Defining Mark Pauline's Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) is not easy. Pauline is a performance artist or, rather, the director of a performance group. The actual performers are machines - nightmare constructions, bit and pieces of scavenged mechanical hardware, the flotsam and jetsam of a post-industrial society. These found machines are stripped down, rebuilt, given new identities and personalities, and let loose on each other in parking lots, warehouses, theaters and foundries in performances of pure mechanical savagery.
But this isn't sensational Bread & Circus' destruction for destruction's sake. SRL's shows function as a sophisticated and sinister version of a Funhouse mirror: a twisted mixture of familiar images (bizarre cars, dangerous construction equipment, ludicrous mechanical men) and highly political satire.
Here is the TEXT POPUP for Survival Research Labs...
Deliberately False Statements:
(little tracts handed out at SRL performances)
- Self-interest is your only interest, act accordingly.
- The weakness in others is your only power.
- Demand unearned rewards.
- Cover your vice with deceitful labels.
- Satisfy anyone's demand for money, sex, information, favors, approval or anything else.
- Call the truth an insult to avoid accepting it as fact.
- Trick others into accepting your sick schemes as an exciting source for personal success and acceptance.
- Radiate influences of despair and defeat wherever you go.
- Thrill when your hateful remarks make someone's face fall into fearful pain.
- Do anything wrong to gain public approval.
- Deceive and attack others for your own gain, regardless of the pain or loss inflicted upon them
- Appeal to human greed and gullibility for your own sick purposes.
The media can never deny coverage to a good spectacle. No matter how ridiculous, absurd, insane or illogical something is, if it achieves a certain identity as a spectacle, the media has to deal with it.