invoke(Object object);  endurance installation (2014)

invoke(Object object); 

endurance installation (2014)

invoke(Object object); (referred to from hereon as invoke), is an endurance installation in which one performer, dressed in an oversized business suit, continually instructs a computer to provide instructions, which the performer then performs.

Through the duration of invoke, the computer's instructions become increasingly difficult to execute, leading to confession, flagellation, and threats directed at the performer on behalf of the computer.

The performer completes tasks until the point of collapse, which can take several hours. Because of this, invoke is typically staged in a place of entrance/egress, a place where the audience is likely to see the performance at multiple points in time.

Below is the conclusion of invoke, which takes place once the performer has died.


invoke was created entirely in Java using Daniel Howe's RiTa library. It utilizes generative grammars to create commands for a performer to execute (in a syntax similar to that which is used for invoking methods in Java).

While all the individual text elements have been prewritten, there are a tremendous number of permutations of the text that can be produced by the grammars, causing performances of invoke to be surprising both to the audience and to the performer.

As a concept, invoke relies on the sci-fi trope of computers and humans reversing their master/slave relationship. This concept is extended, however, by further suggesting that this dystopian scenario may actually be a charade, one where the performer is complicit and responsible for his own subjugation and that the computer is ultimately incapable of possessing agency.