The Null Device

File under Sacred Music

Two London-based artists reenact a Cramps gig at a mental hospital, bringing real mental patients into the venue. The original gig was played in a Californian mental hospital in 1978, and only poor-quality video tapes exist of it.
The band's hair, outfits and guitars were copied from what little can be made out in the bootleg video, but the audience were free to dress, act and dance as they wished. The overall "realism" is in the documentation, with the artists' video being scripted to ensure the same pulls, camera jumps and lack of focus as the original. The film will later be re-shot from a TV screen and copied from videotape to videotape until the desired breakdown in quality is achieved.
Some at the ICA were worried that they may be accused of exploiting those with mental health problems; mental health charities were concerned that they might be renting patients to the art world; and the artists themselves were wary of getting out of their depth.

(via Reenhead)

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