A Performance Art Bike Ride to Save a Friend’s Life

LOS ANGELES — A couple of years ago, new-media performance artist Marc Horowitz submitted his life to the audience.  Dubbed “The Advice of Strangers,” his Creative Time–commissioned performance was determined entirely by opinion polls and votes from the audience. Horowitz is at it again, as he turns to strangers for advice. But this time, he wants to save a friend’s life.

“On August 30th, 2012, I am going to ride my bicycle from San Francisco to my home in Los Angeles to raise money to save my friend Chris’ life,” he wrote in an email. “Chris was an active, healthy adult with a family before he was struck by an undefined illness eight years ago which was just recently identified as late-stage Lyme disease.”

Lyme disease is no joke, and Chris’s description of his condition only brings home how serious it is. Serious as it is, however, Horowitz is bringing his lighthearted sense of humor and use of participatory media to raise money. Yes, it may seem like a typical bike-a-thon, but Horowitz can’t actually move forward unless he receives the requisite cash.

“If you donate $1,” he said, “I’ll pedal 100 feet and then stop until the next donation rolls in.”  That means, essentially, that he’ll sit there, posting about his plight on his website. It’s an interesting twist on the Kickstarter all-in model: if the project fails, Horowitz is stranded somewhere along the Pacific Coast Highway. So far, he’s raised nearly $3,000 of his $26,640 goal.  You can tune in at bike4chris.com and donate via Paypal.

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