Allan Kaprow's Rates of Exchange is a study in mediated exchanges, drawn out to their limits. The series of activities includes the source for this piece, reflecting, in which two participants each gaze into a mirror while tape recording scripted questions addressed to the other. For example: "(speaking partner's name) is your hair dirty". These questions would be read aloud over and over again until the tape ran out. The partner would do the same and then they would switch tapes and gaze into a mirror while listening. The activity is meant to create a strange friction by seemingly being a series of questions directed at the partner, while it would be an impressive feat of will to read the questions while looking into a mirror without becoming self-reflective.
For my Rates of Exchange (for Allan Kaprow), I chose to foreground the text and the technology involved in order to make the piece more overtly about self-reflection and solitude. When you lean over the pedestal and cast a shadow upon it, the mirror into which you stare feeds you text, ostensibly in your own voice, "Self, do you have a weak chin". The depth of field makes it impossible to focus your eyes on the text and your image at the same time, you have to make a conscious choice. Like Narcissus, you stare into the pool caught in these dual images. When you lift your head to move on, the text fades away.