Three Minutes of Intimacy (Carson City)

Three Minutes of Intimacy (Carson City), 2007
Commissioned by CCAI, Carson City, NV
Interactive performance, Video

I sent an open invitation to the inhabitants of Carson City to dance with me. They could choose the song and how we danced; then I would lead a video taped conversation for three minutes. We went to where the men were: the Harley-Davidson Dealership and the Greenhouse Garden Center. Three Minutes has also been performed and video taped in Ostersund, Sweden in 2008 at the New World Bank Conference, and New York in 2009 at the Swiss Institute during a Swiss Embassy reception.

“Dancing is an amazing activity. You can go up to a gorgeous woman you have never met before, spend three minutes touching her virtually anywhere on her body, and she thanks you for it afterward!” 

–Mario Robau, Jr., dance instructor

Three Minutes of Intimacy is a challenge to anyone to commit public intimacy with me. I will find a public place. I will wear my best dress. I will dance with you if you agree to answer my questions.

The title of the piece refers to Craig Marcott’s self-help book, Three Minutes of Intimacy: Dance Your Way to a Sensational Social Life (Sundance Publishing, 2000) in which he outlines step-by-step how partner dancing can make you more socially attractive person.

Three Minutes of Intimacy is about the pleasures of trusting others. See my blog for more on this.

Three Minutes of Intimacy references the durational pieces of Burden and Abramovic. They mortify their flesh with broken glass or chunks of ice; I mortify my flesh with the flesh of strangers. My personal challenge is to accept mortification gracefully. I challenge anyone to commit public intimacy with me. I commit a public act of trust. I give up control for three minutes: you choose the song, the dance steps, how closely we dance. You lead; I follow. After three minutes the tables turn: I ask questions for three minutes. The intimacy of the questions will be determined partly by the intimacy of the dance. The interviews will take place in a manner in which the others will be able to watch but not hear the interaction. The interviews however will be videotaped. These recordings will be distilled into a two-channel video.

This work premiered on Saturday May 5, 2007 at Carson City Harley-Davidson and Sunday May 6, 2007 at The Greenhouse Garden Center, both in Carson City, NV.