By Lori Brungard
The Global Warming Dunking Booth is an interactive performance installation in which I will be in a dunking booth dressed as the Statue of Liberty, carrying a torch and a tablet listing global warming statistics. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in a number of different activities, which increase or decrease the severity of global warming. Each action will be multiplied based on x number of people doing that action over a period of x years. Those that increase global warming will increase the light coming from the flame of the Statue of Liberty’s torch, raise the ambient temperature of the installation area as shown on an LED counter, and increase the level of water in the dunking booth. The levels of water in the dunking booth will correspond with increasing sea levels in the waters surrounding NYC, with lines on the booth to graph the level. When the level reaches a height at which the far East Village would be submerged under water, a piece of coal will be propelled towards an apple-shaped target, thereby completely dunking the Statue of Liberty (me). Throughout the performance, I will interact improvisationally with the participants, heckling, complaining, pleading with, and goading them.
As participants enter the installation area, they will have a choice to enter through one of three different areas: one if they arrived by car, another if by public transportation, and the third if by bicycle or on foot. In the area they walk into will be a thermostat, two lamps, a table with some food, some soil, seeds and pots for planting, a laptop and a printer. Each of these offers the opportunity for user interaction. There will be two plates of food offered on scales that look like platters. One will be food that is vegetarian and local, the other food that requires transportation to get to NYC and is higher up on the food chain. There will be an option to use disposable containers or not, and then a choice of garbage cans that will either recycle or be taken to landfill.There will be pots with soil and seeds to plant in them. Participants can use the laptop to either print some statistics based on their experience, or email them.
The Statue of Liberty will begin to complain when it starts to get too hot in her booth. She may also complain that the water is too cold. She will suggest that participants turn on the AC or the heat with the thermostat so that they and she can be more comfortable. She may complain that she needs more light to see in order to get some things done at night, and ask that they put a lightbulb in a lamp, which they can choose from different types.
Lori Brungard is an artist who works with movement, previously as a dancer/choreographer, now in video. This is her first foray into interactive installation. She is on the faculty of the Dance Program at Hunter College, and is pursuing an MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice at City College.
Lori lives in the far East Village, just over the line from a designated evacuation zone for Hurricane Sandy. After the basement just below her apt was inundated with 18” of water, her block was changed to Zone A for future storms. She loves her apartment, and also warm weather, but does not like wind and rain.