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The Artist’s Journey – Without Walls (WoW) Festival Series: Sean Estelle & Christina Aushana of CARPE MINUTA PRIMA - La Jolla Playhouse Blog

The Artist’s Journey – Without Walls (WoW) Festival Series: Sean Estelle & Christina Aushana of CARPE MINUTA PRIMA

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The inaugurual Without Walls Festival is on its third day! Admittedly, there’s a lot to choose from as far as the terrific performances and events happening, but we hope you’re checking some out! If you have experienced any shows or performance pieces, got any favorites so far?

One thing that we hope you WILL explore is Carpe Minuta Prima, in which artist Brian Lobel and his assistants ask passersby to sell him a minute of their life for $1. If you agree, you are brought into an unadorned closet and filmed doing anything you wish for 1 minute and are asked to sign over ownership. Later, all the videos are unveiled to the public on individual DVDs, each a unique art object. Each DVD is then available to buy for the price of $1. Lobel’s acclaimed installation playfully explores themes of economy, the value of our time and what it means to sign away your soul.

Our guest bloggers in this final entry of The Artist’s Journey – WoW Festival Series are Brian’s assistants, Sean Estelle and Christina Aushana, who will share why this experience is not to be missed!

For more info on Carpe Minuta Prima, click here.

of Carpe Minute Prima at Without Walls (WoW) Festival

Sean Estelle:

When I found out that my first real, honest-to-god professional gig as an artist was going to be a performance art installation, to be presented at the first-ever San Diego Fringe Festival, and then at the first-ever site-specific Without Walls Festival from the La Jolla Playhouse, I was over the moon.

You see, I just graduated from UCSD’s Theatre Department in June. For the last four years, the theatres of the La Jolla Playhouse have been my playground. I’ve been able to act, direct, produce, and work backstage, all at one of the best theatre complexes in the nation. The caliber of artists that I’ve been able to work with, and watch, on these stages has been amazing!

However, I’ve also been drifting away from that playground over the past two years. I’ve been doing more and more in performance, installation, and site-specific work. That’s why I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring some of that experimental work back to a venue where there’s a whole new audience to be discovered! Carpe Minuta Prima bridges that gap for me by creating an environment of experimental, conversation-based action, in a de-theatricalized environment.

Brian Lobel, the artist who originated this performance, describes it this way on his website: “Meaning ‘Seize the minute,’ this installation playfully explores themes of economy, the value of our time and our work, the over-documenting of our lives and what it means to sign away your soul…”  I won’t spoil the fun, but I will say it’s worth it to come have a conversation with us. Can we buy a minute of your time?

Carpe Minuta Prima with Sean and Christina. Photo credit: T. Lynne Pixley

 Christina Aushana:

Time is an anchor. It orients us, roots us in the world, and frames our experiences. We sell our time and are compensated for it. We share our time with others. We seek to manipulate it: quantifying, exaggerating, speeding it up, and slowing it down. Hoping it will go faster and then wishing it would linger from one moment to the next. Time is also a framework for experimenting and reflecting on our relationship to it.

Carpe Minuta Prima is a performance that provides an opportunity to consider the feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions generated by the complicated relationship that many of us – as living, ultimately temporary beings – have with time. If given the chance, would you sell one minute of your time, recorded and burned onto a DVD, for one dollar? Are there things – stories, advice, words of love or sorrow – that you are willing to part with?

In performing Carpe Minuta Prima in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego over the summer, I encouraged members of the public to enter into this Mephistophelian pact. From impromptu, salacious confessions to trivial staring contests, there were many expected and unexpected minutes purchased from passersby on the street. However, the content of the minutes did not matter, nor will it be significant for the minutes we purchase from patrons of the Without Walls Festival presented by the La Jolla Playhouse. All minutes, whether spectacular or mundane, are worth exactly the same. One dollar. One minute. What you do with this minute and this dollar is entirely up to you.

To borrow the words from Brian Lobel, the UK-based artist who conceived of and has performed Carpe Minuta Prima across the globe, all we ask from you, as participants selling your time, is “for you to make it good and to spend this minute well.” If you decide to respond to this tall order, I will be gladly waiting. With a crisp dollar in hand to pay you for your time, of course.

Carpe Minuta Prima DVDs. Photo credit: T. Lynne Pixley