Chat Club –

Episode 21

Performed for the 20th Biennale of Sydney Public Program, 2016

In 2016, I initiated Chat Club - a secret Facebook group made up of 53 people suggested to me by Facebook. 

Each week throughout the year, I posted in the group a time to chat, and then added whoever liked the post, into a conversation. 

During the year-long project, we developed a unique syntactical rhythm and awareness of the online chat as a form for non-linear, polyphonic conversation. But mostly we just chatted about whatever we were thinking about that week: a collective exploration of the flat, porous nature of millennial conversation.

Chat Club Episode 21 recreated the 21st group chat as a live performance, devised with the group meeting in real life and each chat participant performing their own part.
___________________________

Excerpt from the first Chat Club chat, 2016

Emily

What can everyone see in their FB feed right now, the top post?

Marlee

guardian - Is this a smashed table I see before me? Must have been "quite a party", says Penny Wong http://gu.com/p/4ddc5/au

Officials are being grilled about a marble table that was smashed in the prime ministerial suite during Tony Abbott’s farewell party.

 

Poll bounce for Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition – politics live

A new Ipsos poll puts the Coalition ahead of Labor at 53-47 on a two party preferred basis as the former senate leader, Eric Abetz, unleashes on the Canberra press gallery. Parliament sits and senate estimates hearings will get underway. All the developments from Canberra, live

theguardian.com

 

Emily

Mine is a picture of a snake swimming in a pond of lillies...

 

Peter

also western culture is very centred around individual success and expression whereas the same isn't so true for places like china where you are part of a bigger culture which you are pulling your weight in. I mean this is all changing and not totally correct but generally i think maybe mediocrity wouldn't necessarily be the thing but just more collaborative success, and would be a cultural thing

Anna

my top post is a lasagne recipe from the new york times

 

Emily

maybe we already are mediocre ?

 

Ash

I've got Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator so I can't tell you what my top post is....

Anna

what is that!

i'll google it

 

Ash

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/news-feed-eradicator-for/fjcldmjmjhkklehbacihaiopjklihlgg?hl=en

 

Laura

Why do u wanna eradicate your newsfeed?

 

Ash

That's it. Sometimes I log in and my newsfeed is filled by a quote: "This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time"

 

Peter

i love my newsfeed!

 

it's like reading a personalised newspaper!

 

Ash

I can access it in other ways, or through other Google accounts, but I'd prefer not to have it available on my work-related account cause i compulsively hit 'ctrl+t f' and all of a sudden IM TRAPPED

 

 

Emily

That should be a tshirt Peter

 

but then how will you know about your friends complaining about public transport

 

or about your friends muscles

 

or about hipster grandmas with spray cans

 

or about the 2015 spring cactus and succulent show

 

Ash

Good news always finds me, sooner or later.

IS THIS YOUR ENTIRE NEWSFEED YOURE TELLING ME?

 

oops

 

haha what

 

Peter

wow ash, calm down

 

Laura

Yeah

 

You'd be so disconnected from very important things

 

Peter

hehehe

 

hey this just went down my newsfeed

 

http://i-d.vice.com/en_us/article/photographing-boredom-and-teenage-angst-in-80s-america?utm_source=vicefbanz

 

photographing boredom and teenage angst in 80s america | read | i-D

Photographer Sage Sohier captured pre-internet era kids hanging out in her photo series 'Americans Seen.'

i-d.vice.com

 

Laura

Or cute videos of small animals doing adorable things

 

seems people have been bored and anxious longer than us

 

Marlee

of course I can be mediocre! Who can't. The only thing is that it would be kind of unfair to people who have shared their stories for it. ANother thing is whether we actually actually choose whether or not to be mediocre, sometimes what you produce just is!

 

sorry for the late reply! SOmeone came to chat to me and i couldnt get rid of them

 

Peter

ok so my top news feed item is https://www.facebook.com/the.Benjamin7/posts/10153661676088516 so maybe it's not all good

 

Anna

lol  what did you chat about outsidde chat club?

 

omg pete

 

lololololol

 

it shouldnt be funny but it is