Anti-Pandora I: An Action for SFAI, 2009
Anti-Pandora uses an innovative backpack mechanism that generates electricity from the wearer’s motion. The power is limited, an appropriate metaphor for the energy of one life. Anti-Pandora appears, unannounced, and races through a social situation. When she encounters an appropriate recipient, she offers to reveal a message. Upon reflection, the terse, aphoristic messages unfold a suggestion intended to alleviate conflict or create hope for the future. After delivering the message, Anti-Pandora disappears. As befits such a fugitive presence, her image in documentation is always blurred, partial, or at some distance. The event itself cannot be exhibited, but each action results in a “report” which informs people who were not present about the action.
At approximately 8:49 pm, April 16, 2009, the artist slipped behind a dark blue Volkswagen Golf parked on Mission Street in San Francisco to don gloves, earrings, and back-pack generator, emerging as Anti-Pandora.
Anti-Pandora walked across the street to the Mission Art Center, then raced through the Locality exhibition looking for a sign indicating the right person to receive her message. As she began the second turn around the space, a brown tabby cat jumped up and began running alongside her. Anti-Pandora halted and reached out to the animal, telling it twice “I have something I want to show you.” The animal remained calm and touched her glove with its nose.
Approaching the wall where the message was hidden, Anti-Pandora used the flashlight powered by her actions to shine light on the message, revealing it to the animal. The text, hand-written on San Francisco Art Institute letterhead: Appreciate your enemy. After illuminating the message for sixty seconds, Anti-Pandora returned to the street and disappeared.