Belonging Networks

Jun 7, 2008



Grand Luxe Hall, Western Front


Belonging Networks was a “social utilities” performance by John Boehme.

With the audience seated along the perimeter of the Grand Luxe Hall, Boehme began the performance at one end of the space by introducing himself before offering to piggyback the audience member around the room. Once back in their seat, Boehme asked for their name, repeated it, and wrote it down on a sticker name tag that he gave them while declaratively saying “friend.” He repeated this sequence for every audience member, compiling each new name into a list to be spoken aloud in reverse chronological order.

Sometimes for humorous effect and other times due to encountering someone he could not bear the weight of, he asked the audience member to piggyback him instead.

He eventually completed the circuit of interacting with each audience member, making aural, emotional, psychological, and physical contact. By the end of the performance, the audience all individually shared the same frivolous treatment and vague tokens of association, and were left to ponder this new network they have been initiated into. 

Belonging Networks was presented as part of Manifestation :: Agitation.

Curated by Natalie Loveless. 

Video documentation is available upon request.

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Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.