Tim Miller gives a performance as a... ?

by Lingbo Li

Tim Miller thrusted. He flapped his arms. He ran up and down the aisles, taking giant breaths between each sentence. It was all part of an unorthodox introduction playacting the part of a gay sperm (see the video below) - but it fit in perfectly with his work as a performance artist. A controversial, queer-identified one.After an energetic opening, he let himself stand still for awhile to explain his work as a queer performer, gay rights activist, and that time, way back when, he was part of a "horrible punk rock band." Speaking to a full audience of about 300 in Paine Hall, he detailed some of his most pressing questions.How can performance be used to change the world? How can art help win an election? How can art sway opinions, one at a time? (Miller has a controversial past - he was one of four artists whose grants from the National Endowment of the Arts was denied based on subject matter.)The art of performance was also widening, he reported, with even the homeless given the opportunity to perform. "Suddenly everywhere is a performance space," he noted.Finally, Miller treated the attendees to an alternately hilarious and poignant performance as a 9 year old gay boy in a heated interaction with a straight friend, rife with the minutae of school lunches and schoolboy rituals.Learn more about Tim Miller on his blog, or see another version of the same performance as a queer sperm in this YouTube clip: [http://www.youtube.com/v/BflcTdtksWw&hl=en&fs=1&]