About this project
What is No. 9 ?
Mary Ellen Carroll's No. 9 is the final performance in the conceptual artist's series My Death is Pending… Because., which was started in 1986. No. 9 is a performance being played as a game, and it has its own set of rules that are embedded in the popular motor sport of the demolition derby.
Night of Destruction with Fireworks, Demolition Derby
Saturday, July 1, 2017 from 5 to 10 pm
Irwindale Speedway 500 Speedway Drive Irwindale, CA 91706
We welcome your support and invite you to join the 15,000 people who will attend Irwindale Speedway's "Night of Destruction" demolition derby on Saturday, July 1, 2017—either in person in LA or virtually. For the No. 9 performance, Carroll will be driving the 1985 Buick Riviera ("The Riv") that she previously crashed into the Museum für Völkerkunde in Munich for another work in the series, LATE 2004/2005.
The rest is history.
Or, it will be history with your support.
No. 9 will involve Carroll driving The Riv, retrofitted by Ball/Nogues in L.A., in a specific pattern—an infinite loop—during the demolition derby. It will be as if another game is being played within a game. Only you, and a self-selecting group of individuals such as yourself, will know the rules of this other game—that is, until Carroll wins the derby or until The Riv is stopped by being demolished. You can be a part of this demolition derby and the actual drive as it will be streamed on Facebook Live.
When was the last time you were able to be a part of something that is so virtual, yet so analog, like a demolition derby?
Who is Mary Ellen Carroll/MEC, studios?
Mary Ellen Carroll (MEC, studios) is a conceptual artist who is based in New York City and Houston, Texas. Her work spans the disciplines of performance, architecture/design, public policy, writing, photography, and film. Carroll frequently works with unlikely materials such as law and land-use regulations (prototype 180 in Houston) or the non-visible real estate of radio frequency (Public Utility 2.0 ) to create 21st-century works of land art. Teaching, lecturing and public presentations are an important part of Carroll’s practice and she has developed and/or participated in art, architecture and public policy programs at Rice University, Yale University, Columbia University, University of California at Irvine, Busan National University, Busan, South Korea, Robert Wilson's Watermill Foundation, and the DIA Art Foundation, among many others. Carroll has received many awards and honors including Guggenheim and Rauschenberg Fellowships, and her work is in numerous national and international public and private collections.
Carroll’s work starts with the question: What do we consider a work of art? Her process begins in language, and the materiality can take many forms, including the process to observe the Federal government in FEDERAL, the 24-hour, two-theater movie and photographic work to "Watch the Watchers"; or the raising of awareness about global warming in the commissioned work indestructible language, a giant neon sign installed in Jersey City, NJ, that was viewed by millions of passing motorists.
Why support No. 9 through Kickstarter?
We think that Kickstarter is a remarkable space that brings together a diverse group of people who understand and support the potential of art. It makes the production of the work of art a collaborative act. It also makes it possible to look far away, and opens up the entire world to be a part of the production process. Kickstarter expands the reach of an audience — be that a local audience in New York City and Los Angeles, or the largest audience in the smallest city in the world located in Hum, Croatia. What we also love about Kickstarter is that we are able to share the process leading up to the performance with updates that are visible within a global context. We like to imagine how a demolition derby translates to a viewer in Yinchuan, China. Kickstarter and your support makes it possible for the imagined to become real.
What will your support provide?
The realization of the performance No. 9 is the last work in the series that the conceptual artist Mary Ellen Carroll started 30 years ago, My Death is Pending... Because.
Your contribution provides the answer to the Because.:
- The 1985 Buick Riviera needs to be transported from Houston to
- Ball/Nogues Studio needs to retrofit "The Riv" to make it safe and possible for it to participate in the demolition derby for the "Night of Destruction" at Irwindale Speedway.
- The performer/driver/artist Mary Ellen Carroll needs a fire suit and helmut to be able to participate in the demolition derby.
- The identity created by With Projects, Inc. (and all of the schwag for the Kickstarter rewards) needs to be imagined and created.
- The documentation and support by the amazing filmmakers and photographers Jessica Sanders, Michele Asselin, and Michael Isabell/Eyespy Films needs to happen for the performance to become additional works of art that can be seen by those who are not at the actual event on July 1.
- There are numerous other items that we can list that your contributions will support, but these are the big-ticket items. If you would like a more detailed list of the production we would be happy to send this to you. Just let us know.
Risks and challenges
Mary Ellen Carroll (MEC, studios) has been making large-scale works that incorporate public participation for many years, but we have never done a performance involving a live audience of 15,000 people at a demolition derby. This will be a novel and exciting—and frankly, a tad frightening—experience, and we want to make sure that everyone in the audience, either in person or virtually, will appreciate it as a work of art. We are taking the advice of the experts at Irwindale Speedway, as well as that of others who produce large live events; if you have suggestions, please let us know.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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