Design for Discomfort - Create an endurance or durational performance
When I thought about physical discomfort, the first thing came up with me was hygiene issue.
I am struggling with rashes all over my body from some toxic paint, and feeling itchy everywhere especially on my face. The most important thing to me was not letting anything on my face and make thing clean just in case, and to avoid itch. Therefore I decide to explore dirty sensation in daily lives. Even though we don’t have many chances to get into dirty stuff like fiscal, or put mud on your body or something, but dropping sauces on your shirt happens all the time and we all hate doing that. They are just sauces, not actual dirty stuff we wanna avoid, but I thought it is easy way for people to understand that endurance.
Plus, I found a cultural difference that Koreans tend to share their foods as a hospitality, even they feed strangers. Recently the society became more individualized and care about hygiene issue much more, so it is hard to find actually people doing that. But some elderly still doing that, such as feeding their grandchildren or something. I found relatively people here avoid even just sharing foods. There will be a lot of different reasons, such as allergy or they have never experienced that kind of food before... What I guess is the cultural and historical difference that Koreans are relatively has one united ethnic identity, where as North Americans are not. Since they all came from all the different ethnicity and the fear about ‘differenceness’. Apparently, accepting something that the other moving directly into my mouth is not a easy thing unless I have a definite trust on that person. Taste what the other give, eat the thing and move it inside of your body need a lot of courage. I think I couldn’t do if I didn’t prepare my food and waiting people to feed me with their food.
Therefore, I planned a performance that letting people feed my a hotdog covered with flooding sauces while I close my eyes. The hot dog is so much covered with ketchup and mustard, even let the audience feel gross to hold them. Inevitably, the sauces will drop on my shirt, so I prepared on e that I will throw away after the performance. I bet just watching me cleaning my face with my shirt will discomfort them, also actually Jason told me that just touching ketchup with his hand was so gross.
Thing I got more than I expected was, other sensations like smell of ketchup, and the sour taste spreading in my mouth. I couldn’t feel anything but ketchup, that was totally new sensation even though I love ketchup a lot. The feeling touch that much sauce on your hand is not usual, it was so new to me also.