The 3rd Routine
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Allan Kaprow's Activities and his video works from the 1970s can be placed somewhere between conceptual art, performance art, and the social sciences. In The 3rd Routine, two people, in turn, carry out a series of actions. On the screen, the neutrally formulated scripts appear ('A privately making videotape of him/herself entering own apartment, greeting imagined B waiting there...), after which we can see how the two performers have interpreted this task. With the use of a video camera, various interactions take place between these two persons (filming themselves, playing back and viewing, observing each other via a live-recording). In this way, Kaprow hopes to bring about awareness of the individual behaviour and routine exchanges between people, which, in e…eryday life, are carried out without conscious thought (responding to someone, greeting him). Indeed, an essential element of The 3rd Routine is the reflection and discussion between the performers on the self-recorded videos.
In this 'social experiment', Kaprow investigates the structures of human interaction in a given situation, but does not aim to draw conclusions or define general laws. At the same time, this 'noncommittal attitude' implies that it is difficult to formulate an unambiguous meaning or interpretation of The 3rd Routine.