Performance Art is when a group or a single person does an act in a public sphere that in incompatible with the surroundings, like a group mowing the lawn in a train station. When the “act” may have a theme it is spontaneous in that the individual performers have not rehearsed. This creates a kind of Black Hole in the field of reality like a saucer size hold of clear water in a pond full of algae. People gather around to watch. They feel the gravitational pull of the joy and freedom the performer are displaying, kind of like the joyous people on the drug ads who have taken that drug with the terrible side effects.
What’s going on? What’s the Zen, what’s the insight here? What is happening when you become self conscious? What do you feel when you are put on the spot, asked to perform, singled out, made the object of attention in a group? You have lost the security of the algae. And when I see myself through the eyes of others, I am split into two incompatible I’s. One Eye or Center is the Doer and the Other eye or center is the object. The Subject and the Object Self are two incompatible selves each with their own frame of reference, and I can’t know which is the real me. Now there are identical twins, two Me’s.
A paralysis results called stage fright, embarrassment, confusion, off center; you’ve got the wobbles. The cause, however, is not in the other but in you. You can’t do anything because there are two You’s.
The only way out is shown by the performance artists. While they have the security of being in a group, when we experience this personally, there is no group, so you have to do it alone. You have to be a Bull Leaper. The horns of the dilemma are the two. horns of ME. I can’t get out of the dilemma by trying to act this way or that, but which ME is trying? I must step off the Pirates Plank into the unknown of spontaneous action. It is only by this liberating act can I be free from the tyranny of the Two Me’s. Just Do It!
Why do I say the Zen of Performance Art. When you leap the bull horns of dilemma, the lose/lose choice that is no choice, you leap over the Zen Koan, which is a dilemma in which the Zen Master puts his monks. They must leap into the unknown of a ME that is free from the dilemma of logic and self objectification. They must restore their center that has no second.
So when I say the Zen of this or the Zen of that, what I’m pointing to is the Middle Way of Buddhism, that leap over the horns of your dilemma. which means beyond duality.