Yellow Pepper: The Experiential Project, 2015
UNCG School of Art, Faculty Exhibition, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC
Yellow Pepper: The Experiential Project was an experiential art series that utilized mobile phones and push notification systems to communicate with the public. These push notifications acted as starting points for time-sensitive art experiences. To participate, anyone could simply text the words “Yellow Pepper” to 31996.
This series was part of the 2015 UNCG Art Faculty Biennial at Weatherspoon Art Museum. Aiming to explore the Weatherspoon Art Museum, not as a fixed physical space, but as a digitally extended virtual space. I orchestrated a series of art experiences via text message to explore the institutional reach of a museum in today’s digital environment. In this case, you could put the Weatherspoon in your pocket.
My use of text-messaging systems was directly modeled after the customer engagement tactics used by businesses like my local grocery store. Notifications such as “alert” me to a “time-sensitive” offer caused me to think about something unrelated to whatever I was experiencing before the notification, something like ground beef or coconut milk. I was curious of the potential this information distribution system had to spread art rather than spur commerce. I had a vision of Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit event scores. In indirect homage, I titled the project “Yellow Pepper.”
Together with local community residents, museums, institutions, hotels, shop owners, students, and faculty, we scripted and performed a series of art experiences. These art experiences took many forms, such as a fly-fishing lesson with an angler at the end of a mile-long trail, a conversation with a stranger about aliens on a rooftop bar, a secret tour of a dry cleaner’s shop, and a mysterious meeting with a person in a public park wearing a yellow rain jacket.
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