EXCHANGE RATE : 2008 header image 3

Bruce Conkle

Performance Interpretation

Bruce Conkle interpreted Marssares’ piece:

I dreamed a green parrot was perched on a shrub, and this parrot seemed to be rather friendly. I held out my hand to see if it wanted to climb on my arm. At some point the bird grew larger and transformed into a cockatoo, and then reached out with its large dark beak to grab my arm. I thought it was going to bite me, and I know their beaks are incredibly strong, so I became afraid. The cockatoo then used the hook on the end of its big dark beak to gently pull itself closer, and climbed onto my arm. That split second of fear was instantly gone.
(Performed at Conkle’s home and around his neighborhood in Northeast Portland, Oregon on Saturday, October 11, 2008)

Performance Directions

The schematic below is of the fireplace in the oval office of the white house in DC. The dimensions listed on it are the actual size, but it doesn’t necessarily need to stay that size.

The artist(s) depicting the image may add elements they like- images, sounds, change the size, abstraction to parts of it, any addition they feel good about. Maybe place some objects on top of the fireplace mantel shelf, or on the “wall” above it. If no changes are made that is ok too.

I think it could be drawn with pencil, tape, paint, chalk, or any other materials or combination of materials but I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. So probably drawing it with bullet holes on the side of a public building wouldn’t work very well. But i think we could leave it open to who does the drawing to select the materials for her/himself.

Interpreted by:
Eric Lindley


Bruce loves snowmen, coconuts, gingerbread, Sasquatch, crystals and meteorites. He is interested in making work which uses art and humor to address contemporary attitudes toward nature and environmental concerns. His work often deals with escapism, artificial worlds and man’s place within nature, and frequently examines what he calls the “misfit quotient” at the crossroads. Conkle corrodes seemingly untouchable or ephemeral icons like Sasquatch, fossil fuels, Vermont’s maple syrup industry, Mickey Mouse and the forest primeval by giving them an actual physical presence. Like a modern jester, his work is so outrageous that even deep satire becomes flattering. By playing with “the myth” these aloof icons become tangible examples of fragility, impermanence and often-ecological harbingers. Bruce Conkle is a founding member of artist collective Blinglab, received his MFA from Rutgers University and has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally, including installations and opera.