• Welcome
    Welcome to the Oliver Herring | Task blog for the June 28, 2008 Task performance at The Seattle Public Library.

    Feel free to leave comments by clicking on the comment link at the end of any post.

    Task participants: to receive access to post images, video, or your thoughts about the Task performance, email info@fryemuseum.org.

  • Task Photos - Submitted by B Strand

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Responses from SHFT program students at the Frye

Moved from the forum:

SHFT – Student Response
Posted in Forum

jaredf1 week, 2 days ago
This is a thread to collect the opinions and ideas from the SHFT students that attended Task today.

1 week, 2 days ago

I was unfortunately disappointed in the rather half-hearted interactive attempts by the performers and staff of Task. I thought that what WAS already interactive there was a rather mediocre attempt at pleasing the crowd, not actual real performance or integration on the part of the Task performers. In essence the whole spectacle felt like it was trying to be interactive only in the sense that it had the interactive feel to it, not necessarily that it was really open art. Tasks were displayed on a large screen in between the table and the coffee shop. I asked whether or not they were for performers or just for everyone, and was given the answer “sorry, just for the performers,” and this was a real turn-off. It almost seems like the performers were in a sense taunting the audience by even having observers in the first place, and not a project where everyone in the Library was involved. After a while of this I began to get bored, indeed wondering what I was even doing there anymore, and everything felt sort of half-hearted or even TOO open. I don’t have any doubt that the project was supposed to be part-open part-closed, but it felt like it could use far more interactivity to the point of a completely open public project, otherwise as art it feels almost like it is lying about its form. I hope that in the future, the whole thing may be open to the public. That screen could be used for the public, not just to almost taunt the observing public. And please, no lame attempts at public integration such as “write this down, then make someone else write it down,” that’s sort of insulting. I mean, spam in the real world can be art on its own, but as a crowd-pleasing tool it is exceedingly dull. Everyone does it, of course, that’s how the public works, but there’s more to it than that. I’m sure a cool project like this is deserving of an adoring crowd, and that’s what will come with interactivity. No more akwardness or sort of dodgy “hey, you’re an observer and so you merit less creative tasks than we do” vibes that I’m getting.

On a different note, interactivity aside, I thought the whole thing had a lot of great ideas. Certainly there’s room to grow, but it’s good improvisational art (I mean, it IS art, don’t get me wrong). The concept is fantastic, whether the actual product is or not. I would love to have an improv space like this for a longer period of time, perhaps going so far as a landmark, like an improv building where there aren’t any restrictive observers and performers are people who can just wander in off the street (with some structure to make it fun for everyone, of course). Love the idea, disappointed by the outcome. A little tweaking and you have a great project on your hands. Feel proud of yourselves for that much. I mean, you gave a fantastic, fun effort. It just felt like it needed a little something. See what you can do about that, and I’ll gladly come and take part.

1 week, 2 days ago

The idea of having a bunch of artists from all over the world meet together to share their ideas to the public, seemed like a nice and interesting one, but the execusion was horrible. A lot of it was just watching the artists play around as if they had no audience. It was totally unproffesional. If they expect the public to take their work seriously and be engaged in their work, then it’s their job to engage them. I felt as though I was watching others have fun from the side lines. It would have been great if it was actually interactive, and it seemed like it would be simple enough to get the public engaged in the festivities. I enjoyed observing the artists work for about five minutes before I got bored of seeing people mess around and pretty much ignore the fact that anyone was watching. In short I would suggest not going to see this exhibit next time it comes around. It might be a nice stop if you’re stopping by to check out a book, but it’s nothing big that you’ll want to go out of your way to see.

1 week, 2 days ago

I thought that TASK was extremely interesting in how the tasks all seemed so random, but they were actually just fun!! I also noticed that the volunteers were all visibly having fun, but they were still in a work mode. The only thing I didn’t like was when I kept getting the “copy this 5 times and give it to five people…” over and over and over… I think it should have been to give it to five people that were walking through the front door, so new people would get it. The person I watched most often was a perfect example of how most of the performers acted. She was serious about her job, but still having fun. She courteously explained the whole project to those who asked, and some who didn’t! Overall, I thought TASK was a really cool and also creative project.

1 week, 2 days ago

great times, its pretty much wat i said

1 week, 2 days ago

I thought that “task” was a really good idea and there was a lot to see and a lot going on. it was really cool that everyone could join in and do the tasks too. it was cool how different all the tasks were and there were a bunch of really random things going on at the same time. the only thing i didn’t like was the “copy this 5 times and give to 5 different people” thing because it got REALLY annoying after a while. it was a good idea, but it kept going on and on and you would get a bunch of the same papers that you had to give to everyone. the person that i watched the most was really into the tasks and seemed like he was really interested in what was going on. when people asked him questions, he answered them really directly and he definatly knew what he was talking about. overall, i think it was a really good idea and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

1 week, 2 days ago

you are the coolioest!!!!!!!!

1 week, 2 days ago

you go pigfrog!!!!!!! i totally agree!!!!!!!!!!

1 week, 2 days ago

I thought this was a wonderful idea and it was really interesting to watch and participate in. I like the drama feel to it, how you could take your task and twist it to fit your look at whatever you were doing. The one thing that I thought got just a little annoying was the “this” because you could give them to anyone and more than one to a person, so I ended up having way more than just one and it got annoying to do all of them. I really liked the idea of having pretty much no idea of what you were doing, and making it what you thought you should be doing. I think it would be a cool idea to do this again and involve the regular people more, the people that are just walking around. But I loved the feel of the whole thing and having something to do all the time, I thought it was really cool to watch happen.

1 week, 2 days ago

hi abbee you’re awsome!

1 week, 2 days ago

I thought that this idea was very interesting, and fun. What I didn’t like was that the spectaters were not allowed to take tasks from the task box. We should have been able to do tasks strait from the Task box, not just from the Task participants. I wanted to do some good tasks, not just other peoples’. I watched Betsy in a fashon show, building a cardboard racecar track, and playing beach ball at a beach party. She is very clownish!

1 week, 2 days ago

When i went to the library today i did not expect to see a man dressed up in cardboard and acting like a monster, at first i was a little confused but eventually i understood it was not about acting weird or preforming incredibly hard tasks, its about having fun and tricking your friends

1 week, 2 days ago

At one point i was asked to copy a message five times which realy pissed me off but after that it was all good fun. Like being the top of a human peiramid and getting into a toilet paper fight, so it was fun.

1 week, 1 day ago

I agree that “This”, the virus-task, was a self-propagating flop. One of the teens-Enatai-said it best “a chain-mail idea COULD be art, but in this instance it was just irritating.” Overall I appreciated the experience. Although not because I was impressed by what the participants were doing necessarily, but rather because of the awkwardness and confusion I felt as a spectator. There was a messiness and inconsistency with understanding the role of interactiveness and audience participation. As an observer who was curious and inquired about inclusion you were denied, but then at times a participant would pull you into the performance; somehow you felt obliged to “play”, as if you were wrong to deny them back. This tension, plus my trying to resolve what I truly felt about the performers’ actions (stupid, funny, lame, poetic, boring) was the thought-provoking moment for me.


One Response

  1. Task: A Novel


    Call me task.
    I was born in
    Old New England
    and moved to
    the South Seas
    as but a young
    man. In my
    youth I was blank.

    Page 2

    & fell often
    I dropped a small fortune
    on slots & keno & freaquented
    from time to time
    brief shed of ill repute
    contained partially
    behind a clothesline but
    also in chile. (–?can’t read?–) hastily
    dubbed “Fort Badass Task”
    initially concieved
    for the sole purpose of
    being guarded, “Fort Badass Task”
    Quickly fell into disrepair &
    became a haven for dropouts
    & the short-lived “Just Us” hand
    shaking commintern.

    Page 3

    “Fort Badass Task” was
    demolished on my nineteenth
    birthday – the Department
    of Health described it
    as “a cesspool in need
    of immediate neutralization”
    in a public report. It
    was gross, but it was
    my second home. My
    friends and I used to
    play cards there,
    drink whiskey, and
    reminisce about Chile.
    Yet I am nevertheless
    grateful for its demise,
    for it was only after
    “Fort Badass Task” enclosed
    that my great adventure


    My adventure started small,
    for all I wanted to do was
    change the world. Eventually,
    that goal grew bigger and bigger
    and I found myself shaking hands
    with people I did not even know.
    Once I reached everyone, I
    noticed around me that others
    had started. A revolution had
    begun. With one person, others
    had come together through
    tough. Except for one. One
    person had threw off the
    balance. That person was
    Keirkegaard Turk.

    Page 4

    Keirkegaard Turk,
    (KT was what all the
    hounds called her),
    was struck by the
    brilliance of the
    red flood light.
    It entered her eyes
    and shined directly
    on her soul.
    But I remained


    For it turned out that
    Fort Badass Task could
    not be so easily forgotten.
    I still yearned for the
    sinful fulfillment of the Fort.
    Instead I turned to KT,
    for completion.
    KT was not interested.
    Nobody was interested.
    I fell into a deep depression,
    and found myself in the
    one place I vowed never
    to return, no matter what
    the world threw at me…
    my mothers basement…

    Page 5

    The telephone rang.
    “Is this Task?”
    “Yeah… maybe. Who’s this?
    Whaddaya want?”
    “I have a secret for
    “I’m your sister. You didn’t
    know you had a sister… a very
    rich sister. And I’m living
    with your ex. Your ex who
    says… he still loves you! But
    he’s MINE! All mine.”
    “Fine. You can have him.


    He snored badly and he can’t
    cook.” Task hung up and pulled the
    blankets overhead… the phone rang
    “Can’t people wait until after
    9 AM to call on a Saturday?”
    “Uh… Task?”
    “Yeah, whaddya want?”
    “Well, good morning to you, sunshine.
    This is Undone. We met at the
    gorcery store… you had gruyere, I
    had Velveeta. We talked, you gave me cheese
    guidance. I thought we sort of hit it off,
    though we could go out for dinner…”
    “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean
    to be rude. I just got some bad news.
    Please forgive me, it’s nothing personal.”
    “Do you remember me?”

    Page 6
    “Yes, I do… you were so nice to
    me. I liked talking to you. Maybe we
    can meet for a coffee today? I’ll
    “Am I moving to fast?”
    “No. Am I?”
    “Uh, no. I should warn you… I
    lost everything recently, I’m living in
    my mom’s basement.”
    “So? We’re just talking, right? People
    have setbacks. No one is perfect.”
    “I promise. I’ll never try to borrow
    money from you.”
    “Uh… yeah. Look don’t worry, okay?
    We’ll just chat.”
    “Undone, I really did like talking to
    you. See you at Cafe Toutonnier?”

    Page 6.5

    Upstairs, Task heard their pet dog,
    Tischbein, barking wildly. But no
    one was at the front door. Instead, an
    envelope lay in the hallway, where someone
    had pushed it under the door. A few words
    were written on it in green ink:
    30TH OF JUNE
    There was something hard inside the
    envelope. Task shook it, and heard metal
    clinking inside.
    “At least it doesn’t sound dangerous.”
    Tischbein sniffed the envelope, wrinkled
    his nose, and wagged his tail. Curious,
    Task opened the envelope. Seven gold
    coins fell out onto the floor.
    The telephone rang again.

    Page 7

    And he was sad.
    We were sad.
    They were sad.
    For the heat & sun
    created a greenhouse
    effect & made smells.
    But not all was in
    Most were amused
    by the on-goings.
    Not all is lost.
    Some are found.
    Others are still

    Page 7.5

    I am one of those
    still searching. Many times
    I’ve found you but then
    then I seem to fail you
    again. Task, this time
    it’s going to be different.
    I can see the signs, I
    can force my mind open.
    I can trust first.
    I need only one thing
    from you. Maybe you
    could pay your half of
    the rent. I’m trying not
    to be material but…
    Oh yeah maybe you

    Page 8

    could stop kicking my
    dog. I know she’s old
    but… and that rash
    on your arm, it’s start-
    ing to smell. And when
    you wrecked the car, I
    know you were drunk
    but cops are asking all
    these questions. Damn!
    I can feel it coming.
    Just give me a minute.
    OK! Can I have
    a kiss?

    Page 9

    Task would have no
    part of this sublime
    message. The memory
    of his dead mother was
    too much with him… and
    yet not with him as his
    mind wandered from moment
    to moment until someone
    shouted, “Does anyone want
    to play hide & seek?”
    “Mother, I don’t want
    to play your silly game.

    Page 10

    What about walking tag?”
    And the group took off into
    the library for a rousing
    game of “walking tag.”
    Task wanted no part of
    it. He was tired of games.
    He wanted “Truth or Dare”
    instead. So he went off
    to play “Truth or Dare”
    and to forget his dead
    Mother when suddenly…


    I left off at that kiss
    line back a ways.
    However with that rash
    I’ll back off & let you
    have the bedroom…
    Is it catching.
    Where did it com
    from? I am practical
    by nature as well as
    looking for distance. If
    if – well if you can clean
    it up – give me a call
    as no one needs another



    Task tried not to scratch as
    he rested his elbows on the table
    in the cafe. Was his housemate’s
    rash catching? He’d go to the clinic
    tomorrow. Good thing he’d worn long sleeves
    There was a flash of reflected light
    from the cafe door, and then Undone
    was there, smiling at him from across
    the table.
    “Listen, I’m sorry I was so rude this
    “You had some bad news?”
    “Odd news. Found out I have a sister. She’s
    wealthy, and in a relationship with
    my ex.”


    “Dude that’s awesome!! Maybe you can forget
    about your slimey ex now! Is your
    sister cute?”


    The End.

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