Tonight Platform2 hosted an event dubbed the Failure Support Group for a crowded hall of artists and friends. The event featured a series of artists presenting various failures from their lives. I am proud to admit that I presented a failure of my own.
The event, like many Platform2 events, was a loose and open discussion of a topic that many people confront in their daily lives. Each presentation was limited to 5 minutes, and speakers were shooo-ed off stage by Andi Sutton's accordion (Sutton learned to play accordion 3 days ago). I was struck by the wide variety of types of failure presented, from "I am a failure because I am perceived to be successful but I'm not" to "Every time I become really good at something I hate it" to "My project did not meet its goals, even though others thought it was a success" to "I had a great idea that failed as a business venture." Each person talked about failure as a part of their life, but most people also seemed to find hope, or growth, or opportunity in their failures. Overall it was a really interesting conversation that lasted for quite a while.
Platform2 is a collective comprised of Catherine (kanarinka) and Sasha (pirun) of iKatun, Jane D. Marsching, and Andi Sutton of The National Bitter Melon Council. Previous Platform2 events include a discussion about Art & Activism, and an exploration of Risk: Race, Class, Geography, and Art (pictures here)
Find out more about Platform2 events, and how you can become a part of future projects, at their website.
For the event, I recreated an older Harvey piece: "Control #8: Feel The Same Emotions". In this version, I gave everyone in the room a card and asked them not to show it to anyone else. Each card had a word describing an emotion on it -- some people got "indignation" and others got "contentment". I asked everyone in the room to sit silently for one minute and try to feel that emotion. After the minute was over, we talked about whether they were able to keep that emotion, and if they believed that they had felt the same emotions as others in the room. Of course, we also talked about the failure inherent in the whole proposition.
The images are by Rob Coshow, and show me talking to the group and the minute of silence.