Shia LaBeouf, Nastja Rönkkö and Luke Turner (collectively known as LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner) have unveiled details of a new performance entitled #ALONETOGETHER – commencing on April 12. The project will take place at Kiasma in Finland, as part of the ARS17 exhibition, and will last for one month; in which time the artists will individually stay in very basic cabins in isolated areas of Lapland.
LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner will have no phones, computer or access to the outside world – except via one video that connects to the museum. During this time the artists will only be able to speak to visitors of the exhibition. They hope the performance acts as an antidote to being “constantly connected” and functions as a reaction to the global “digital revolution and its impact on our culture, economy, human identity, and behaviour”. Or, put simply, the fact that we are literally never alone, not communicating with anyone, or without our phones.
The performance, which is likely to be rather testing in terms of the artists’ willpower and ability to be completely alone, combines participatory performance, installation and livestream. It shares similar themes with HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US, #TOUCHMYSOUL, #ALLMYMOVIES, #TAKEMEANYWHERE, and #INTRODUCTIONS, all of which saw the artists comment on unity, technology, celebrity, and division. Their works are studies of human interaction and their key tools are social media and the internet, which they see as positive forces. The trio’s practice revolves around empathy, emotion and a reaction to the cynical irony and hollowness of postmodernism in the face of today’s dire global crises.
#ALONETOGETHER highlights our separation from each other despite being constantly connected via the internet, but will ultimately unite the artists, the audience, and anyone who tunes in from home. The venue will serve as, “a nexus of communication and human encounter”, and will force us all to reconsider the relationship we have with our phones and with one another.
Their previous and still ongoing performance, HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US – a 24-hour livestream that aims to run for the duration of Trump's presidency– was recently adopted by the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool after it became the subject of hate and 'pranks' by 4Chan and alt-right trolls in the US.