Avant-garde performance artist and erstwhile star of the Transformers franchise Shia LaBeouf has become a modern master of “doing stuff for a really long time.” His most recent stunt, #ALLMYMOVIES, took over a theatre at New York’s Angelika Film Center for three days while LaBeouf and whoever had the wherewithal to wait in a block-snaking line sat for every film in which the actor had appeared, all in reverse chronological order. At first it was just strange, then it was funny, then it was boring, then it was annoying, and then, as LaBeouf neared the end of the grueling three-day marathon and his face broke into transcendent glee while watching his earliest work, it was utterly beautiful.
But now, the man who brought you I Am Not Famous Any More comes #ELEVATE, a new live-stream experience testing the boundaries of how interesting we’re allowed to find Shia LaBeouf. For a 24-hour period that began this morning at 9 a.m. and will conclude tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. (both times GMT), LaBeouf will ride an elevator within an academic building at England’s Oxford University up and down. Along with fellow conceptual performance artists Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, LaBeouf is shooting the bull about work, life, and art with whoever happens to pass through, and a small camera mounted in the elevator streams the whole thing live to the internet. LaBeouf has constructed another monument to tedium with sprinklings of fascination peeping through. Listening to the stream for a few minutes at a time, something interesting is bound to come up — in the first five minutes I spent tuned in, LaBeouf claimed to have been annoyed by jobs in which he’s made to play “Stepin Fetchit”-type characters, a hugely offensive allusion to the cheerily obedient stock character popular in minstrel shows. Who knows what he’ll say next? Maybe he’ll share his tips for preparing the perfect burnt-cork face makeup. Anything could happen! This is live, people!