Once a day since Nov. 30, Shia LaBeouf has tweeted the phrase “touch my soul.” On Thursday, he revealed what this actually meant: another one of his outlandish performance art projects.
#TOUCHMYSOUL is a livestreamed performance from LaBeouf and his two longtime collaborators, artists Nastja Sade Ronkko and Luke Turner. The three performers have set up a call center in Fact gallery in Liverpool, England, where anyone can phone in and talk to them between 11am and 6pm GMT, Thursday to Sunday.
LaBeouf’s work with Ronkko and Turner usually draws from his status as a public figure, inviting audience participation. Previous efforts included #IAMSORRY (during which he sat in a public gallery wearing a paper bag labeled “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANY MORE” on his head), and a series of green screen video clips where viewers could superimpose LaBeouf’s performance onto a background of their choice.
These projects were met with dubious feedback from audiences, especially in the light of LaBeouf’s frought public image and brushes with plagiarism. The turning point came last month with #AllMyMovies, a livestreamed performance in which LaBeouf watched his complete filmography in reverse chronological order. As a less conceptual piece that engaged with his pop-culture background, people found it a lot less pretentious. (Also, it was entertaining to watch him be forced to watch the entire Transformers franchise on camera.)
#TOUCHMYSOUL follows the trend of Shia, Ronkko, and Turner’s previous collaborations, giving people a chance to call an A-list celebrity on camera and “touch his soul.” (Or, more likely, awkwardly pause and then ask how he’s doing.)
We called the number, but the lines were already busy. No surprise there.
Screengrab via touchmysoul