Vito Acconci b. 1940
Claim Excerpts (1971)
1971, 62:11 min, b&w, sound

A documentation of one of Acconci's most notorious performances, Claim Excerpts is a highly confrontational work, an exercise in self-induced, heightened behavioral states, and an aggressive psychological exploration of the artist/viewer relationship. During the three-hour performance, Acconci sat in the basement of 93 Grand Street in New York, blindfolded, armed with metal pipes and a crowbar. His image was seen on a video monitor in the upstairs gallery space. Staking claim to his territory, he tries to hypnotize himself through language into an obsessive state of possessiveness: "The talk should drive me into a state where everything is possible." He becomes increasingly tense and violent, threatening to kill anyone who tries to enter his space. Acconci has written, "If during the first hour, I had hit someone, I would have stopped, shocked, horrified; if, during the third hour, I had hit someone, I would have used that as a marker, a proof of success... a signal to keep hitting." -- EAI


This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.