iSFair 2O12 // Incidence Report
INDIVIDUAL: An audience of one
GROUP SIZE: 25 active agents out of a total 628 agents world wide.
NATURE OF GROUP: The 25 agents constituting the group in this report represent participants and attendees to the IS Fair our quadrennial conclave…
INCIDENCE OF SOCIOMETRY: iSFair 2O12 InfOcalypse.
IS practices and promotes (non-quatitative) Guerilla Sociometry. Sociometry IS the analysis of individuals and their relationship to groups. As a collective IS always strives to create work for an audience of one. From mid-nineties ‘zine reports to the ongoing “all-computer issue” on thIS screen, the expectation IS that a single agent at the end of the line curls up in their layer and relates to IS in an immediatist fashion – individual to group.
IS makes sense in person only; it IS difficult to accurately relate anecdotes to anyone who has not yet related to the group (at least not without arousing their suspicion). So to speak, you gotta’ be IS to be into IS. With thIS method, the impluse to put on an in-person gathering is both inviting and intractable as IS Agents are a sly species who are reluctant to blow their cover.
Nevertheless, IS has persisted over the last 16 years and hosted a pentathalon of five IS Fairs. A small cadre of 11 agents have selected host cities, submitted reports and attended successive IS Fairs. For iSFair 2O12, a 25 agent brigade initiated projects, made displays, transported work, mailed videos, installed a show, became one-man bands, mascotted on the street, and sat on a hot Mission Street sidewalk all afternoon to ultimately survive the infOcalypse.
The conversion of IS’s mail art by way of a zine blog motif to an in-person adult science fair IS an interesting challenge. The logistics of making and moving 2000 sq. feet of displays held together with every type of tape and tack needed to be worked out. The ability of the IS Home Office to reliably crank out tri-fold displays balancing basic design principles with post-modern collage was tested. Concurrently, Agents out in the world who were creating and documenting their relationships to groups came through in person or via post with displays. All the elements were in place. DISseminating IS’s mISsion and vISion outside of the group of indoctrinated agents to the outside individual remains the challenge.
Friday 11/09 Opening night
INDIVIDUAL: A serious looking man, between 25 and 30 with a furrowed brow, pointy beard and clean jean jacket.
ThIS individual was one of the first attendees of the Fair. He moved from display to display methodically reading the ridiculous overload of written content. He would thumb through the literature with a penetrating stare. ThIS agenet attempted to engage the individual with a verbal comment on the tri-fold he was reading. The individual took an immediate step sideways and turned slightly away to avoid engaging thIS agent and quickly left.
About two hours later he returned and picked up reading where he had left off. ThIS agent left him to his devices. He was later spotted chatting with agent BAF like old friends.
Outcome: possible pledge
INDIVIDUAL: mErRiL, a punkISh lady in a pink leather jacket – an amateur puppeteer and full time musician on her night off.
mErRiL came to hear agent zMan perform at the iSFair as Disposable Thumbs. mErRiL immediately absorbed IS upon entry into the Fair repeating the copy off of the banner out front, “Free and open to the public,” she said, “All of humanity should be in here”. There IS no financial barrier to entry. There IS, however, an extreme psychological barrier.
Outcome: IS new agent – credentials ISsued.
INDIVIDUAL: A young lady off the street with short hair and clean work clothes IS wide eyed and giggly – clinging to her look-alike date.
ThIS individual was greeted upon entry and ISsued two Analog Survival Kits. With a surprisingly sincere thanks she and her date began to comb through the contents holding the vocab-word quill-pen and eyeball-balloon up close for micro-inspection. Ushering them in past the entry way, they were oriented to the infOcalypse and invited to take anything that was in multiple.
About 11 minutes later thIS agent turned the corner to find her doubled over in hysteria at the sight of her date disguised behind a Mao mask. A bushel of Malcontent ‘zines, No Alien Stickers, IS schwag, and tchotkes spilled out of her hands on to the floor. ThIS agent picked up the fallen letterpressed IRS report and tapped her on the shoulder. She thanks me with wide eyes for the return of the brochure tipping thIS agent off. Though it was her date’s full psychological immersion into the 10 point typewriter text of the 15x15foot ISstory collage that confirmed thIS agents suspicions: ThIS was drugs. They had tripped into the infOcalypse, a free vérité of quizzical brightly colored trinkets that only make sense to someone in a certain frame of mind.
Outcome: adherents. When they wake up with the mao mask and the 8-track mind ‘zine and the WTF haze of the infOcalypse they will start swimming upstream to find IS. We shall hear from them again.
Sunday 11/11 The InfOcalypse
As our screening was cancelled (due to events detailed below) we’re including a virtual screening here.
INDIVIDUAL: A 50 something manicured woman out with a friend on a Sunday Mission Street bruncheon.
After two plus hours of waiting to gain access to the show, the inner conclave of IS had set up camp on the sidewalk in front of a locked SUBmission gallery. An odd menagerie of people from mid twenties to mid sixties with a banjo and backpacks huddling in a grimy recessed door. ThIS individual approached Agent Mom and asked, “Are you all ok? I’ve been by here a couple of times and saw you all sitting out here.”
Outcome: concerned citizen. Though certainly not a recruit or even an adherent, thIS individual did notice and engage with IS feeling our dim little tractor beam emanating from our grimy huddle. She won’t remember us.
INDIVIDUAL: An ageless hobo, swathed in full hooded outdoor gear with two wheeled trash cans brimming with recyclables.
After waiting three plus hours to gain entry to the Fair we were granted access to encounter thIS individual who had been asleep amidst the exhibit. (We had been instructed by the gallery management to stow anything valuable or not nailed down each night as drunken hordes of latin club music fans came through every morning from 3 to 5am “wasted” with “no respect for anything”.) Apparently thIS individual had been subcontracted to look in every nook and cranny for recyclables, and presumably any other shiny object that needed inspecting.
Already put off by being locked out, the observance of thIS individual greatly disturbed the agents present as thoughts of our odd little universe of IS relics being rummaged through and possibly disposed of by thIS individual loomed. During our brief stay in San Francisco, gravitating between the Tenderloin and the Mission, IS’s assessment of possible byproducts of homelessness would likely include extreme mental health issues, drugs and more drugs, and constant industrious acquisition and sale of odd trinkets and products on the street.
While packing up the unmolested show thIS agent observed that we were fortunate that the individual was not of the shiny trinket selling persuasion. It IS more likely, however, that this individual simply didn’t relate to the group. With a mandate to grab the recyclables it was clear that the glass head full of 2 dollar bills and light up eyeballs and embossed gold medals, or the Time-clock, or the aluminum briefcase full of human hair didn’t slot into that milieu. It might have value but how? It presented too much of a psycological barrier to be desirable.
In retrospect IS did survive the infOcalypse on 11/11. We did in fact go analog. At the off-site closing ceremony Agent Link was awarded the mISs iS Fair DANGER sash. Medals were doled out to the last agents standing: m[i]le[s] for attending every fair, Handsome Jim for making the longest journey, Cyberhobo for the best improvised project with his hack of IS’s long dormant twitter, and Agent Forrsters for being the host/s with the mosts and for being responsible for the locations of the last two Fairs, Chicago and San Francisco.
Possible host cities for IS Fair 2016 Emancipation are: Raleigh, Reno, Omaha and Los Angeles. Check thIS channel in 26 to 30 months for details.
Full reports from iSFair 2O12 projects are being release every Sunday February – June. See Current Reports.