Volunteer: An App is created by: Kevin Kaempf, Matthew Nicholas, Mary Zerkel, Holly Abney Michael Thomas


“Volunteer: An App” is a multifaceted, experimental series of performances by Lucky Pierre. Drawing from the group’s interdisciplinary approach, the project includes design and release of a smartphone app, a professionally conducted research focus group on app functionality, and app launch as a staged theatrical event – all using strategies of performance. Through these forms, “Volunteer” addresses society’s abilities to find solutions for environmental, social, and economic fragility.

Lucky Pierre’s 21 years of work has explored the complex of issues of our time. In our project “Volunteer: An App,” issues such as social, economic, and environmental precarity, are woven together with a narrative of individual and relational fragility.

We volunteer willingly or not as subjects in an experiment of worldwide proportions, as inequality grows, as the corporate surveillance state expands, as the world warms and the end becomes more imaginable.


Lucky Pierre’s “Volunteer: An App” is a three part exploration of the strategies and actions necessary to forestall the slow-motion demise of the world and imagine a different narrative for our planet, communities, and relationships. In this work, Lucky Pierre will explore three distinct and challenging formats for creative expression.

1 - Smartphone App. Using the interval of 3 - 11 seconds (William James’ theory of how long the present moment lasts) the app will be a simple timer that counts not “down” to the end of the world, but counts up forever – hoping that this isn’t the end. The app is currently in the programming stage of development a nd will be available for free download from both I-tunes and Google Play stores.

2 - Focus Group. Using a corporate facility and led by a focus group professional, this staged and scripted participatory performance will utilize audience members as a “focus group” exploring the capabilities of the app Volunteer.

3 - Staged Performance. Two white men enact rituals of the tech launch using data mined from the focus group and online app reviews. The piece will use movement, technology, song, humor, pop culture and big theatrical gestures to  to explore topics.