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Latitude 2011

Crusing For Live Art

Brian Lobel


Forest Fringe at Latitude


Low Down

Somewhat outside the normal bounds of FringeReview’s coverage, our two intrepid Latitude reporters braved some public displays of performance and some public displays of affection in Cruising for Live Art.



Curated by American performance maker Brian Lobel Cruising for Live Art is certainly not for the faint of heart or squeamish of loins. Audience members are invited to learn how to cruise – that is, in the politest phrasing possible, attract a evening companion with only ones eyes. An established part of gay culture particularly through the 70s and 80s, Brian Lobel has adapted the technique for audience members to attract the attentions of a roaming group of artists in order to be whisked off for a one-on-one performance experience. The concept pleasantly unsettles the audience/performer dynamic. After all aren’t we meant to be choosing to spend our time with them? Not the other way round!? I was certainly rebuffed by one or more performers over the evening, perhaps my gaze was off…


Thankfully I did over the course of the evening attract the attention of:


– A bearded transvestite who put a paper bag over my head and shared a intimate slow dance.


– A pair of tracksuit clad life coaches who gave me the chance to scream into a pillow and gave out a delectable head massage.


And also:


– Shared a deep a meaningful conversation with a performer as I was encouraged to feed her blueberries.


– Was welcomed into a one person disco tent complete with light show.


Cruising for Live Art was perhaps not best suited for the chaotic festival environment. A field was not quite a focused enough place to encourage people to really engage and look into each others eyes, and this made for a number of audience members wandering about looking a bit confused. Yet organisational issues aside, Cruising offer a memorable way of sampling a smorgasbord of performance and made for some memorable Latitude moments.






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