The video event of the summer passed by completely unnoticed by the art-world establishment.
"The only art-world person who came by was you, Charlie," said Daniel Silverstein, exhibitor of the appropriately named Quiet, Josh Harris' digitalized video of his Year 2000 New Year's revels in Silicon Alley.
While maintaining a cordial acquaintance with Josh, we assiduously avoided his party invitations over the years, and expected little when we wandered into Silverstein Gallery on a hot summer's day.
What a mistake! For two hours, this brilliantly edited, multi-tasking cinematic revolution riveted us to our white summer chair.
This film, turned into a "video object" in the dark gallery, transforms a kinky sliver of the internet into a template for the robotic future.
Picture some pods. Picture a dozen performance-art 20-something babes rolling around in them. Add a brace of naked gay body artists and then interview them all en passant.
What you get is yearning, conflict, exhibitionism and true sex more real than any "reality show."
Many vignettes are worthy of Warhol at his peak: A skinny Leo Koenig patiently negotiates with a gang of cops; Jeffrey Deitch acts as a hi-tech spirit guide, impeccably tailored in his sober commentary; Josh Harris unselfconsciously showers his lumpy, naked body; art dealer Cynthia Broan exhibits scratch marks on her willowy neck (another woman mistakenly thought she stole her man).
Through it all an intense reporter interviews the lovers/combatants in a security-controlled white room. And you can tell the employees by their orange sweatpants.
Even though the show has closed, Daniel Silverstein says that he will arrange private screenings if you call him at the gallery.
Quiet, reportedly a selection for Sundance next year, posits that planet Earth will be nothing more than a series of pods programmed for pleasure. (And what is that SUV in Saturday traffic on Montauk Highway, anyway, huh?)
Go see this energetic, sexy, young naked guerrilla troupe siliconize the millennium before the flameout, where, visually, Quiet comes through as a blueprint of prophecy and hope. See it.
CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of
Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).