I went to Salt Lake Comic Con last weekend, and I have many stories to share about it, but first I need to tell you about this awesome dream I had the second night of the show.
It started with a group of four artists: me, Jessica Day George, and two others I can’t remember. Probably you–let’s just assume it was you. So you, me, and Jessica Day George decided to stage a continent-spanning piece of performance art. Step 1 was to copy the Internet onto a hard drive, and I know that sounds silly, but remember that it was only the European Internet. Apparently that’s smaller? In dreamland? So anyway, it fit into a little box about the size of a swamp cooler, and we put it in Portugal, right by the coast. You may be wondering why we had to use a copy of the Internet instead of the actual Internet, and the answer, obviously, is that Step 2 of our plan was to build a track from Portugal to Estonia, start at the top, and then slide down on the back of a genetically engineered turtle, about the size of a small car, all the way from Estonia to Portugal where we would smash into the box and destroy it. We didn’t want to destroy the actual European Internet, so we made a copy.
Now, as you may have noticed, our plan had certain holes in it. Most prominently, the genetic engineer we were working with didn’t have any car-sized turtles, only car-sized pugs–the genetic engineers in the audience are probably nodding their heads right now, because they saw this coming a mile away. Oh well, lesson learned, we’d use a giant pug. This brought problems of its own, though, such as the fact that a dog, not having a shell, would not slide along the track as smoothly as a turtle, so we needed to think of something else. Fortuitously, it turned out we couldn’t use the tracks either, because apparently it’s prohibitively expensive to build a specialized turtle slide all the way from Estonia to Portugal. Who knew? We got about five four-foot sections completed (around 0.00000117% of the total distance) before we realized that it just wasn’t going to work. Back to the drawing board.
The giant pug, we decided, was strong enough to just run the whole way, which was a pretty good substitute (though it might give a different artistic message), but it could only carry one person at a time. You and I and Jessica Day George decided to take turns riding the dog, with the rest of the group following in a car. This would take longer, but it might make for a more interesting journey, so we decided to bring my brother, Rob Wells, on board as our videographer. We’d take a week or two (depending on the running speed of a giant riding pug), documenting our progress as we went, and then when we got to Portugal we’d just run up and kick the Internet copy really hard, instead of slamming into it–if we timed it right, it would still kind of look the same, plus it would save the poor pug’s face, which was already pretty flat and which we didn’t really want to slam at full speed into the Internet.
I woke up before we actually carried out the plan, which is probably just as well considering how many artistic compromises we had to make. I guess the lesson is for esoteric performance artists to choose their geneticists carefully.