Project: 8:YARN' came from an assignment from a performance art history course at the Penny Stamps School of Art and Design. The assignment was to create a performance inspired by one of the artists we had learned about over the course of the semester. I chose Linda Montano and the Art/Life Movement because durational performance, specifically framing every day life as art, is very interesting to me and I wanted to see if I was physically and emotionally able to perform a piece that lasted 24 hours.

A durational performance piece inspired by Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh's "Roped Piece"
Performers: Erica Gavan and Tanner Petch
"We cannot go in life alone, without people. Because everybody is individual we each have our own idea of something we want to do. But we're together. So we become each other's cage. We struggle because everybody wants to feel freedom. We don't touch, and this helps us to be conscious that this relationship connects individuals, but the individuals are independent. We are not a couple, but two separate people. So this piece to me is a symbol of life and human struggle."
Tehching Hsieh – from High Performance Magazine
Post Rope Notes
Erica Gavan
While being cut, I felt excited that we had done so well but nervous that something was going to go wrong with our relationship if we just ended in this way.
We hugged. It was weird – not that the hug was weird, but suddenly touching after being so aware of yourselves not touching was weird.
There was such a rush of emotions.
I ran around the lounge because I was free, but almost immediately felt this loneliness come over.
This feeling was amplified after I had come back from the lounge after going to the bathroom. Tanner wasn’t in the room and I almost went into panic mode. For a while I was really lonely, like I was lacking something.
I proceeded to get gummy bears from the Dining Hall's Blue Apple because Tanner had not let me do so. (Rebel phase).
When I went back to my room, I took an hour-long nap, and then was pissed off at everyone. All the little things people would do just pissed me off beyond belief. All I wanted to do was be alone, but no – there’s my roommate clunking away at her keyboard in a very deliberate and loud fashion. That’s just how she is - so direct about everything. But I just wanted a soft word and to be held. Everyone was screaming in the hallway. I started to cry.
I was just so physically and emotionally exhausted. I felt like I had given my all and didn’t have much else to give.
MONDAY – Literally couldn’t even think. I learned that Tanner had slept for 12 + hours after our performance. I only had about 5 hours because of my emotional distress. Seeing Tanner is a little bit awkward. Not knowing where he was before I saw him was a weird concept to me. Like, “Where was Tanner? Where had he gone?”
He’s not totally independent from me now, is he?
I guess he is.
And I guess I am independent.
For now, at least.
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