Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Aesthetics. Relational.

What's more relational than bar tending and drinking at a bar?

The collaborative piece, Serving and Drinking at a Bar, is short how-to video on ordering drinks and drinking them at a bar. The video speaks beyond the simple Can-I-have-a-Bud-Light-Yeah-here-ya-go exchange between patron and bartender but also to larger topics of bar and drinking etiquettes. The video starts with me asking for a Bud Light and taking unnecessarily long swigs from it, followed with Amber ordering a whiskey lemonade and sipping appropriately. In some cases, people must compromise in bars. Many places won't have ginger ale, but will make it on the fly by mixing a type of cola with a citrus soda. In our video, our bar does not have just lemonade, but raspberry lemonade. Though this is not a huge difference, people like what they like and don't like to stray. With perfect poise, Amber decides to switch it up and try something slightly new. This is not to say that one should short themselves in getting the drink they want in bars, however, there are times to complain and times to mix up the taste palette. Seasoned bartenders know what they are doing and work hard for tips, so, most of the time, they aren't going to mess with you getting your drink on and try to give reasonable alternatives when they don't have your specific concoction available. 

In proper etiquette, I then offer a round of tequila shots for the entire studio on the house, in order to  encourage the class to become part of our already collaborative project. Without the class participation, the piece would not have been successful.  Amber and I were relying on the assumptions that 1) people in the audience like tequila 2) they enjoy taking shots and 3) they would be up for taking a tequila shot while being video and audio recorded. This segment on the larger scale displays artists coming together on a whim and willingness to contribute their creativity. Relying on audience participation and creative input in contemporary art is part of a type of art known as relational art, which is discussed thoroughly throughout Nicolas Bourriaud's, Relational Aesthetics. Amber and my piece may at first seem like a normal art video, but it becomes clear in the latter half of the recording that we were relying on the audience to be and create the more raw art piece.

 It also minisculy demonstrates how people take tequila shots differently.  Though there is already the instructional salt, tequila, lime guideline on American drinking culture's radar, some people display supplemental behaviors such as hitting the table with the shot glass before drinking it, "cheers-ing" with others, and just slamming it and walking away. As long as the mess isn't too bad, I am sure however one completes this ritual as a right of passage into the American drinking culture is probably doing it just fine.

One of many Brosie drinks: Makers Mark with Raspberry Lemonade and limes

1 comment:

  1. I thought your project was very relational aesthetic! It reminded me of Rirkrit Tiravanija's work with the curry cafe. Also something impressive was that you simulated a bar experience in an empty studio. All you really needed was some music, liquor and a table. I liked the camera angle in the video and your editing between the two cameras.