This set the stage for an evening of arguing, placement, ostracizing, and showcasing the uncomfortable power of exclusivity, while the artists capitalized off their installation “Watching Friends with Friends” by providing a different approach to the concept. Most attendees were forced to simply watch friends watching friends with their friends.
For the opening reception of the exhibition “Keeping an Eye on Surveillance” (held on September 11, 2011) the artists occupied the lounge area of The Performance Art Institute for the duration of the event. They wheeled in a 48” flat screen television and played reruns of the popular sitcom Friends, donned their pajamas, served beer, wine, and snacks, and essentially just “hung out” framing within the formality of an exhibition reception a place for comfort, fun, and acceptance.
Entry to the lounge was restricted by velvet museum rope and the only access point was blocked by a foreboding professional celebrity bodyguard armed with a clipboard and a list. On that list was typed the name of every person who had ever befriended the artists over the social media site Facebook™. If a person was on the list, the beefy security guard let them enter. If they weren’t, they were flatly turned away.