© 2017 Peter Christenson

Peter Christenson Is Peter Christenson

Various Participatory Projects | DSM-312.81 Conduct Disorder, Childhood-Onset Type

Vive Le Monkey, 2000-2008
Documented for three successive years, the Vive Le Monkey series and videos are comprised of annual, large-scale performance art pieces staged in Chicago, IL. These temporary public performance installations and videos explore the disconnect between the contemporary social culture and the natural world inviting unsuspecting and curious audience members to observe and ultimately shape the nature of the performances. It is also just good old primate mayhem and chaos. For the most recent Vive Le Monkey performance, approximately 40 participants dressed in full-body gorilla costumes and staged movement demonstrations in public and private settings across the city of Chicago, IL. Two short films were made; both experimental documentaries. The first video (12-minute duration) explores the maiden intervention in 2000, and the second film (39-minute duration) documents the final performance and also includes footage from several of the earlier performances including local Chicago news footage and a staged durational intervention at the Lincoln Park Zoo that resulted in police removing the performers from the site.

Value(s), 2010-ongoing
Value(s) functions as a sociological experiment and conceptually driven mixed media installation. In the ensuing images, 10 participants were invited to join the artist in his working studio. A $20.00 bill marked with the text "value" on its back was placed on a pedestal. Another pedestal was positioned next to the marked currency holding a stack of forms listing detailed instructions for the 10 invited participants to adhere to while in the space. In short, according to the experiment's directions, the participating group must foster a unanimous decision in a limited time frame that results in a single individual receiving the "exhibited" cash. Functioning as an informal and crude research game and social science experiment, Value(s) examines a range of issues including those related to social and group dynamics, collective norms, value-emphasis systems, economic and financial worth, collective hierarchies, and behavioral and psychological paradigms. Later iterations of the project have been executed in other public forums and gallery contexts.

Taking Stands, 2009-ongoing
Taking Stands is a durational performance series where I stand in a given location for an extended period of time, generally 4-6 hours per session in the same position. The performances function as explorations of space, time, purpose, and interpretation. Will an ostensibly random and arbitrary act serve as research into the feasibility of meaning projection, i.e., will meaning from this piece be derived from a passerby, from a spectator, from the wall itself, from my presence, from a particular object that I am holding? Will an observer enter the performance, will he/she contribute a verse, will this evolve the piece in a new direction, will their presence and association shift its meaning, its relevance, its overall value and "significance?" Thanks to M. Mosher and L. Minnick for some of the photos in series. Want to know what one thinks about while staring at a wall? {More here}

Planting Fake Flowers In A $20,000 Public Art Installation, 2011
A temporary intervention that existed for a glorious 69 hours in the X-Square Plaza at Arizona State University adjacent to the Design and Art Buildings on Forest Avenue. The intervention was meant to "compliment" the recently installed X-Square architectural project Datum and become an integral part of the marketing/branding of the project. By wrapping galvanized wire around a bouquet of artificial flowers, I was able to plug the floral arrangement into the astroturf foundation. The flowers appeared to have naturally sprouted from the turf; the beautiful aftermath of antimicrobial protection and rubber infill! A 9-minute video was created documenting the blossoming intervention.

Experiments In Classical Mechanics, 2010-2012
Experiments in Classical Mechanics is a multichannel video series comprised of various durational performance experiments that flirt with the core topics and fundamental concepts of Newtonian physics. Translation: performer (macroscopic objects) doing things (motion) in super, digital slow motion (time-stretching). Statics and dynamics, kinematics, continuum mechanics, playing with space, time, impulse, torque, and lots of projectiles. I like projectiles. All experiments are documented in video and time-stretched to two percent of natural speed to allow users to view motion as it unfolds frame by frame engendering a process-focused narrative. Performance titles from the ECM series include: "Friction & Resisting Forces," "Pendulum and Massless Rods," & "The Equivalence Principle."

Roadside Attractions, 2010
RA was an interventionist group performance, collaborative intervention, and exhibition comprised of several "parking lot art installations" often embedded within the context of automobiles or in parking spaces. Audience members were invited to order performances pieces from a menu as if they were at a 50's-style parking diner and casually peruse a series of installations unfolding in parked cars. For the duration of the evening, I served as host and driver staging various performances within my automobile as I transported audience members and participants to a series of installations in the designated parking lot in Tempe, AZ.

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