Just Goodnight, Not Goodbye
Just Goodnight, Not Goodbye is a prequel to Runaway Dreamhouse staring Kitty, a young girl whose age remains elusive as she oscillates between knowing and not knowing about the world and her changing body. Kitty typically spends time alone in her bedroom, watching her shows on the Runaway Dreamhouse Network and writing in her diary, KT’s Life Annotated, but today she is awfully lonely and looks for some comfort in a dangerous place. She turns up the volume of her TV so her parents can't hear and logs on to a random video chat site (omegle.com) where she video chats with randomly-matched strangers. She aims to find a meaningful connection by reciting an unrequited love letter (originally written by the artist in her teens, but never delivered to its recipient). If the audience continues to interact, she entertains them by singing and dancing to her favorite song, and playing into some of the strangers' desires. She finds a sense of belonging and purpose in the attention she receives from the strangers. She loses track of time and spends all day video chatting with whoever will listen. The virtual audience's behavior on this site is moderated by simultaneous users. Therefore, this performance has potential to contain adult material, including but not limited to partial or full nudity and sexual content.
The performance took place solely for random Omegle users on October 27th, 2018 from 10am -5pm in the artist’s studio. The performance was originally intended to last for a duration of 12 hours, but was abruptly ended when Kitty was inevitably blocked from the site for violating the rules. Exact reasons remain unknown.
Runaway Dreamhouse Network
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Don’t Talk to Strangers is a performance and video installation consisting of a collection of artifacts from Just Goodnight, Not Goodbye. A Runaway Dreamhouse representative stands next to a nightstand with tissues and informational booklets. The Dreamhouse Representative offers the audience a booklet but they must provide identification that they are 18 years or older, and a verbal confirmation that they will not leave the booklet unattended during the exhibition (both stipulations of the censorship) The pink cover reads, “Don’t talk to strangers.” The first page of the zine warns viewers that the content within contains sexual content and predatory behavior. The content of the zine is a transcription of the conversation among Kitty and the strangers, which are often sexual and predatory in nature, along with statistics about the group of stranger’s that appeared in the performance. The zine contains an ad from it’s sponsor, the Runaway Dreamhouse Corporation, a psudo-corporation created by the artist, that sells a toy, a pink ride-on mobile home, for kids to “runaway without ever leaving home.”
Seperate from the night stand, there is a freestanding interior wall, seemingly ripped from a girl’s room, with a false window as the screen which a video is projected on. The video is altered documentation of the performance where the artist is in a persona as Kitty, a younger version of the artist. Kitty recites an unrequited love letter to someone who appears to be offscreen, but is never revealed. She stops often to check that they’re listening, and at times asks them what they’re doing, grossed out and scared about their behavior. The free-standing wall is recognizable in the video’s set and the video is doubled in that window.
A censored version of the installation and performance took place from 6-9pm December 7th, 2018 at Knoxville Museum of Art, in Knoxville, Tennessee as a part of Handheld Time-Based Arts Festival.
Performer: Jill Roland
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Artist book documenting Just Goodnight, Not Goodbye.
50 page zine, letterpress cover, staple bound, string and button closure, Edition of 50, 2018.