Keep or Delete?

Tuesday, 23 October, 2012 - 17:00How to use Facebook as a medium for conceptual art. And funky stand-up comedy.

A week ago I received on Facebook a message from Isabelle Bats, a Brussels-based performer, informing me that she would be performing Purge, a project by Brian Lobel on November 6th in Gent. She explains in her message that, on that day and for the sake of the performance, she will present the relationship between her and her 472 FB friends (me included), one after the other, to an audience. The audience will then decide, for each friend, if she keeps or deletes them. The decision will be final, friends will be kept, others deleted live and without compromise.

Brian Lobel is a US artist, now based in London, who "combines his intimate stories with public narratives (about illness, technology, nationalism, economy, sexuality and more) in an attempt to show that we are in this together" according to his own biography. He performed Purge himself on two occasions, but his friends got fed up with it I guess. So he decided to invite Isabelle Bats to share her own friendship stories this time and to play the game of keeping and deleting. On the 6th of November, in the evening and at Vooruit, he will himself present a lecture performance about Purge and his experience of doing it. Brian being one the most hilarious (but also quite touching) performer I have ever met, I believe the event will be a twisted stand-up comedy performance full of quite intimate stories.

Purge deals with social media of course and the way it influences our relationships to friends and people, how we fail at creating social interaction. In the frame of the Creative Media Days and of the Fail Conference organized by iMinds, we thought it would make sense to play with the failure of social media and come back to good old verbal communication.

I wonder if I will be kept or deleted by Isabelle. And how she will describe our relationship. Are we friends? Have we developed an artist to programmer relationship? In any case, I cannot wait to check what you decided.
- Matthieu Goeury

More info and registration for the Creative Media Days evening program.
Intrigued by Brian Lobel and his performances?