Laura Curry wants to help people. Laura Curry wants to help people help people.
The Agreement takes a critical look at the relationships between need and support, capitalism, and the role of art and artists with non-art communities.
The Agreement at Art In Odd Places, Orlando Florida
The Agreement started as a project by artists Laura Curry and Lori Dillon working as bi-coastal artist collaborators.
The Agreement begins with public performances. These performances consist of one-on-one conversations between the artists and one audience member at a time in a public space, on the street, over the phone, via the internet.
The Agreement at Yellow Fish, Seattle Wa
The artists welcome audience participants to engage in conversations about need and support. The public is invited to enter the performance/installation space to walk around and observe, or participate in a dialogic performance with the artist.
The audiences who choose to participate do so either in person, via Skype, or over the phone. The audience participants who engage with the artist via Skype (in response to online solicitations broadcast by the artist in advance of the performance dates) are projected onto the interior walls for in-person audience members to witness. The audience participants who engage with the artists via phone, are broadcast on speaker for the in-person audience to hear.
The Agreement at Time Mutations, Buffalo NY / Wiemar Germany
The one-on-one conversations uncover something for which the audience participant seeks support. Support may be conducted and an issue resolved in the moment of initial performance, or the support relationship may continue for up to 6 months via Skype, emails, phone calls, mail, and/or in person meetings.
The artist and the audience participant create an agenda defining terms of support, which are written on a prepared form, titled The Agreement. The agreements are then publicly displayed where the artist act as a broker, creating a marketplace where Agreements are exchanged between participants. The artists request a reciprocal service from every audience participant who defines an Agreement need.
The Agreement data (distances between service provider and client, “felt fair value”, and geographic specific living wage) is used to build room sized data visualization installations using felted yarn as an allegory to “felt fair value”. The federal living wage of each participant’s location (minus the felt fair value) is applied to the metric to create a “futures market” that measures the potential of not only the need requested, but also the service provided. In essense – a capitalistic model that trades in empathy. Ephemera of dialogic performances (photos, left-behinds, and copies of individual Agreements) are posted as part of the multimedia installation for the duration of the project.
The Agreement at DOCUMENTA, Kassel Germany
The Agreement has been conducted in Time Mutations, Buffalo/NY and Wiemar Germany; Documenta 13 Kassel/ Germany; ISEA Albuquerque/NM; Open Engagement Portland/OR; Yellow Fish // Epic Durational Performance Festival XV at the Hedreen Gallery, and Velocity Seattle/WA.