• 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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Oliver Herring | Task

Oliver Herring | Task
The Seattle Public Library
Saturday, June 28

Artist Oliver Herring’s improvisational performance Task brings together a group of thirty-five strangers of diverse ages (14-82), professions (house-cleaner, retired judge, stay-at-home mom, barista…), and backgrounds to explore and experiment for one working day at The Seattle Public Central Library in downtown Seattle. The audience for this version of Task, if it is a usual summer day at the library, will be 7,000 people, making this performance as dynamic for the public as for the participants.

Task’s participatory focus creates opportunities for the diverse group of participants to interact with one another and express aspects of their individual personalities that might otherwise be hidden. The event begins with the participants choosing and acting out simple tasks provided by Herring. When these first artist-assigned actions are completed, participants invent their own tasks, placing them in a “task pool” for selection by their fellow performers.

Task’s open-ended, participatory structure creates almost unlimited opportunities for this group of people to interact with one another and their environment. After outlining some basic ground rules, Herring opens Task to improvisation and does not interfere with the activities on stage. Therefore, the performance’s flow depends on the kinds of tasks created by the participants, and how they decide to utilize seemingly mundane props such as markers, toilet paper, blankets, bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, ladders, chairs and tables.

Oliver Herring | Task is presented in Seattle by the Frye Art Museum, The Seattle Public Library, On the Boards, and Tacoma Art Museum.