Weird Allan Kaprow is an American critic, assemblage artist, parodist, and pioneer in the development of conceptual karaoke. We are Erin Charpentier, Zachary Gough, Travis Neel, and Sharita Towne. Our first public presentation was Karaoking the Museum which delved deeply into the social and material history of art works on display at the Portland Art Museum. Our second project, Public Apology Karaoke, put the public back in public apology, inviting the audience to reenact their favorite public apology, sing an apologetic song, or offer an apology of their own.
For our third venture, we will be artists in residence at the Independant Publishing Resource Center July 20th – 31st working on Karaoking Portland. During that time, WAK will be using the studio to write songs and make videos, make prints and song books, meet with collaborators, and share skills with other IPRC members. The residency will culminate on July 31st in a raucous Karaoke event.
Karaoking Portland uses the participatory form of karaoke to celebrate/share/explore the social, cultural and political histories of the city. Portland issues/topics/sites are matched with pop songs, whose lyrics are rewritten to reflect or reveal contemporary and historical narratives. The new, site specific combination of karaoke and the art of spoofing pop music engages the audience in a playful way, inviting them to sing along, tell stories, and celebrate together in public.
Our working process involves collaborating closely with relevant artists, organizations, historians, and community members to facilitate song writing about neighborhoods, topics, or issues specific to their areas of interest or expertise. We then develop a multi-media experience for the event which involves producing unique karaoke videos, designing songbooks, and crafting a stage for the project.