Touch Shia LaBeouf’s Soul

Touching anyone’s soul is hard, much-less the soul of the complex actor-turned-artist Shia LaBeouf and members of his art collective.  You can try though.  I have a phone number for you, where they’re standing by waiting for your call, or you can drop by if you’re in the neighbourhood to touch their souls in person.

Former Transformers star LaBeouf is in Liverpool, England, doing a project called  #TOUCHMYSOUL with fellow artists Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner for Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT), a leading media arts centre and charity in the UK.

Some people have spent over five hours on the phone trying to touch, mainly LaBeouf’s soul. The three of them are sitting at a call-centre terminal wearing headsets and talking to people from all over the world between 11 am and 6 pm GMT from December 10 to 13, 2015.

You can reach them at +44 (0)151 808 0771.  There’s a small group of about 30 people around them at any given time at 88 Wood Street.  The audio is poor but you can hear the odd word on touchmysoul.net. People are posting their more audible videos online with the hashtag, which also happens to be the title of this part of the exhibition – #TOUCHMYSOUL.

LaBeouf looks quite comfortable being watched in public for hours on end.  He’s exchanged the purple spandex track pants and green exercise t-shirt he ran around in last year in #METAMARATHON at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, for a regular black t-shirt today, but his track pants are tucked into his white socks.

This interactive art performance is part of a longer exhibition called Follow (Dec 11-Feb 21), which “investigates how we understand image and identity as ever-changing concepts which can be bought, sold, mimicked, endorsed, deleted and validated through a single click – as well as exploring methods to survive, subvert and utilise social media.”

The art collective has been busy over the last two years, performing and presenting seven projects in addition to this show.

  1. #STARTCREATING and
  2. #IAMSORRY (both LA, 2014),
  3. Meditation for Narcissists (Auto Italia South East, London, 2014),
  4. #METAMARATHON (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2014),
  5. #FOLLOWMYHEART (SxSW, Austin, 2015),
  6. #INTRODUCTIONS in collaboration with Central Saint Martins BA Fine Art (London, 2015), and
  7. #ALLMYMOVIES (New York, 2015).

by Cherryl Bird

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