At Tony Oursler’s retrospective at the Williams College Museum of Art, upstairs, buried deep within the galleries, the artist had set up a microphone into which anyone could step up and speak. What they said would be broadcast into the entrance atrium of the museum. There were no restrictions on what you could say, only a small note reminding the speaker to be sensitive of others and a gentle suggestion to refrain from swearing. When it was my turn, I said in my clearest and most radio-like voice, “May I have your attention. May I have your attention. The museum is now closing. Please make your way to the exit. Thank you for visiting.” Although it was hours away from closing time, I repeated the announcement again and saw, in the video monitor that was provided, people streaming toward the exit. Again, I made my announcement. At once, a frantic, elderly guard came running up to me, grabbed my arm, and said, “You’re not 
allowed to say that!” When I told him that there was nothing prohibiting me from saying it, he again told me that I wasn’t allowed. “Why?” I asked. “Because it’s not true,” he replied. “You must stop saying that right now.” Of course I repeated my announcement once again. This poor man was really struggling with what to do with me. He knew that while I wasn’t breaking any real laws, by questioning the institution’s authority I was breaking an unwritten social contract.

Kenneth Goldsmith, “I Look to Theory Only When I Realize That Somebody Has Dedicated Their Entire Life to a Question I Have Only Fleetingly Considered”