60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC
MTAA (M. River and T. Whid Art Associates)
8 December 2005

5 small videos about interruption and disappearing nods with a knowing smirk to 70s conceptual and performance art via the filter of a computer keyboard. Using their own digital images as maleable matter, the duo of M. River and T. Whid play brief, witty tricks on themselves—or rather, invite the viewer to do it to them. Thus one can choose to pixellate their faces to a greater or lesser degree, or turn T. Whid’s image on or off, and so on. The decision making is done through point-and-click: the viewer clicks the “lights on” button, and poor M. River, who’s been snoozing happily on screen, is woken up by bright lights. (One can then be kind and put the fellow back to sleep by clicking “lights off”.) Though light hearted, these quick interactive games engage the viewer to make choices that affect another human being—or do they? The sticking pin of 70s performance art was that real bodies were involved, and as the viewer, you were either an active or a passive participant in what really happened to them.

—Lori Waxman
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