Peter Tripp by Johanna Bundon, Lee Henderson, and Jayden Pfeifer
Peter Tripp, a once celebrated radio DJ, performed a publicity stunt in 1959 wherein he broadcast continuously, for 201 hours, from a glass booth in Times Square. This act was his undoing—he suffered psychological complications from prolonged sleep deprivation, and his increased fame made him a target for investigators who would accuse him of commercial bribery in the “payola” scandal of 1960.
Tripp figures as an aspirational (and cautionary) figure in Bundon, Pfeifer, and Henderson’s current thinking around arts practice. As prairie performers (and one prairie expat), they find rich territory in the metaphor of the radio broadcast—the host sends performative energy into literal thin air, not knowing whether it is being received by listeners. Exhaustion acts as a character in Tripp’s story, as the ever present wolf-at-the-door threatening to consume the performer while motivating his gimmick.
Armed with these creative prompts, this trio are developing a theatrical installation which employs durational performance, to be presented in a venue that allows for an extended audience experience. Performances will involve endurance-based movement, improvisational and written text, image projection, radio frequency programming, and the fracturing/looping of sound recordings to conjure hallucination, fugue states, and doppelganger-paranoia.