Project Proposals 1964-011/1974-014
rating: +103+x

Name: Mieszko Wójcik

Title: Masoschism

Material Requirements:

  • 40 m x 40 m clear plastic tarp (One needed)
  • 2 m steel tent poles (Four needed)
  • 20 cm steel tent stakes (Four needed)
  • ~1 m rope loops to connect the two (Four needed)
  • Forks (20 needed)
  • Knives (20 needed)
  • Sharpener (One needed, already in my possession)
  • Wooden baseball bats (20 needed)
  • 60 mm x 2.5 mm iron nails (200 needed)
  • Hammers (20 needed)
  • Stove (One needed)
  • Generator compatible with the stove (One needed)
  • ~1 m wire to connect the two (One needed)
  • Branding irons of any mark (10 needed)
  • Metal table (One needed)
  • First aid kit (One needed, already in my possession)
  • Any unmentioned miscellaneous items which may be used to harm an individual (No bombs/diseases)

Abstract: Masoschism is a makeshift tent made out of clear plastic, which is draped over four metal tent poles and fastened to the ground using ropes tied around tent stakes. While inside of the tent, feelings of pleasure and pain are inverted, so that any harm done to a person feels "good" in a manner unique to each person. Likewise, any action which would normally result in feelings of pleasure (a gentle caress, petting a fluffy dog, the obvious example(s) you're already thinking of, etc.) result in pain; again, unique to each participant. This is achieved by a simple temporary re-wiring of the brain, causing pain signals to output dopamine and pleasure signals to output whatever it is that causes pain. Due to this process, the participant's brain is re-wired upon exit, which can cause them to suddenly realize that they've stabbed themselves repeatedly (Hence the "schism").

Masoschism should be displayed outside, where the tent stakes can be properly hammered into the ground. The metal table should be put in the center of the piece and all instruments capable of inflicting pain except the stove and branding iron are to be neatly placed on top. The branding irons should be kept partially inside of the stove, which should remain on and at a constant temperature sufficient enough to keep the branding irons red-hot.

Up to 20 people should be allowed in at any one time. Waivers must be signed by any and all participants, for hopefully obvious reasons. In accordance with the health and safety regulations of potentially lethal pieces (Article 5, Section 4), the first aid kit will be kept on-hand in case of severe damage.

Intent: On 12 September 1961, I accidentally wandered into a freshman college philosophy class instead of my normal chemistry class. Too shy to leave and therefore non-verbally admit my mistake to the 50 or so people seated, I decided to sit in on the lecture. The professor walked in and spoke at length about morality and why people consider certain things to be "distasteful". When he asked the class why they thought certain things were inherently bad, almost everyone said the same thing; these actions cause pain.

This obviously got me thinking. If the existence of evil is inherently based off of suffering, then would evil be considered moral if the harmed person gains nothing but pleasure? Admittedly, this kind of thought is why I would have failed philosophy, but it nevertheless remained in the back of my mind for the next few months. Needless to say, this is my practical display of that thought.

Name: Johnathan Miller

Title: It's still garbage

Material Requirements:

  • 2 foot tall cylindrical steel garbage cans; 1 foot diameter (5 needed, 70 preferred)
  • Steel garbage can lid (1 needed, already in my possession)
  • Something capable of cleanly cutting through steel
  • 2 foot tall marble pillar; 1 foot diameter (1 needed)
  • Hammer and chisel (1 set, already in my possession)
  • Spotlights (4 needed)

Abstract: It's still garbage is a steel garbage can 2 feet tall and between 12-142 feet deep depending on the number of cans gathered. The can should be placed in the center of its own room on the intricate marble pedestal provided. The room should be devoid of light outside of the spotlights, which should hang from the ceiling corners and directly face the piece. At no point should the spotlights be turned off.

Intent: Mieszko Wójcik won the 1964 exhibition with Masoschism. While I respected and continue to respect the opinions of the judges, I disagree with their verdict. I saw Masoschism firsthand, and even tested out some of the milder injuries during the off-hours, as I didn't want to be hit in the back of the head by Sociopath-Sophie with one of the 20 spiked bats that were lying around. While I was sitting down on the table idly prodding my thigh with a fork, I had time to reflect on the tent I found myself in.

It was ugly as sin.

Specks of blood dotted the tarp, steak knives were partially buried so their blades stuck up, and none of it meshed in the slightest. I understand that most of it was out of Wójcik's hands, it was performance art after all, but even in its initial state, the state Mieszko had the most control over, it was simply bland.

This piece is meant to be self-reflective of our community, and call into question the worrying shift away from beauty. The art world as a whole seems to be focusing on making their point as blunt and noticeable as possible, and completely disregarding the aesthetic of their piece.

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