[_@1minworld_](https://www.instagram.com/1minworld/) is a new performance piece by Princess, the performance art duo composed of Alexis Gideon and Michael O’Neill, which will be broadcast as a ticketed livestream performance on [Veeps.com](https://theandywarholmuseum.veeps.com/) in partnership with the [Andy Warhol Museum](https://www.warhol.org/) and [21c Museum](https://www.21cmuseumhotels.com/) on October 8, at 9 pm EDT.
The piece will simultaneously launch on Instagram as a series of 15 distinct one-minute videos that take the platform’s constraints and challenge them. The performance uses primary-colored bubblegum visuals as a calculated offering to the Instagram algorithm: to drive more viewers towards its subversive message, which is hidden in the songs within. This highlights the discontent of our social media age: filter bubbles, surveillance capitalism, and shortened attention spans...
Given the current state of the art world, as some museums and galleries cautiously reopen while others remain closed to the public, [_@1minworld_](https://www.instagram.com/1minworld/) presents new methods for creatively distributing time-based media, blurring the distinction between high art and pop culture, public presentation and at-home consumption.
FLAUNT had the opportunity to chat with the Princess duo about the inspiration behind the piece, the role of social media, and the effect of quarantine.
**What was the inspiration for the videos?**
**Michael O’Neill:** [_@1minworld_](https://www.instagram.com/1minworld/) came from our frustration around cell phone culture and all the pitfalls that come with it - weakened attention spans, depression, anxiety, and all that. We were in the middle of writing our previous piece _Out There_ when we started to think about social media as a concept in our work. We were feeling like _Out There_, which is an hour long and full of many concepts, might get overlooked in a world where media is mostly consumed in one minute snippets and headlines. That’s when the idea came to us.The next piece should be created exactly in that context, in the form of one minute videos on Instagram.
**Alexis Gideon:** Yes, and I would add that as the world feels smaller -- especially during Covid -- we wanted to figure out a way to use the constraints of Instagram -- time limit, format size, -- in a way that felt expansive and cohesive. It’s at the heart of what Princess has been about from the start: give us a barrier and we'll do our best to break through it and show you something you've never seen.
**What kind of message do you hope a viewer or spectator will get out of this video experience?**
**AG:** We're in a period where everyone's feeling incredibly isolated and, although social media is a way of connecting and staying in contact with other people, it also has a way of making us feel more alone than ever. Isolation is one of the central themes of [_@1minworld_](https://www.instagram.com/1minworld/). I hope that when people tune in to the collective experience of watching the premiere and they see the depictions of how social media has made us more alone, they will feel less isolated and a little more seen.
**MO:** I was gonna say, I hope it will inspire the viewer to throw their phone off a bridge.
**What was the process of creating the videos like?**
**MO:** Alexis and I started our artistic careers as musicians, so music is always the backbone of our creative process. We work with game structures as a way to generate content -- partially because we live in different cities -- sending each other tracks back and forth to build a piece of music.
**AG**: All the video work we had done together up until last year was always shot in the same place, in my home studio. This was the first time where the video process was more similar to the way we made the music. Michael was sending me his still photos and I was taking photos on my own and then I put them all together and animated them. What’s interesting is that it heightened the feeling of isolation, which is a central concept to [_@1minworld_](https://www.instagram.com/1minworld/). Unlike _Out There_, where the two characters -- the fictitious versions of ourselves -- are in almost every scene together, in [_@1minworld_](https://www.instagram.com/1minworld/) we're almost never on the screen together.
**MO**: Yes, and I think it’s worth mentioning that we weren’t quite finished with this piece before the pandemic hit. That put a damper on getting together to say the least. And then the Black Lives Matter protests started gaining in volume and visibility so it sort of felt like tackling social media and cell phone culture isn’t what we need to focus on right now. We were in a much different headspace. A couple of months later Ben Harrison, the Curator of Performing Arts at the Andy Warhol Museum, reached out to us and wanted to know if we had any projects in development. As we started to reconsider the project, we realized that this is more of a relevant issue than we were thinking at the time. Ben thought the piece would be a great fit for his new vision for how the Warhol: Sound Series could adapt to this moment --creating an online streamed event that didn’t feel like a live stream from someone’s basement or one more zoom meeting.
![Courtesy of Princess](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472cff8cac989cd18aa0a05_WAKING-PRINCESS-FLAUNTjpg.jpeg)
Courtesy of Princess
**What is the role of social media within the art scene?**
**MO**:Well, it’s interesting to think about the ways in which the art world is subject to the same traps that we're discussing in this newpiece. So, is the algorithm going to determine which artists or which work is going to be seen the most? Does that mean they're the most relevant? Is the algorithm the new curator? What are we seeing outside of our own interests, or our own filter bubbles? As artists, what is it like for our work to be subject to the same type of feelings around approval, support and being “liked?” Is this how the success in the art world is measured to a degree?
**AG**: There’s also something ironic about the fact that even though a lot of contemporary art is anti-capitalist, artists and institutions are starting to rely heavily on social media for engagement. But it’s an unregulated tool of hyper-capitalism that serves advertisers and corporations. It's not always serving the community that the art world is looking for engagement from. I know creativity has been stifled during the pandemic.
**What has your headspace been like in quarantine?**
**AG:** Well, there are certainly days where I'm not really able to get much done. As someone who really pushes hard and tries to accomplish a lot every day, it’s been something I've really had to adjust to and let go of. Some days it’s like, “You know what? I might not get much done today.” Time seems to be going slowly and incredibly rapidly at the same time. It's hard to know how to manage that. I think that the biggest thing for myself personally, is to allow myself space to not be productive all the time.
**MO**: I’ve been feeling very anxious. I think a lot of people are experiencing that. Unfortunately, that anxiety can lead to a path where you’re constantly looking at the phone, trying to numb your brain or something. But really what you're doing is creating a downward spiral, looking at bad news after bad news after horrible headline after disturbing image after whatever. You kind of can't stop and hours go by and, before you know it, you're having nightmares.
**When have you felt the most invincible in your art?**
**AG**: When Michael and I are collaborating, we’re super supportive of each other in the process and it feels very intoxicating and exciting. But I think that whenever we're really even at our most enthused, when we're really doing our best and connecting with each other and other people and making work that feels important to us -- it’s never invincibility, it’s always vulnerability. Otherwise, it wouldn't be worthwhile.
**MO:** When Alexis and I first met and started collaborating in college in the late 90’s, we felt pretty on top of the world. That led to a period in Chicago when we lived at a DIY performance art space called Texas Ballroom. It was an awesome collective, and there were so many amazing artists all supporting each other.
**Any other upcoming future projects?**
**MO**: An interesting new development in our practice is that the idea for the next piece is somehow planted in the one we’re working on at the moment. In our previous piece _Out There_, there is a video entitled “Phone Zone” that became the jumping point for [_@1minworld_](https://www.instagram.com/1minworld/). The video “Troubling” from [_@1minworld_](https://www.instagram.com/1minworld/) is about the filter bubbles we live in and is the jumping off point for our next piece. Its working title is Bubbles.
**AG**: At the moment we’re thinking of it as a feature length animated film, something very cinematic. And sonically quite different.
**What are your goals for the future of your art?**
**AG**: Something about Princess is that we never do the same thing twice. With each experience, we're always trying to challenge ourselves and each other in new ways. I want us to continually challenge and support each other through any crazy idea, and to always be open to letting the process lead us to places we didn't expect.
**MO**: Our goal is for [_@1minworld_](https://www.instagram.com/1minworld/) to have 100,000 views by the end of the year so click that [link](https://www.warhol.org/event/sound-series-princess-1minworld/)!!