interpersonal relationships, conversation, slowing down in daily life, the things we let happen unconsciously, and invisible deadlines, among other things. I’m happy with the way it turned out as I feel it was meaningful, at least to me. Hopefully, if anyone else were to attempt this score it would also help bring them to a self-reflective place.



Draft 1:

Mix paint. Wait for it to dry. Use it.
Buy ice cream. Wait for it to melt. Eat it.
Make tea. Wait for the tea to be cold. Drink it.

Draft 2:

Buy ice cream. Wait for it to melt before you eat it.
Mix paint. Wait for it to dry before you use it.
Boil water. Wait for it to evaporate before you make tea with it.
Call someone. Wait for them to hang up before you speak.


I changed the language to be more of a suggestion than a command, and later removed the tea line to make it more clear (and because of technical difficulties).


Write a secret on a piece of lined paper
Become Robert Frost
It cannot be your own
Take the Path Less Traveled By
Fold it lengthwise, then crumple it
Return to your body
Throw it away
Regret your life choices
Do not wonder what the garbagemen think of you now
Move on
Do not follow the instructions in italics

Artist Statement:

I created the piece, Ambiguity, to show the different ways instructions can be interpreted if not given hard guidelines, as well as reactions to finding out that previous instructions were changed or nullified by future ones.
In Ambiguity, the reader/enactor does not know that only the unitalicized (or, in the physical copy, written in print rather than cursive) instructions are meant to be followed. When strung together, those create a rather direct set of instructions to write a secret not belonging to you on a piece of paper, fold, then crumple it, then throw it away, ignoring potential changes in attitude from “the garbagemen”. At the end of the piece, an instruction tells the reader to ignore the italicized lines, which are the more difficult ones to pull off, being primarily of a metaphysical nature, such as Move on.
My reader/enactor, a friend, took a very different approach to the piece, as she approached every index card as its own complete instruction, unconnected to the rest of them. This led her to interpreting the numerous uses of “it” as random objects of her choosing, such as her hoodie, her scrunchy, my notebook, and her girlfriend.

This piece was mostly inspired by various scores in Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit, mostly for their tone and somewhat backtracking nature if you do not read the entire piece all in one go. It was also  partially inspired by Flux kits, with their various parts that were individual pieces that made up a whole that overall still didn’t quite make sense.


My friend follows the first instructions

She is Robert Frost (obviously)

The confusion sets in

My friend throws “it” away

She finds the path less traveled by

(this was a .gif but apparently wordpress hates those)
(she climbed up to the floor above us via indoor balcony)

She returned to “her body” (aka her girlfriend)

(I have several more steps that I took as video but wordpress will not allow the .gif versions of them)

Materials: pencil, paper, trash can
Additional materials: friend’s random item choices, the environment


Artwork 1: Score: Shoe Piece

Final Score:


  1. Gather a few participants
  2. Get all participants to take off their shoes (socks stay on)
  3. Put on two new shoes, each one from a different pair
  4. Note the shoe’s feeling
  5. Walk in one big circle, clockwise, seven times
  6. Take off shoes, return to owners
  7. Put your shoes back on

Artist Statement: 

The aim of SHOE PIECE was to, quite literally, allow the participants to experience what it is like to walk around in another person’s shoes. Part of SHOE PIECE’s goal was to approach the common saying “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes” in a more playful and interactive way.  While some might see this as a satire or subversion of that phrase, especially as the participants wear shoes from two different pairs, SHOE PIECE does want its participants to appreciate interacting with each other in a way that many people don’t. Shoes may universal, but each has a lot to say about the individual that owns them.  As for inspirations, the Fluxus movement is an obvious influence, with particular regards to the work of Yoko Ono.  Another influence, specifically in regards to the fifth step of SHOE PIECE’s score, was the Celtic tradition of Sacred Springs / Holy Wells. From the time of the druids until well into the 18th century, many people in Ireland would congregate in secret at Sacred Springs and walk around it seven times while a priest read a blessing or, later on, a passage from the bible for good luck from the spring. This tradition, which I experienced while in Ireland, really made you think about the land you were walking over and, had there been a priest there,  and the blessings or verses/hymns you were listening to.


Notes –

People had very different reactions to the shoes (sometimes comfortable, sometimes uncomfortable)

Walking in the repetitive shape helped with feeling the shoes

Some shoes didn’t fit

People got dizzy from walking in the circles

Started walking in their own circles, before the big one

Everyone talking about size, how the shoes felt (insert, comfort, style, size)

Variable size good

Variant Blind shoe swap could also be interesting (finding owner of shoes could be interesting)

Interesting Gender perspective (different styles for men and women, different shoe sizes, etc.)

Photos – 

Food Piece

Prepare the ingredients for, but do not assemble, a putter butter and jelly sandwich.

Lay bare your feet on the ground.

Clasp your hands behind your back.

Do not move your hands from behind your back.

Make the sandwich.


Fall, 2018


Recorded Performance:


Artist’s statement:

Food Piece is a score that encourages the performer to interact with the world in a new way. My main inspiration for the piece is Yoko Ono’s Syllable Piece. The idea of experiencing life without the use of an arbitrary syllable sounded crazy and absurd, but it stuck in my head and forced me to think how many syllables I use on a daily basis. How would I communicate if I lost a super common syllable like “ing” or “ly”? How would it be different if I gave up “xy”? Like Ono, I sought to challenge the user to imagine living life without something they use everyday: our hands. Our hands are our primary means of acting on the work around us, and I wanted to toy with the idea of asking the performers to not only consider what life would be like if we had no access to our hands or arms, but to experience it through the lens of a daily task. I felt asking the performer to accomplish a task without hands would bring the sense of activity that I personally enjoy about Ono’s scores while still staying true to the idea of losing something commonplace.

Making a sandwich was chosen as it is a low-risk, low-cost food item and feeding ourselves is one of the main tasks in our day. The type of sandwich chosen – peanut butter and jelly – was chosen for the difficulty of making it (though incidentally it also serves as a tribute to Kaprow’s use of jam in his pieces). We think of making a PB&J as a very simple sandwich, but it is only as easy as the tools we have to make it. Without a knife, or other spreading tool, making the sandwich is nigh impossible. However, through this piece, we see that not only do we rely on tools to perform our daily tasks, but  also that when we take away our primary means of interacting with the world, those tools become useless and attempting to rely on them can actually get in the way.

Food also is an important medium for play. Just as Fluxus artists wanted to play with the world around them and make people think or experience the world in a new and unique way, I wanted the performer to have the option to play with the food and get messy. The peanut butter and jelly helps to reinforce that messiness as once it gets on your foot, it stays there. However, as the performer begins to play with their food (something we as a society deem “bad manners”), a new method of interacting with the sandwich materials opens. From my personal experience with this piece, the moment I chose to play with the food (which is when I scraped the peanut butter off the knife) was when the task went from somewhat frustrating and absurd to playful and fun. Making that choice to get messy made my task a lot easier. I gave up on even thinking about using the knife on the jelly and instead dove right in with my foot. In the moment it’s a very odd decision, because you know getting messy isn’t permanent, but there were also lingering thoughts of “how will I get to the bathroom to wash my feet”, “oh no, I’m going to have to clean up any sticky footprints on the ground” and “the rest of the food will be ruined.”

Ultimately, I think my score ended up rather fun and is a playful way to challenge the performer to take a hands-off approach to a common, everyday task. I think it’s important that my piece does not specify the method the performer uses to assemble the sandwich, only that they must keep their hands clasped together. It encourages creative thinking and playfulness as the performer interacts with this common object.


Design comments:


Original Draft:

Food Piece

Take off your footwear

Take off your socks

Clasp your hands behind your back. Do not let go

Make a PB&J sandwich

You may make any type of sandwich as an alternative


My original draft said nothing about preparing the ingredients. Without the explicit instruction, I found myself not having thought far enough ahead in my own work and ended up with the still tied bread, sealed peanut butter, and closed jar of jelly when I first clasped my hands together. This ended up with my fussing about trying to uncap the jelly before realizing that I wasn’t able to do it. This was my major issue with my original draft, and I added a line to the beginning to specify preparing the ingredients but not making the sandwich. Additionally, I wanted to make the language a bit more concise about the language with regards to taking off footwear.

The final draft was tested in class by Abby who volunteered to perform the score. Things of note in the in class performance were that both she and I took the same order on building the sandwich, we both experimented with using the knife until eventually deciding that using our feet worked better, and that when the sandwich was done Abby took it a step further and gave it a fancy triangle cut.

The first major issue encountered in the first draft was being unable to open the bag or jars.


Pictures of Abby’s performance at various stages

King Lear (and other Shakespeare Scores)


King Lear:
Find one object of value
…or utter worthlessness
Offer it to a group of people
Tell them only one of them will get it
Close your eyes
Watch the darkness
Let them make their case
Cover your ears
Listen to the thunder
Let them make their case
Give the object to whoever is worthy
Wait for the consequences

Documentation of Score Test:

I do have footage of the first part and sound for the second but it’s good I’m not showing those specifically it’s not high quality stuff.

I also haven’t documented the consequences because I’m still waiting.

Artist Statement:

Shakespeare has been a huge part of my life for a while. My family works in theater, and they have worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for all of my teenage life. Shakespeare plays are to me like the Bible is to many: A text of somewhat profound, often problematic, stories and themes that I use to contextualize and understand culture.

When I encounter a new artistic medium. I create theoretical adaptations of Shakespeare plays suited for that medium. The tragedies, in particular, possess simple themes that can test how a medium best presents emotion. The same thing happened with scores as has happened with party card games and visual novels… the only difference this time is that I had an excuse to make it.

I first heard of scores in some random YouTube video essay on art history a year back. By the time I first saw the syllabus for Experimental Game Design (about a month and a half ago) I kinda knew what this assignment was going to be so I got the idea to make Shakespeare Scores. The only fully fledged idea I’ve had since then was for “Hamlet:”

Spend a year pretending to go insane
Do not go insane

I came up with the rest of the scores after reading Grapefruit so the language and rhythm of those is influenced by Ono’s style. The humor of Grapefruit also stuck around so I wasn’t afraid to make blunt, short, and paradoxical scores.

Romeo and Juliet:
Spend 42 hours pretending to be dead
Don’t tell your loved one’s

One part of Ono’s work, and the entirety of Fluxus, that inspired me to go with a theatrical theme is the Fluxus’ grounding in music. When I see scores, I interpret them as a rule set or a script, not as the score they were inspired from. Music and musical history was referenced throughout Fluxus work but no theater. There was a conductor but no director, an orchestra but no ensemble, a Mozart but no Moliere. I’m more comfortable in theatrical terms… so I did my own scores in a theatrical frame.

There are also games. Specifically for King Lear, being a play about miscommunication, it’s score felt the most like a party game. Many party games are about inhibiting communication so, although not by conscious choice, the King Lear score runs like a game of charades.

One final influence. I mentioned video essays earlier here, but I want to stress how important they are to me. I’ve seen King Lear twice but after the second viewing I would have a hard time explaining what the ideas presented quite were. To get to the one line “King Lear is about miscommunication” I needed to watch this video on a not so faithful adaptation of King Lear. A simple inspiration, but important nonetheless.

Some More Shakespeare Scores:

Julius Caesar
Get 1 million people together
Tell them to find a person named Cinna and kill them
Wait a few minutes
Tell them to not kill anyone, especially you

Put on a production of Othello
Don’t do Act V, Scene II
Play a game of Othello instead

Timon of Athens
Give your money to:
The Arts
The Government
The Poor
Host the largest party for your budget
Your budget is your entire net worth
Notice who is only your friend because of money
Host a party for those people only
Give them rocks to eat
Give everything to nothing
Move to the woods
Find gold
Give the gold to passerbys
Overthrow the government
Die alone

Titus Andronicus
This score was sponsored by the American Association of Meat Processors