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Accompanies a lecture at Montana Tech.

Accompanies a lecture at Montana Tech.

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  • 1. Allan Kaprow “ Happenings” – Referencing The New Media Reader, Wardrip-Fruin & Montfort
  • 2. “ Happenings” in the New York Scene appeared first in Art News, 1961.
  • 3. About Allan Kaprow 1927 - 2006
    • “ Happenings” were a milestone for emergence of interactivity in art because they broke down distinctions between creator/author and audience.
    • Compares/connects with Boal ’s theatre insofar as it gives responsibility to the observer – making observers “spectactors.”
    • Richard Schechner, founder of “Environmental Theatre” was highly influenced by this work.
  • 4. “ Happenings” history and place in art
    • (According to Kaprow) Comes from three influences:
    • 1. Sophisticated, witty pieces put on by theatre people (eg Peter Brook ’s interpretation of Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty).
    • 2. The sparcely abstract, Zen-like rituals given by writers and musicians, eg John Cages, 4 ’11”
    • 3. Some have a history that goes back to Surrealism, Dada, the circus, all the way back to medieval plays and ritual.
  • 5.  
  • 6.  
  • 7. “ Happenings” history and place in art (2)
    • Happenings are events that simply happen.
    • Make no particular literary point and have no structured beginning, middle, and end.
    • Occur in “Found spaces” -- lofts, basements, natural surroundings-- no separation of audience and play.
    • The element of “chance” is key because it implies risk and fear. A Happening cannot be reproduced. Contains “Aleatory” Elements. (Roger Callois, John Cage.)
  • 8. Some Links to Follow Up
    • Allan Kaprow Inspired Happening
    • Allan Kaprow ’ s POSE Revisited
    • BlackEyesPeas Flashmob Happening
    • Flashmob for Peace
    • TED talk by Jane McGonigal, Gaming Can Make a Better World.