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We felt lost, both physically and conceptually. And I think the idea of maybe making a piece of music was just our way of going forward. – Chris Wink
Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink are founders of Blue Man Group, an experimental performance art ensemble. On 9/11, all three were in Manhattan—Stanton and Wink at home, Goldman running an errand—when the World Trade Center was attacked.
A few months later, in a disturbing turn of events, the artists were contacted by FBI agents. The FBI suspected that one of the 9/11 terrorist hijackers might have attended a Blue Man Group performance in Boston on the evening of September 10, 2001.
Blue Man Group’s engagements in New York City were canceled for some time after 9/11. Goldman, Stanton, and Wink turned to music to express their feelings of violation, loss, and unease about the future. They collected pieces of burned and torn paper that had blown over to Brooklyn on the day of the attacks. Connecting this paper to their music, they created a video, whose title—Exhibit 13—comes from words appearing on one of the pieces of paper. Exhibit 13 was first shared with the public online. The group later performed the piece live in their signature blue faces and body paint.
Inspired by burned and torn paper that blew from the World Trade Center into Brooklyn, where they had their shop, the founding members of Blue Man Group wrote the song Exhibit 13 and created the accompanying video. Both are named after one of the scorched pieces of paper they found.
Coated in blue body paint and presenting an engaging blend of music, comedy, and technology, Blue Man Group breaks down barriers between artist and audience and explores what it means to be human. The award-winning performance art troupe was founded in New York City in 1988 by a trio of musicians, Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink. Blue Man Group staged its initial productions in public spaces and has since performed for more than 35 million people around the world.