Performance piece (“Schrödinger’s parking garage”)

I performed an art performance last night. Is that redundant? I staged an art performance? There was an art performance last night and I was the star?

And you are the audience. You, there.

Part one:

Setting: Cafe Ritter in Vienna, smoking section.

Performer 1 meets a Friend (Performer 2) for scintillating conversation. Symbolic of the communication/non-communication dichotomy among humans, Performer 2 does all the scintillating while Performer 1’s side of the conversation consists largely of questions here and there and words such as, Okay, reminiscent of The Boy‘s side of dialogue in The Road by Cormac McCarthy, suggestive of the apocalyptic nature of modern life. And requests for another cigarette, which  Performer 2 rolls. Conversation centers on writing (communication! and culture!) and the music biz in the 1650s, which is pretty a 1:1 metaphor for the publishing business at the present time, namely in Huge Transition.

Part two:

Setting: Subterranean (!) parking garage (!)

Jingle-jangling with nicotine, Performer 1 pays (criticism of capitalism!)  for parking (stasis!) at the machine (alienation from fellow man!), gets in car(mobility? slavery? materialism?) and attempts (life is a series of attempts!) to exit (!) parking garage (!). The car starts on the first try (irony!) and Performer 1 drives (!) slowly (!) through the labyrinthine (!) garage, and up the very long, very steep (!) ramp (!) to the exit. He waits (!) for the car ahead of him to insert ticket and drive out. But before Performer 1 can exit, the garage’s night (!) security (!) door (!) rolls closed again because whatever sensor senses approaching cars and opens the security door automatically failed to sense him approaching because it had just sensed two previous cars and was temporarily tired of sensing (!!!!!). The Performer waits  (!) a while (!), then lets car roll back down the ramp a little, then approaches the night security door again, expecting to trigger the sensor, but nothing (!) happens (!!). After another brief wait (human optimism in the face of proof otherwise!), the performer rolls a little further back down the ramp before approaching the door again (dichotomic relation between experimentation (trying something new) and perseveration (trying the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results)!). Once again, nothing happens. Performer 1 makes another attempt, rolling a little (!) further back down the ramp (!) before again approaching the door, beginning to get a little concerned about the effect this is having on his clutch and brake pads (which are thin). Once again, nothing happens.

Part three:

Setting: Subterranean parking garage

Performer 1 continues to roll down the ramp and reapproach the night security door, each time rolling a little further back down and waiting a little longer at the door, but never rolling completely down to the end of the ramp. Never does the exit open.

This is the longest part of the performance, lasting for all eternity, or until a car wishing to park enters the garage from the other direction, triggering the external customer sensor and allowing Performer 1 to exit (reminiscent of Schrödinger’s concept of Verschränkung (entanglement) and the co-existence of modern man in two states of being, entrapment and escape).


Indeterminate. Perhaps Performer 1 is still there, driving up the ramp, waiting at the closed door, and rolling back down.