Shia LaBeouf is holding court in a British elevator and broadcasting it live on the internet for 24 hours. The experimental raconteur's latest bit of performance art with collaborators Nastja Sade Rönkkö and Luke Turner is called #ELEVATE, and it's a major part of LaBeouf's address to the Oxford Union debating society. (The formal address is scheduled to take place at 8PM GMT tonight.) The conversation began this morning at 9AM, and it's going to continue until 9AM on February 20th.
It's a truly open experience: members of the public are coming in and out of the elevator to hang out with LaBeouf and his pals on a regular basis, and they're talking about anything and everything. In that respect, it's fulfilling the promise made within the event's description: "Visitors will be able to join LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner inside the elevator during this time," writes the Union. "[They] are invited to address the artists, the debating chamber, and the internet, so that their collective voices may form an extended, expansive, and egalitarian Oxford Union address."
"How do we do this and not feel douchey about it?"
LaBeouf directly addressed that aspect of the performance while this post was being written. "How do we do this and not feel douchey about it," asked LaBeouf. "How do we make this egalitarian like the internet? Let's just move the talk to the elevator." He's also discussed his working relationship with Sia, the career of Bill Murray, and his volatility as a performer. "I'm pretty dangerous," said LaBeouf. "There are other, safer bets. There are easier people to work with."
At this point, LaBeouf is more vital and prolific as a performance artist than as an actor. (He's made a single movie in each of the last two years.) Working in tandem with Rönkkö and Turner, LaBeouf's strung together a series of strange, compelling exhibitions since 2014, many of which have involved live streaming. His best-known work is probably last year's #AllMyMovies, in which LaBeouf occupied a New York City theater for three days and watched all of his movies in reverse chronological order; it was praised for being meditative and vulnerable. #ELEVATE isn't finished, but it's proven just as fascinating over the course of the half-hour I've spent watching; you still have the better part of a day to check it out.