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Hitchhiking the internet with LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner


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Mid Atlantic Popular Culture Association Presentation
November, 2018
Internet Panel

Published in: Education
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Hitchhiking the internet with LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner

  1. 1. Hitchhiking the internet with LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner: #TAKEMEANYWHERE Katie Elson Anderson Rutgers University-Camden MAPACA, November 10, 2018
  2. 2. Abstract: In May 2016, the art collective LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner tweeted out coordinates via their twitter account (@thecampaignbook) and began the #TAKEMEANYWHERE project, which invited an audience to find the trio at those coordinates and, as the project says, take them anywhere. Over the next thirty days the trio traveled more than 10,000 miles with around 70 participants driving them around the country. This road trip through America explored community, connection, friendship, celebrity, trust, and intimacy, both online and offline. Using the internet and social media as tools to create and sustain the performance, #TAKEMEANYWHERE is a project that continues to thrive through enduring and growing connections. At the beginning of the project the trio created a Facebook messenger group and added the participants along the way. This group of diverse individuals from across the country continues to remain active more than two years after the initial project. This paper will focus on the #TAKEMEANYWHERE project while also providing a brief discussion of the trio's metamodern performance art, which explores empathy, emotion, humanity, social interaction, and community through digital and physical networks. Unlike performance art that takes place primarily in a physical location, the works of LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner are unique in their use of the internet to both establish connections during the performances and to sustain them afterwards. #TAKEMEANYWHERE explores the optimistic potential of using technology to create meaningful and enduring relationships through the shared experience of performance art.
  3. 3. LABEOUF, RÖNKKÖ & TURNER Shia LaBeouf ( Los Angeles) Nastja Säde Rönkkö (Helsinki) Luke Turner (London) facebook: instagram: twitter: @thecampaignbook @Luke_Turner @NastjaRonkko
  5. 5. 2001- present structure of feeling oscillation irony/sincerity cynicism/optimism informed naivety response to postmodernism Vermeulen, T., & Van Den Akker, R. (2010). Notes on metamodernism. Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, 2(1), 5677.
  6. 6. To provoke social change through art, as well as to disrupt the elitism of traditional forms of art, performance artists actively engage the audience. Performance artists challenge the traditional institution of art by involving art audiences in new ways. Since the early organization of the field, audience interaction has played a central role in the aesthetic innovation. Use of audience in performance art distinguishes it from other conceptual experiments in art. Wheeler, B. (2004). The social construction of an art field: How audience informed the institutionalization of performance art. The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society Audience & Performance Art
  7. 7. Audience, Artists & Emotion “There is a false assumption in much art writing that we can be smart about emotions only if we are cynical about them” “If we struggle to find ways to adequately consider how emotion works in art, if it’s easier to dismiss the artist or the audiences emotionality as naive or as a critical failure, it is a partly because we have been working with inadequate models for what feelings are and how they work” Doyle, J. (2013). Hold it against me: difficulty and emotion in contemporary art . Durham; Duke University Press.
  8. 8. Audience & Celebrity Parasocial (Horton & Wohl, 1956) Social media= game changer Celebrity historically & cynically regarded as trivial, superficial, illusion of intimacy, inauthentic. “Capacities for direct interaction that social media generates between the fans and the celebrity is marked with enhanced levels of familiarity, disclosure, responsiveness and possibly even sincerity” Turner, G. (2013). Understanding Celebrity. London: SAGE Publications.
  9. 9. Text images from #TAKEMEANYWHERE:
  10. 10. Text images from #TAKEMEANYWHERE: Images: LaBeouf , Rönkkö & Turner
  11. 11. “Generally speaking, then, in relation to presence, viewer activation, and duration, we have to allow that performance art does not only happen when and where it happens….it is a viable claim that the afterlife of performance is as important as the initial moment, insofar as that is when and where its meanings unfold, and that is where it generates transformations of the audience that are not strictly event-reliant” From: Ward, Frazer. No Innocent Bystanders : Performance Art and Audience, Dartmouth College Press, 2012.
  12. 12. "Their work offers provocations to the current art discourse through a thoughtful democratization process. By performing both at major institutions and small venues, and continually engaging with audiences on and offline, LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner reject hierarchies and embrace popular culture sincerely, without irony or cynicism, which is a rarity in artland."
  13. 13. “#TAKEMEANYWHERE highlights humanity in a truly beautiful way. The message: Those who disagree with us are not monsters” Video: #TAKEMEANYWHERE:
  15. 15. Further Reading (not previously listed in presentation) LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner – #TAKEMEANYWHERE on POPBOLLOCKS #TribeLRT: Creative essay on LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner’s #TAKEMEANYWHERE by Andrew Corsa Numerous blog posts, YouTube videos, tweets and other social media posts available for first hand stories, pictures and experiences (working on compilation) Metamodernism: A Brief Introduction by Luke Turner Neutrality, narratives and neo-Nazis: Examining HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US by LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner by Katie Elson Anderson Bibliography (in progress) available at: Previous presentations (MAPACA) 2017: Memes IRL: How the performance art of LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner unleasehd an internet subculture into the real world 2016: #CONNECTION: Audience participation in the performance art of LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner