Lewis Gesner @ People in Space

Lewis Gesner is an artist that has been creating surrogate performances on behalf of artists such as Boris Nieslony and Vassya Vassileva for several years. Implementing his work through People in Space was an intriguing experience, knowing that through his own practice, he often puts himself in the position that we were in. Lewis’ pieces were effortless to implement, perhaps because of this unique insight.

Lewis asked us to act as planted activators in lines, crowds, etc. He gave us a list of actions to perform. Through gesture and encouragement to imitate we were to inspire those around us to accumulate each action.

Lewis Gesner @ People in Space from The Present Tense on Vimeo.

The first action we implemented was dropping a coin repeatedly.  Inside of the Nepal Pavilion, Expo goers were attempting to throw coins into a bowl as an offering to a golden idol.  This seemed to be an appropriate site for this action since so many people already had coins in their hands, ready for participation.  Although curiosities were sparked, no one joined in this action.  Whistling, snapping fingers, and clapping hands were far more successful.  While traveling through the waiting lines of the UK and Japan Pavilions, these playful and accessible actions created a collective cacophony.

Lewis Gesner is an American artist who works across media with concentration on action  and performing, inventing simple, irreducible forms.  He presents his work  internationally, is a member of Mobius Artists Group, and has been living in Taiwan.