(New York, New York)
On the sidewalk of Rivington Street in the Lower East Side, Lee Walton gathered a large crowd of spectators to experience his latest project entitled "The Life/Theater Project".
When the spectators were ready and the time was approaching 6:15 p.m., Walton made the following announcement to the group.
"Look around you in all directions. From 6:15 to 6:30, some of what you will see is "real" and some of it has been "orchestrated". After the 15 minutes have elapsed, those who were "acting" and taking part in the project will come back and reveal themselves...it is now 6:15- please enjoy the show."
From 6:15 to 6:30, the spectators watched as the daily activities of the Lower East Side took place in front of them. Slowly the minutes passed as each spectator scrutinized each pedestrian and passer-by. Before long the group became anxious and could not distinguish the "real" people from the "fake".
After about seven minutes, the spectators began applauding each person that passed by.
Progressively, as each person and minute passed, the entire scene became theatrical. The spectators were cheering for each person that graced the scene. At a certain point, many of the pedestrians, unsure of why they were being cheered, reacted to the crowd by waving or giving a thumbs up- some of them avoided walking down the street all together. At one point, a clown dressed in blue with a big red nose rode by on his bicycle- the crowd erupted with cheering and laughter.
After the 15 minutes had elapsed, the "actors" came back to join the crowd and reveal themselves. They were applauded for the show.
There were over 20 actors that particpated in the project and the clown with the red nose was not one of them.
Lee Walton particpated in this years Psy-Geo Conflux, an annual event produced by Glowlab of New York. Part festival and part conference, it brings visual and sound artists, writers, urban adventurers and the public together in New York to explore the physical and psychological landscape of the city.