live from a box: it’s willow smith & tyler cole

March 12, 2020
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It only feels natural that Willow Smith will carve out her own space in the performance art sphere. Beginning at 9:00pm Thursday night (March 12th), the 19 year-old singer, and her The Anxiety bandmate and best friend Tyler Cole, will spend 24 hours in a box at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). 

The Anxiety’s first single, “Hey You” was released in late February with a video to accompany. The band has a universal goal: to use their voices to advocate for mental health awareness, specifically for those dealing with anxiety. This is exactly their reason for spending the next day in a 20-foot square box.

Having struggled with anxiety since childhood and even developing a back condition due to it, Smith wants to popularize knowledge on the subject. As explained to the Los Angeles Times , “We’re on this planet and anything could happen, like the thing that just happened with Kobe [Bryant]? That was really a knife in the heart. (…) Every moment is precious. And I think everyone has a fear of just not knowing what’s going to happen in the future, not knowing if you’re on the right path, not knowing if you’re making the right choices.”

The LA Times has also reported that the bandmates will act out eight stages of anxiety: paranoia, rage, sadness, numbness, euphoria, strong interest, compassion, and acceptance. Each emotion will have its own dedicated three hour timeframe. While the duo will not eat or sleep they will take bathroom breaks under two minutes. Audience members will observe the two through one side of the box and the three other sides will serve as panels for Smith and Cole to write and paint affirmations. 

‘The Anxiety’ hopes to raise awareness of a serious topic through the “personification of the emotional spectrum within the human mind through performance.”