Chris Burden Meets Regis Philbin

On Dec. 24, 1974, Chris Burden appeared on Philbin & Company, a Los Angeles morning talk show hosted by Regis Philbin.

PHILBIN: Why did you allow yourself to get shot?

BURDEN: It was a piece of sculpture, and it was the best thing I could think of doing at that time. That’s why I did it.

PHILBIN: [laughs] Chris has got me here. We’re gonna—hang in there Chris, and we’re gonna solve this together. As a piece of sculpture…

BURDEN: Right.

PHILBIN: You allowed someone to shoot you?

BURDEN: Right.

PHILBIN: With a gun?

BURDEN: Yeah.

PHILBIN: And in your mind, that was the sculpture, the result of you being shot.

BURDEN: No, just the moment when I was getting shot was the sculpture, just that instant when the bullet traveled from the gun into my arm. And then after that, it’s all over. That was the sculpture; it was less than a second.

PHILBIN: And it was worth it?

BURDEN: Yeah. It was a good piece.

(Transcript from the Pacific Standard Time book.)