Previz #67 – Charlotte, Forever

As much as I love Marina Abramovic, Charlotte Moorman holds a special place in my heart. She did, after all, inspire me to pick up the cello at the tender age of 5 – yes, my mother is a total hippie lol. My first cello recital, to the dismay of my classmates and kindergarten teacher, involved me playing the cello in a highlighter-yellow leotard and a shaved head (shaved specially for the occasion using dog clippers) while screaming a la Yoko Ono. It was, of course, a compromise – ultimately I wanted to recreate Moorman’s 1969 performance of TV Bra for Living Sculpture. Now that I think back, it’s a good thing I did compromise, my mom got enough heat for the shaved head; child nudity would have probably sent the poor woman straight to jail. Ultimately, my dream is to recreate that awesome performance, though. And with today’s technology, the bra could be made out of iPods!  

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Categories: People, Previz


I am a graduate student studying how people experience informal education, particularly art, in virtual worlds such as Second Life. My background is in both Art History and Computer Science. Please feel free to email me or IM me in SL (Kathleen Koolhoven) if you have any questions regarding my current research or want to participate in my study.

22 Comments on “Previz #67 – Charlotte, Forever”

  1. Thursday, 28 June 2012 at 20:36 UTC #

    OMG Kathleen! You didn’t!?

    Yellow leotard, shaved head, screaming!? Wow!

    What year was this, and, WHERE’S THE PHOTO??? 🙂

    That’s so visionary for a 5-year-old! I promise you I had no idea of art that progressive when I was 5!

    Did we all want to be Charlotte? She and Nam June Paik both had so much fun exploring the “new media” of their age.

    I suppose Holly Lester beat you to the iPod bra… but she, uh, forgot the cello!

    I imagine you would like to do this IRL which would be great… but what about as a mass VB/CO performance in SL? We could ALL be Charlotte for a day!

    • katcool
      Thursday, 28 June 2012 at 21:09 UTC #

      That would be too good! BIG YES to all being Charlotte for a day! I know the iPod bra idea was too good not to have been done but hell, no cello?!?!?!?!?!? That’s just an insult to Charlotte and all Charlottes wannabes!

      • Thursday, 28 June 2012 at 21:30 UTC #

        Yes, I was so excited when I found that video and then a little disappointed.

        Great, LET’S DO IT!

        IDK if you’re familiar with the “Previz” posts, they’re just Pre Visualizations of possible future performance works. Sometimes it’s for a piece we’ve already decided to do soon, other times it’s just throwing out an idea that we might or might not ever actually do. Sometimes they’re very detailed with locations and specs of things, other times it’s a photo and a sentence or two.

        In any case it’s the place where we propose projects and it becomes kind of a log of ideas:

        They’re all numbered and as you’ll see the last on was “Previz #66”

        So we could either write a new post… or just turn this one into “Previz #67 – Charlotte, Forever”

        Maybe we can find a cello in SL, and make a TV Bra or iPod bra or both.

        What do you think?

  2. katcool
    Thursday, 28 June 2012 at 22:08 UTC #

    I’m loving this!!!!!! Yes to the cello (I’ll start looking tonight). Maybe we could do an original Charlotte (TV bra) and updated Charlotte (iPod bra). It could be a fun hommage 🙂

    • Thursday, 28 June 2012 at 22:20 UTC #


      So I’ll add “Previz #67” to the title of this post then, and make it official.

      Do you know WHERE TV Bra was performed? If it was NYC or London or Tokyo etc… perhaps we could do our performance in Virtual That City.

      Yes, it’d be nice to give all the cast a TV Bra and an iPod Bra and they can wear the one they like. And the guys can either wear the bra… or they can wear TV / iPod something else…

  3. katcool
    Thursday, 28 June 2012 at 22:59 UTC #

    Awesome! It was performed in NYC… everyone got arrested. I wish I could have been there lol!

    • Thursday, 28 June 2012 at 23:34 UTC #

      Yes, I vaguely remember reading about the arrest “trauma.” Actually I think I read it in Otto Piene’s “love poem” to Charlotte. I think she really inspired a lot of people — though IDK if anyone else shaved their head or wore a yello leo or primal screamed — wow Kathleen, I’m still so impressed!

      I think that she was a virtuoso cellist who was willing to leap off conceptual cliffs with Paik really helped give the work credibility and make it inspiring. Maybe a little bit like contemporary times with Yo-Yo Ma letting Tod Machover attach sensors to his Stradivarius.

      (actually I think Ma had a very concerned look when Machover described the idea and they may have attached sensors to a different instrument! 😛 But anyway, you get my drift…


      NYC is perfect, we can do the piece at Gallery Xue / NYC. So one item CHECK!

      • Saturday, 14 July 2012 at 01:10 UTC #

        Kathleen – can we do this piece, “VB40 – Charlotte, Forever” on Saturday 28 July, 10am – Noon SLT / 17:00 – 19:00 GMT at Gallery Xue / NYC?

        • katcool
          Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 20:26 UTC #

          That would be AWESOME!!!!!!!

          • Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 20:40 UTC #


            So… was she naked except for “wearing” the bra & cello? And how did your “yellow” performance work? And what should this be?

            It shouldn’t be too hard to make a TV-Bra or TV-Jock Strap for the guys… we could actually put live streaming video on it… which would work for 1 or 2 peeps but probably be an SLVideo meltdown for a group…

            • katcool
              Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 20:59 UTC #

              That’s too good! I think she was wearing a skirt with the TV bra – she would probably have gone all nude, but she got in trouble with the authorities for indecent exposure in ’67. As for my performance, it was just me with a shaved head and yellow leotard playing the violin and screaming at the top of my lungs – not even close lol!

              • katcool
                Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 21:07 UTC #

                Here’s a fairly decent clip of the performance 🙂

                • Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 21:26 UTC #

                  After watching your video above, YT offered this interview with Moorman – it’s a nice piece on her adventures and also just a chance to spend a few minutes with her:

                  • katcool
                    Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 21:31 UTC #

                    I’ve seen it 🙂 What a wonderful woman!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 21:08 UTC #

    You decide then: TV Bra + Skirt or TV Bra + Naked. Both seem fine to me. If she “would have” been naked then perhaps that’s best. Or we could stick with the historical record.

    There are a bunch of cellos on SL Marketplace:

    The L$50 one looks like it’d meet our needs.

    And for the guys… do we make TV Jock Straps? Or do we have them wear the bra too?

    Or maybe we cast all of them as Nam June Paik in a white shirt and black tie?

    • katcool
      Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 21:13 UTC #

      This is so exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The cello looks great, btw. I think that if we do the TV jock strap, then the girls should not wear a skirt. But then again, if a guy is playing the cello, the jock strap would be hidden… unless they play the instrument standing up. Would that be possible at all? Girls sitting, guys standing? If not, then I would say turn them into Nam impersonators and have the girls wearing skirts. What do you think?

      • Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 21:21 UTC #

        I think a guy in a TV jock strap sitting with a cello probably isn’t great… so they could play a different instrument…

        I kind of like making a little group of Nam June Paiks… that seems like fun. It might enhance the historical resonance, and in a not-heavy-handed way let peeps think about gender as well.

        • katcool
          Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 21:23 UTC #

          I was thinking about the gender issue as well. Let’s go with the historical version 🙂

          • Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 21:29 UTC #

            So “Charlottes” in TV Bras, Cellos & BYO Skirts, and an audience of Nam Junes in white shirts and black ties?

            • katcool
              Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 21:33 UTC #

              I think that’s great! If we eventually want to push the gender envelope, we could do the TV jockstrap down the road.


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