BOCEJO / YAWN
Text by Roxana Fabius
“Sleeplessness is the state in which producing, consuming, and discarding occur without a pause, hastening the exhaustion of life and the depletion of resources.”
We are living in an age of extreme exhaustion, an age in which sleep is a privilege that not even the most privileged can attain. From acute insomnia phenomenon, to machines in sleep mode that are never off, to do not disturb moon signs on our devices that enable us to stay connected by seeming disconnected, we are living in a 24/7 world. Essayist and art critic Jonathan Crary states that our non-stop lives refrain our brains and bodies from following natural organic cycles, to follow logics of extreme effort and intense labor in which sleeping is for losers, and regeneration time is a waste of time.
The installation Bocejo by artist Tatiana Blass responds to our natural need for sleep and reminds us of this need by the most basic, contagious gesture: the yawn. By creating a circuit of 5 audiovisual devices with synchronized videos - a cycle of yawning is generated. Each screen presents a scene of people that yawn, and unchain a domino effect cycle of yawning on the other people visible on the screens and inevitably on the viewers.
Subsequently, the screens and devices go to sleep, or are put in sleep mode, remaining dark. After thirty seconds they wake up, returning to the same yawning scene that was screened before, repeating the action in a loop. Each separate video will be 1 minute long.
Each device displays a video with a specific format and characteristic that is in compliance with the function of the device, for example: a projector with a scene from an old film; a television set with a daily news presenter; a laptop computer with a Facebook page; a smartphone with two people taking a selfie; a surveillance monitor with a person that does not know is being filmed.
This circuit of yawning represents the many ways in which the myth of hyper-productivity and living life non-stop has deprived us from our humanity, and tends to bring us closer to machinic cycles of production. In which labor, privacy and control are intertwined so deeply that sleep, rest, and regeneration are a unique luxury.
 Crary, Jonathan, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the End of Sleep, Verso Books, New York, 2014, p. 17.