Scottee’s a bit of a legend in British performance art and cabaret circles, even though he’d hate to admit it himself. The 26-year-old writer/performer/director has already worked with some of the biggest names in this field and won a host of prestigious awards, not to mention a bunch of notoriety and some serious critical acclaim.
While there’s more than a hint of Leigh Bowery to Scottee’s persona, he denies seeing himself as a “drag queen,” even if that’s how the staff at Marks & Spencer refer to him. What Scottee Scottee is, beyond the messed-up make up and torn stockings, is a performer, as his involvement with London’s Duckie collective, and his own Eat Your Heart Out troupe, proves. From his own website:
He has broken limbs, been questioned by Police and lost 100’s of pairs of high heels in his determination to please and challenge his audiences. Scottee has been critically compared to variety and music hall greats with his unique practice of light entertainment.
His brash, clumsy and obnoxious approach to performance has left audiences confused, annoyed & covered in glitter. Whatever you think of Scottee - he probably won’t care.
But still, all this is not enough. Scottee wants more.
His latest project is called Follow and traces his efforts to attract more followers to his Twitter account. The end goal is for Scottee to have more followers on that social network than the British TV psychic Russell Grant, tho whom Scottee bares a passing resemblance, and often gets compared (it’s those sweaters, dear).
So far, so self-indulgent, I can hear you thinking. Well, yeah. All performance art is self-indulgent. What’s more important is what the viewer takes from the experience, and what light the artist can shed on cultural, and political, phenomena. And surprisingly, a project about attracting more Twitter followers is actually pretty good in that respect.
Who is real? What is real? Why should that really matter? Are online relationships as valid as real-world contact? Even if it’s with a robot? If they’re not as valid, then why not?
Scottee is open in proclaiming that social networking is the best invention in the history of humankind, and he makes for a compelling voice on our journey through Twitter’s seamy underbelly. Here is part two of the ongoing Follow video series, but if you’d rather watch Follow chronologically, part one is here: