The @Platea social media art collective is doing a cover of Vito Acconci’s seminal “Following Piece” (1969), which was first initiated forty years ago this month.
A study in the public spaces we occupy and assumptions around privacy, Acconci followed random people in Manhattan during the month and reported on their activities until they entered a private area such as an apartment or car.
When I asked artist, twitterati and director of @Platea, An Xiao about her latest project, she replied, “We want to look at it specifically in the contemporary context of Twitter, a world where public/private boundaries are shifting and eroding, as once private activities are broadcast into online public space. In the world of Twitter, the idea of following has taken on a new meaning: once an uncomfortable thought, it’s now regularly seen as a good thing to have one’s private actions followed by many strangers.”
From October 26 – 30, @Platea will perform, “Following Piece 2.0.” Acconci’s work will be enacted using the digital “stweets” to understand how the ideas in the original piece have been transformed.
Let’s just hope offline stalking laws, which have been enacted since Acconci’s 1969 performance, don’t apply online.