Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Remember when Joaquin Phoenix "retired" from acting to pursue a rap career, made an incoherent appearance on Dave Letterman, then returned a year later to say it was all a hoax for a mockumentary called I'm Still Here?
Taking a page from Phoenix's play book, Shia LaBeouf, who also "retired" recently, tweeted then deleted a lengthy explanation of his unusual behavior -- which has included alleged acts of plagiarism and strange Twitter outbursts.
According to LaBeouf, it was all in the name of "meta-modernist performance art."
In his first post, LaBeouf claims that his Twitter feed is part of a #stopcreating performance project which aims to start a conversation about plagiarism, original artwork, social-media sharing and "celebrity/social media absurdity."
Performance art has been a way of appealing directly to a large public, as well as shocking audiences into reassessing their own notions of art and its relation to culture. My twitter “@thecampaignbook” is metamodernist performance art. A Performative redress which is all a public apology really is.
In the midst of being embroiled in acts of intended plagiarism, the world caught me & I reacted. The show began. I became completely absorbed, oblivious to things around me. I found absorption in what I was doing, freed my conscious and released my authentic creative imagination.
My use of Twitter started a broad cultural discussion that needs to be had about plagiarism in the digital age *celebrity/social media absurdity…
"My actions here are only as interesting as the conversations that come about as a result of them. The fact that they were started at all is a positive thing," he added.
LaBeouf capped off the letter with an apology, then followed up with another page full of "Performance a#RTs."