Feedback Action Program (2014)
30 min. digital video file, blue muslin, carpet, wood, speakers, projector
exhibitions and screenings:
Direction & Editing: Mike Crane
Camera: Johan Bergström Hyldahl & Will Lehman
Sound: Josh Allen
Music: Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez
Feedback Action Program is a thirty-minute training video screened hourly inside of a modular theater space. The video depicts a group of six managers rehearsing an encrypted workplace training exercise filmed in a number of active commercial venues in New York. The lesson dissolves into a display of verbal and physical simulations that provide the audience with a lesson on emotive interventions for workplace conflict resolution.
The performance is based on interviews with Human Resources training agencies in New York that teach constructivist training practices derived from the writings of Lev Vygotsky, an early Twentieth Century Soviet psychologist and art critic. The American reception of Constructivist and Productivist work training programs in the 1960’s and 70’s stems from the first English translation of his book, Thought and Language, edited posthumously at MIT in 1961. This book eventually set the foundation for new techniques in employee training exercises following a number of alternative translations that omit references to specific Marxist-Leninist teachings outlined in the original text. This alternate edition is the originating source for such instructional concepts as “scaffolding” and “apprenticeship”, wherein a more experienced peer structures a lesson for an incoming student or employee. Feedback Action Program adapts the original text to initiate a new workplace-training regimen for the 21st Century, one that fulfills the utopian aesthetic imperative of dissolving the separation between work and leisure.