Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Art By Focus Group: my new idea for an art installation

This is my idea for a new art installation:

  1. Set up a focus group.  I know there are places that do this, where they pay people some amount of money to sit around and tell you how they feel about a bank’s new stupid ad.  I used to do them in LA when I didn’t have a job, and it was a good way to make $100 cash plus as many cookies as you could cram in your mouth from a snack tray.
  2. Lock everyone in a room for 12 hours.
  3. The room has food, and bathrooms.  (Maybe a good deli tray, some various sandwiches, or box lunches. Also cookies.  Maybe some chili or indian food, too.)
  4. Each person in the focus group has one of those dial things where they spin it one way or the other if they like or hate something.
  5. Show the people 12 hours of slides of various art installations.  Also mix in other random slides, like pictures of Julia Roberts or Khmer Rouge death camps.
  6. Allow people to break every hour to eat more sandwiches or use the restrooms.
  7. Wire up the restrooms so that the output from all of the toilets is actually diverted into some kind of portable septic tank.
  8. Also record all audio from the rest rooms.
  9. Discard all voting results from the focus group.
  10. Put all of the urine and feces from the restroom into mason jars.
  11. For the installation itself, have a large white room with white pedestals around the perimeter.  On top of each pedestal, put a jar filled with either urine or feces.  Broadcast a continuous loop of the bathroom sounds.  The title of this is “ART BY FOCUS GROUP (2013) Urine, Feces, audio.”

If you know of any grants that will pay me money to do this, please contact me.