Jason Eppink describes himself online as an “Urban Alchemist, Rapid Prototyper, Mischief Maker,” so it should come as no surprise that during his February 24 lecture at the Museum of Arts and Design, where he was invited to discuss his work with Improv Everywhere, he would start a water gun fight.
Other than feeling really giddy at the thought of a water gun fight in a museum, I wanted to know what his deal was and discovered it was all part of his diabolical intergalactic plan.
Hrag Vartanian: Why a water gun fight?
Jason Eppink: I had a perfectly captive audience in a respectable place. I didn’t want to ruin the theater, but I did want to create a participatory spectacle. If they didn’t have a good time, it wasn’t my fault!
HV: Any response from the museum?
JE: I was half-hoping they would kick me out. Instead, the Manager of Public Programs loved it and wanted to talk about having us back. (To clarify, the water gun fight was not an official Improv Everywhere act, and I only told the founder of the group about it afterward.)
HV: Do you consider your work art, performance or something else?
JE: I try to avoid the “A” word; there’s a lot of baggage that comes with that, especially in NYC where everyone’s an artist. The world doesn’t need more artists. It needs more trouble makers.
HV: What’s your earliest water gun memory?
JE: Super Soakers, baby! Those guys were on the cutting edge of water propulsion in the late 80’s. I wanted to buy a few for this, but it was February then, and all the toy store employees politely informed me they wouldn’t be stocking water guns for a few more months.
HV: Is what you do bringing chaos into order or how do you characterize it?
JE: Ha! Maybe I’m doing my small part to hasten the inevitable heat death of the universe?