Senior Communication Studies major Aricka Johns—a.k.a. ‘Beetle’—has decided after nearly eight semesters that academia is “passé.”
But Beetle has found a panacea for her academic annoyances: performance art.
“Aricka, er, um, Beetle—sorry, I’m still getting used to calling her that—just decided one day that performance art was the solution to all her woes,” roommate Katie Dillinger said. “Sorry, I don’t want to come across as disapproving. It’s just, recently, she’s started lying prostrate on the kitchen tiles and listening to whale sounds for ‘research.’ Some days I’d like to come home and make a fried egg without, um, that.”
Beetle claimed that exposing her roommates to her research methods is, in fact, intentional.
“A few months ago, I was just like Katie,” Beetle said, “just a cog in the corporate conglomerate of a collegiate clusterfunk.”
Beetle went on to describe her roommates’ willing attitude toward her college education in a series of alliterative metaphors. After which she stopped for a moment, took a selfie while making a lewd gesture, and said, “I just want Katie and others at this school to see that performance art is a really poignant form of communication.”
Beetle’s last public art piece was performed Tuesday in the campus coffee shop, Diversions. Beetle called the performance “Spring Cleaning.”
“Spring Cleaning” began as Beetle arrived to a corner table with a duffle bag and a copy of the school’s student handbook.
Beetle placed the handbook across from her at the table and pulled a small cupcake out of her duffle bag. She then set the cupcake in front of the handbook and lit a single birthday candle. As a student walked by, the candle’s light was blown out, and Beetle began to cry. She then lifted the cupcake above the student handbook with her left hand and crushed it.
“It was weird,” first year Jake Collins, who had been studying nearby, said. “I didn’t know what was going on and it freaked me out.”
Beetle then pulled some items out of her duffle bag, including a black veil with which she covered her face. She placed the student handbook and cupcake crumbs in a shoebox and wrote “R.I.P.” on the top lid whilst softly singing “Ave Maria.” After the song was done, Beetle placed everything in her duffel bag and promptly left the building.
“I was very worried when I heard about her first performance piece in which she smeared herself with dirt in the middle of the library,” Beetle’s academic advisor claimed, “but her grades are better than ever. So if performance art is what helps her do well academically, I’m supportive. It’s my job to maintain a positive, encouraging environment in which students can explore their passions at this school.”
Beetle claimed her current academic success is only part of a long-term performance art piece.
“I don’t want to give too much away,” Beetle said, “but my professors are really going to be surprised when I come to take my finals.”
When Beetle learned that campus security officials were notified of this ambiguous statement, Beetle replied, “I’m not going to do anything dangerous, just enlightening.”
Beetle then pulled a handful of glitter out of her pocket, tossed it upwards and giggled.