BLART: Darth Vader in a Rocking Chair
What it is: Double Vader Vision Quest by Mike Simi, seven-minute video
Where it is: Season
Darth Vader is in a rocking chair, wearing a Darth Vader T-shirt. It’s Seattle artist Mike Simi under there. With each rock, he presses a button that flashes a light at him. He’s drinking a bottle of Nyquil and a bottle of Dayquil, routed to his mouth by tubes jury-rigged to the mask, beer-hat-style. Once the medicine kicks in, it’s hard to keep the rhythm of the rocking and the light synchronized. He lurches and tips, his gaze glassy and his pupils never dilating. He’s a parody of self-punishing performance artists, but he’s not just funny, he’s mesmerizing, and he’s really drinking the awful stuff, a medicine man. Simi came of age during the Bush years, when American foreign policy depended on the dichotomies of simpletons. Simi’s silly video is also a meditation on the zone that exists beyond clarity.