Saturday, November 8, 2014

In the Jailhouse Now

Robert Boyd

Miao Jiaxin

I first became aware of Miao Jiaxin when he had a performance and exhibit in 2012 in Houston. Now I am about to become one of his willing victims. He has set up within his apartment in Brooklyn a cage which he rents out for $1 a night. But you have some serious rules to follow if you stay there. It is like any other Airbnb rental, except for one thing: from 9 am to noon, "you CANNOT access internet, NO electronic devices, books, radio, pens or craftwork. You CANNOT talk to anybody. You CANNOT do Yoga or any other exercises. You CANNOT sleep." Oh, and one other thing--you will be livestreamed as you sit there silently in the cage. This is where I will be tonight.

Miao Jiaxin, Jail's Seeking Prisoners, 2014, performance and video

When Miao created Jail's Seeking Prisoner, it was an actual Airbnb listing. It was like any other Airbnb listing--it had a price, it was an accommodation, and it had house rules. But the Airbnb people decided this was all too much for them and delisted it. Hyperallergic covered the whole sequence of events. If you want to stay for a couple of nights in Jail's Seeking Prisoners, you will now have to access it through its Facebook page.

Vincent Tiley following the Jail's Seeking Prisoners rules

And tomorrow morning, from 9 am to noon Eastern time, you will be able to see me sitting in Miao's cage. It will be a challenge. I have a restless mind and like to be doing something all the time. If I had practice in meditating, it would be simple enough. (I suspect it will be a fairly boring Livestream!) I surely won't be wearing an amazing outfit as Vincent Tiley and Jodie Lynkeechow did.

Jodie Lynkeechow in Jail's Seeking Prisoners

See you tomorrow, Sunday morning, live from Jail's Seeking Prisoners!

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