10 Minutes of Collective Activity

Single-channel video
SD video, color, sound
10 minutes
Dimensions variable

In 10 Minutes of Collective Activity, an audience of 22 people are videotaped watching archival footage of a 10-minute speech by Connecticut Senator Abraham Ribicoff from the 1968 Democratic National Convention held in Chicago, IL. The speech, was the principal nomination for Senator George McGovern, a vocal opponent of the U.S. war in Vietnam and marks the contestation and discord present at the convention as well in the country at that time.

During the five day convention, Mayor of Chicago Richard Daley called in the National Guard to assist the Chicago police in containing the large demonstrations outside the hall. Footage of the police beating protestors on the evening of the third day of the convention was played on national television. The events outside of the hall, led to great confusion and debate amongst participants, several motions were made to suspend the convention altogether and Ribicoff, speaking on this third day, departed from his prepared speech to acknowledge the ongoing turmoil.

His statement that “If George McGovern were elected president we wouldn’t have gestapo-like tactics on the streets of Chicago” incited the anger of Mayor Daley and his supporters who, present in the audience in the convention hall, rose up and heckled Ribicoff. 10 Minutes of Collective Activity mines the particular configuration of audience collectivity and extends my interest in the intersection of history, memory and space.