February 23, 2002
8:20 AM   Subscribe

Tie yourself to a half-constructed house on a school campus and live there in solitary confinement while on semi-public display to the world, pissing into a jug and making conch-shell noises from a piece of cardboard and a bullhorn. And do it all in a lobster suit. If that's not performance art, then what is? (Link from a blogger-friend who got it off NextDraft.)
posted by brownpau (12 comments total)
seems comparable to a freshman year perfomance piece I witnessed at RISD that involved a naked female student, cardboard wings, a eurythmics song, a poem about Marilyn Monroe, and rolling on the floor atop a fish fillet from the cafeteria...

I stuck to more traditional media, but appreciated those with no fear of forever being known as lobster boy or some such job-search haunting moniker.
posted by machaus at 8:39 AM on February 23, 2002

It's performance art like this that makes me even more thankful for the Blue Man Group.
posted by MrBaliHai at 8:41 AM on February 23, 2002

Great matter-of-fact writing by the newspaper: "He will be attached to his still-under-construction house by what he refers to as his "umbilical cord," a length of yellow plastic rope. He will also spend these three months in silence and without any time devices. He will also be dressed as a lobster."
posted by pardonyou? at 8:59 AM on February 23, 2002

You should be fearful of being called "Lobster Boy." It's bad news.
posted by yerfatma at 9:35 AM on February 23, 2002

I say we melt 50 sticks of butter in a large pot and pull off his arms and legs and eat him. Now that's performance art.
posted by mikegre at 1:01 PM on February 23, 2002

This fraternity rush is getting out of hand.
posted by rodii at 1:37 PM on February 23, 2002

At the end he has to "deconstruct" it. HA! Grad-school nyuk-nyuks.
posted by dhartung at 1:46 PM on February 23, 2002

Just for the record, I go to RISD and know that when some such sort of stuff goes down, the only way you could be counted as a witness is if you went out of your way to see it. There are posters which tell you to see it. All you have to do is ignore them. Sometimes they use canary or even magenta xeroxes (rumours of colors which absorb UV light and appear to have been noted), but one must NONE THE LESS resist.

That having been said, there is nothing funnier than a freshman piece of performance art, aside from deconstruction afterwards.
posted by Settle at 2:19 PM on February 23, 2002

Definitely my favorite link in a while. And at first, I figured this makes as much sense as studying tax accounting or political science. But then I realized this guy is paying $26,750 a year to go to Carnegie Mellon. Seems to me this would be a much cooler thing to do on your own dime, without university affiliation. (Of course, he may also be on some sort of crustacean scholarship.)
posted by LeLiLo at 8:41 PM on February 23, 2002

Lobsters don't have umbilical cords?
posted by MisterMo at 11:29 PM on February 23, 2002

The funny thing about this piece of performance art is that it's meant to be so senseless as to be devoid of meaning -- and hence meaning can be ascribed to the work by those who view and witness it. So whether you find some sort of profound subconscious motivation behind Lobster Boy, or dismiss him as a hack and a waste of money, or tease him with endless lobster jokes; your reaction is exactly what he's after, regardless of how you react. (Sort of like Kottke threads on MeFi? Joke.)
posted by brownpau at 4:09 AM on February 24, 2002

Oh, but what's even better is that this is now a front page story in the Sunday edition of the main local Pittsburgh paper, complete with pictures of his "collaborator", Merritt Johnson, in red pumps and white stockings astride a red Pegasus... There is a great huge picture on the back page of the first section of him blowing is cardboard tube + megaphone contraption. I'm going to try to swing by this week and get some digital photos. Who said Pittsburgh was a backward provincial town?!?
posted by -jl at 5:12 PM on February 24, 2002

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