Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sophie Calle "Take Care of Yourself"

After watching the Sophie Calle clips I wondered, what exactly is her role? Thinking back to the MadV and PostSecret collectors, isn't she doing the same? She did not create any part of this "art". She did not write the letter, she did not make a response. All Calle did was collect things. She gave a prompt (similar to the flickr photo collections we looked at) and then compiled everyone's responses.

She deserves no more authorship than the guys behind PostSecret.

Also- Is a museum curator similar to Calle, MadV and PostSecret? The curator collects art but does not have authorship over any of them. What is the relationship of a museum curator to his/her art?

Friday, September 18, 2009


Required Reading for Tuesday, Sept. 22: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, by Walter Benjamin. (Translated by J.A. Underwood). Alternatively, you can read this more newly-adopted translation, The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, (Translated from Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technicshen Reproduzierbarkeit [1936] Gesammelte Schriften I, vol. 2, p. 431-508 by Zohn and Jephcott)

Blog Questions: In what ways is Walter Benjamin saying that our experience of the "art object" is diminished by the tools of mechanical reproduction (photography and film)? In what ways is he saying that our experience of the art object is expanded by these new tools? Blog your response to these two questions by "commenting" on this post, or on each other's comments.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Redesigned participatory action

Nicolas Bourriaud talks about how increasing globalization of the world and the increasing urbanization of populations have resulted in a society of "imposed" encounters. The idea that in such a dense population, interacting with other people of every minute of life is simply normal. Participatory arts however look for ways to take these encounters outside of everyday, systemized, interactions. So I thought about the different behaviors that people exhibit in public when dealing with people. Most intriguing was elevator etiquette, which has everyone facing one direction while standing in an elevator. Talking can be ok, but as long as people face one direction. So my idea is to have a few people enter an elevator with maybe 2 or so strangers. They would enter last, and as the doors close, they would just turn around and face everyone in the elevator. The rules are this:
1) Don't draw attention to what you're doing, or even address it.
2) Keep talking to a minimum.
3) Make eye contact with the people.

The idea is that they're forcing a direct face to face conversation with someone in a setting that is normally unacceptable.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

scribe 9/14

In class 9/14 we discussed Relational Aesthetics which was an infamous book by Nicolas Bourriaud. In this text Bourriaud theorized non-objective art practices. He stressed getting art away from the object, especially in social situations. The theme of intersubjectivity was covered which dealt with the viewer vs. painting relationship. In Marxist thought, non-economical aspects of materialistic needs is structured by the economic system of a society. In this, art is an alternative "exchange", different from common everyday communication and exchange. Guatarri didn't side with Marx's revolutionary ideas but stressed the
"micro-utopia" within society - small attempts in communities and neighborhoods that affect the role of art in mass society.

We began to watch a video by John Cage and Roland Kirk called Sound (1966). This interesting off-beat piece depicts that sound has experimental potential to create new art forms. Kirk played several brass instruments and got the crowd involved with a flute-like whistle.

These street performances and participatory action are effective if they change social relationships, even if just for a moment.

Participatory Action

My participatory act would be going to the movies together as a class without everyone else in the theater knowing that we all know each other.

Rule 1- Whenever someone in the movie laughs we would being to get upset and angry out loud by yelling about how bad the movie is and if an actor in the movie is crying we will all being to laugh at the movie. This would confuse the hell out of other people.

Rule 2- We should all get into the movie early before anyone else is there and one a person wears a red shirt we just point and act like were talking about them all together in a group.

Rule 3- At the begging of the movie someones phone should go off and then that person should call another person in the theater and then they call another person until everyone is so annoyed by all he phones ringing they all leave.

My Participatory Action( honored students)

My participatory action is an idea/concept involving Temple Students. To promote the value of one's education, students of Temple University would be given the opportunity to participate in a education activity during the summer. Students will trade majors with someone with a completely different major (ex. art major trade with biology major or business major trade with kinesiology major). This activity will be performed by various students from various departments. During the spring semester (SPRING FLING), there will be booth where students can sign up to participate in the activity.

Throughout the course of the activity, students will be given quizzes and exams to test their knowledge on their new major. Moreover, at the end of the semester, each student's performance will be monitored and recorded. They will receive a score based on their overall progress (GPA in that major). The students with the highest score will be awarded a cash prize for their overall performance.

The rules to this activity are:

1. All students participating in this activity cannot withdraw from the program after the confirmation process.

2. All students taking part in this activity must be registered

3. No make up quiz or exam.

John Cage talks about Silence!

I found this interesting.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Convivial Art

The concept that art is transforming from an purely asthetic medium into a social experiment that concentrates on form rather than skill is a little bothering to me. The generations that come after us arent going to look on the computer and find videos of these social experiments and say wow this is beautiful. Art is apart of the way generations communicate with each other over the centuries. I find it sad to think that when my great great grand-children look through the rubble of todays buildings that they wont find mosaics and pottery but hard drives and DVD's. I agree that all of these new forms of art can be profound and artistic but I also believe it is inferior to its predecessors. Conviviality amongst great works of art is a state of mind that any individual can bring to any situation but that is on the individual.

My idea for participatory art project is the following.
Establish a canvas and isle by the bell tower with approximately four people, I would arrange a line were each person will contribute a part of the painting in line each person would be personally talked to about what they wanted to paint while each participant helped them develope the idea while in line waiting. The only rules would be, No vulgarity and no sex organs. This would be decided by myself. The friendliness and the helpfulness of the participants would create a conviviality allowing authentic artistic expression and empower the people who have now become artists.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Participatory Action

When I began to brainstorm an idea that could incorporate the entire class and inspire people, I began to think about the things that people witness on a daily basis just walking through the city. You see what people are wearing, how they wear their hair, even what their shirts say and these little things stick with us. My idea begins with the entire class brainstorming a few phrases that would inspire and provoke thought if read. The next step would be to print these phrases on a number of large poster boards. Along with the phrase you on the front of the sign, a URL would be printed on the back. The idea being that after reading these phrases people would feel the need to respond, therefore generating a number of hits to our website. Similar to MadV's YouTube phenomenon, our website would give these people a chance to respond and share their own thoughts. Art would be in the message in this case. Our messages would encourage people to share thoughts they may have never felt compelled to share before. Our class would be the cornerstone to this experiment, seeing as that the phrases we chose touched these people enough to warrant their responses.

Participatory Action

My idea for a participatory act would be along the lines of a reality show at Temple. Students in the class would be paired up and would be giveen an hour to learn a talent of the other person's (poetry, playing an instrument, drawing, etc.). After an hour, it would be the duo's responsibility to take turns performing at the Bell Tower. Whoever gathers the largest audience would be declared the winner

-Each must agree that the event they are about to perform is utterly unfamiliar to them
-Audience's reception isn't measured; only the size of the crowd.
-After each performance is over, crowd member must come in and contribute to the activity

Participatory Design

My participatory action would be a design that uses any common instant messenger service today. (AIM, Yahoo, IChat, etc.) Basically what would happen is that we as a class would agree upon one either one song or one video that is on youtube already, and decide this is the video we are going to try to make popular. By merely a few people distributing one song or video, I hope somehow people we know will agree with us, and thusly pass it on to other people, and so on and so forth until the video has at least 10,000 hits. In essence, it would be a "pay it forward" type activity.

The rules are as follows:
1. Each person must send the link to the video to at least 15 friends.
2. Each person must advocate that the video or song is extremely worth seeing to their friends which will hopefully convince them to feel the same way.
3. We must do it at the same time so it has a more immediate effect.

My Participatory action

My class participatory action would take place in a classroom.  It would be a prank for a class to play on a teacher.  Its a simple but organized prank that could be funny to a teacher or a teachers worst nightmare.  The class will do certain actions or say certain things when a teach says certain words or does a specific thing. My rule would be this...

1, When the teacher says the word homework the class would fake sneeze.
2, When the teacher says any students name the class would loudly say Present! 
3, And when the teacher took a sip of a drink the class would clap for 5 seconds.

Participatory Art

[Let me forward this by saying that music is probably a very popular idea, but I didn't read anyone else's blog before posting this.]
1. The group's leader blows into a real whistle three times, signaling the start of the event.
2. In a predetermined order, the group will start whistling one at a time, and every 5 seconds another group member will join in with their tune.
3. Once all group members have whistled for 2 minutes altogether, the group's leader will again blow into their whistle signaling the end.
This participatory art form will work well, I believe, as the group produces a coherent sound as one, while each member is able to add their own individualistic flair to the project. I think this would work well in a public place such as Liacouras Walk as it would shock the bystanders, yet still allow for any and all who wish to join in to do so.

Participatory Project

I’ve always like sculptures, buildings, etc. better than just art on a piece of paper. I feel like, an art that is a real world object/3D can be view from more different “perspective”. My idea for the participatory project is to make a sculpture/building out of things that represents each one of us. Everybody would need to bring in an object that s/he feels like it could represent them(can’t be a piece of drawing, but can be a book about drawing, so on and so forth), and everybody will try to create a sculpture/building together with the things they brought. Each person will see the part that represents “them” in this sculpture/building, even though the sculpture/building will be quite random. But it is that randomness and togetherness that would make this project successful. Because, people usually have the best ideas when the materials they have at hand are limited.

Participatory Experiment

My idea for our class interactive art would be a responsive game designed to learn a little bit about everybody in the class without the use of words. Verbal and written information is excluded  from this activity so we can explore communication without the use of our common vernacular. Okay. So the general idea is that there are two sides of the room. One side is the side of agreement. The other reflects an attitude of disapproval or disagreement.... To what?... An overhead projector or some other method of displaying a visual aid. This visual aid will be one of many globally controversial people, ideas, conflicts, etc. For example... If the picture displays Fidel Castro and his Communist Cuban regime, then those who agree with the man and his movement will move to one side while the others stand to the other side. 

There should be a clear divider of the room as this next part is important. The degree to which a person may agree or disagree is also important to the detail of this project. Touching the far wall of the one side will show that one (dis)agrees strongly with his/her opinion. And of course the reverse to that would be that standing/sitting close to the divider may suggest a less aggressive stance on the topic.

And finally, the third rule of this participatory experiment is installed to give credit or not to give credit to ones opinion. This part is also left to the honesty of the participants. One may stand, squat, kneel, or lie flat on their belly. Each persons physical posture will resemble how much they REALLY know about the subject presented to them. For example... If I knew nothing about the topic of Fidel Castro, then i will lay flat on my belly (and should therefore probably be close to the center too) If i know a bit more then I'll kneel. The taller my physical stance, the more I am claiming to know about the provided topic.

These three rules/actions may only take a couple minutes each, so this can be accomplished for a number of topics. We can learn about each others views on different worldly matters while taking part in a unique learning experience. We are also being artistically expressive.

-by Nick Stango

Class Participatory Action

My idea for a class participatory action is to make a piece of art that everyone in the class participates in doing. I would like to get a poster and have everyone draw something on it to make it a piece of art. The rules are:

1.Everyone must draw one, and only one, thing on the poster. Text is optional if you do not want to draw anything.
2.You can not draw something that has already been drawn onto the poster.
3.What ever you draw should interact with all of the rest of the drawings.

My goal for this action is to make an original piece of art that is completely random and could never be orchestrated by a single person.

Class Participatory Action

In trying to think of something the class can participate in as a whole, I decided to limit my activity to a lecture classroom setting. This involves standing and sitting, so those not able to participate are encouraged to watch the strangeness. The two options, "standing" and "sitting" are binary: 0 and 1. On and off.

1) At the start, each person is sitting and chooses a number from 1-5, and does not say it aloud. Then, the instructor will pick a number from 1-5 and say it aloud.
2) When a number is called that a person has chosen, they will change the state they are in. (e.g. if standing, they will sit; if sitting, they will stand.) Then they must pick another number from 1-5.
3) If people choose to become the new number caller, they may raise their hand and wait to be chosen by the instructor.

Participatory Experiment

My idea for the participatory action is inspired by the music video for the Radiohead song “Just”, and it is largely based on inciting a reaction from bystanders and passers by. In the video, an unknown man lays down on a city sidewalk in an expression of hopelessness. Upon revealing to inquirers exactly why he is laying there, they all join him; however, the viewer never learns what the man’s reasoning is.

This idea of a person acting abnormally and thus garnering a large amount of attention is something that I would like to put into action to observe and try to analyze, much in the mould of a flash mob scenario. My ‘experiment’ would have a sizable, though not too large, group of people (around 20 people perhaps) in one area simultaneously sit down and cry, simulating a deep and genuine sorrow. The idea is not to incite any reaction in particular, but simply to see how people react. A few rules are crucial in carrying out the experiment.

Rule #1: Every participant’s tears and sorrow must appear genuine and must remain so for the duration of the time.

Rule #2: No matter how persistent an observer is in asking (if any do at all), participants must not give any indication as to why they are upset.

Rule #3: Participants should appear to be connected in their sorrow, so as to promote the idea to observers that perhaps they too should be sad.

Participatory Action

My idea involves making a unique kind of song that everyone in the class contributes to. The action begins with one person making a sound repeatedly at a steady tempo. The class then jumps in, one at a time, each person adding their own new unique sound to the song. By the end of a couple minutes there should be some form of a song consisting of twenty-something different sounds/instruments...

1) Your sound must go with the original beat
2) You can't copy anyone else's addition, you must make your own unique sound(s)
3) Can do any type of musical addition, (percussion, rhythm, vocals, etc) just stick with it, no changing your sound once you begin.

Participatory Action

My idea is pretty simple, no choreography needed. I want to brighten peoples day by writing compliments on post it notes and handing them out. The only rules are, the note must be a compliment (nothing vulgar), you must smile as you present the note, no speaking is allowed.

Flash Mob Local Music Scene

The Flash Mob idea I have is to show how corporate music fans seem to be forgetting about local independent music. Around Northern Liberties,s there are 5 music venues within a ten block radius. I had the idea to have flash mob stop at the same time all of the shows were switching bands and people were going outside for a cigarette break or to the bar section. Everyone would be wearing business suits and have a brief case and laptop. However, phrases would be written on the suites, and carrying cases. these saying would have to do with saving local music here in Philadelphia. Maybe displaying names of local musicians who are not international, or the importance of the scene. I would have to make this while all venues were having shows, and plan the 3 minutes right. Also, it would have to be on a weekend night when bars/clubs are the busiest.

1. Everyone would stop at 11:08pm at all the music venues and on the sidewalks near the place.

2. They would stay in place until 11:11 which is known for being a time people "wish" on something.

3. Their attire would reflect local music, and celebrities from Philadelphia to show how crucial this city is to the music industry.

After this, I am hoping people would Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter what they saw.

Participatory Action Vs. Remixing Vs. Relational Aesthetics

The past three themes in class that we are learning about all tie together. It seems as though they though they all are relevant to the practice of “living art” which is mentioned in Bourriaud’s article. I found it interesting how he points out that art, such as Flash Mobs, tightens of the space of relations because the people are not images seen through a medium that one can misinterpret. The art you are creating is directly in someone’s face or space. There is heavy participation in this practice from groups being formed to all the activity done. This art form has been done for reasons of protest, and reasons of fun yet everyone follows guidelines. Guidelines can raise questions of is this art more organized than because you do follow set rules over something more sporadic? Is art orderly and disorderly?

John Curall-Participatory Action Re-Design

My idea for a participatory exercise would be a group hug type of situation where various individuals of diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, etc. would be embraced by a larger group representing the world. The group would all join hands in a large circle around an individual. On cue the circle would move around the individual in unison to collectively hug that individual. Then someone else would move into the circle and the process would be repeated. Eventually observers would be invited into the circle. The effect would be kind of like the world embracing individuals. Something I believe we need to see more of. As the reading talked about we are usually in these very structured social situations that do not really allow for us to feel like we physically belong to a community. We all tend to be in our own little world and feel separated from the world to some extend. This is way to physically feel like we are a part of the world again and not so cut off.

Rule #1: There should be a good representation of different ethnicities, genders, etc. in the group.

Rule #2: All should be silent except for maybe when inviting observers to enter the circle.

Rule #3: The large group should always try and stay as a cohesive unit in order to best represent their role as representing the world.

I know someone else also had a hug idea.

I apologize for any perceived similarities.

This was a difficult exercise for me as I am usually much more comfortable as an observer than as a participator.

I work in a business that is in the public I, yet I chose a job behind the scenes.

Michael Hearn - Participatory Action (edited for 9/17)

My basic idea is kind of based on the philosophy of how being compassionate to others will not just affect them but they in turn will show compassion to others they meet, and so on and so forth. The idea here is to get a sizable flash mob and move out to a public area that is bound to have unaffiliated passerbys and people coming through. Then after they're set up, a ripple effect of hugs will occur where a hug takes place in the middle of the area and then each person turns to hug another person, and this chain will continue and spread out across the room, ideally also including people who aren't in the flash mob.

Allowing people who witness the event and then are able to participate within it is an example of the intersubjectivity of the participatory action, as their contribution to the event is tied into the idea of the event's meaning. The widespread amount of these hugs are also a directly against the social norms of systemized interactions people normally have in large areas like these where people who don't know each other would normally avoid one another. The spontaneous yet systematic and planned manner of these hugs is a comment on social relationships.

Rule #1: With everyone in the flash mob spread out in a circle from the middle of the space, the act will start at an ideal moment in the middle, with two select people hugging one another for the chain to start.
Rule #2: Each person should try to hug someone they haven't hugged, and preferably someone they noticed hasn't been hugged yet.
Rule #3: Please no inappropriate touching and when approaching someone not in the flash mob, do so from the front and slowly so you don't surprise them and give them the option to avoid you if they don't want to be hugged.

The main lobby of a train station would be a good area for this, although college campuses have plenty of open areas ideal for this too. I imagine if filmed from a high vantage point, the ripple effect of hugs could have a cool visual effect.

Participatory action

This idea was inspired by a flash mob video that I saw last year. A group of men enter an Abercrombie & Fitch clothing store without wearing T-shirts and just shop around. With shirtless models plastered all over the walls of this place, and at times actual shirtless in-store A&F models being present, this would ideally not be so far-fetched. In reality, store management attempted to dismiss these shoppers but it is a good testament asking why it's acceptable for that environment to be advertised but label this type of shopping as unacceptable. Within marxist thought, art is an "alternative" exchange, different from every day communication and exchange. This gathering would certainly be off-beat and an interesting way to question shopping laws. This gives new meaning to the role of art in mass society, where the public can openly witness and voluntarily participate. This event could go along with Guatarri's ideas where the "micro-utopia" is stressed and can make a difference.


1. Only male members of a group, for the shirtless factor.
2. All members must obviously be shirtless.
3. Casual shopping must be implemented. ie acceptable behavior.

Public Art

My idea is to bring complete strangers together and have them record music. To do this I would need the help of friends and contributors of the project to gather enough instruments, microphones and recording equipment. Then I would set up fliers all over the city inviting people to come and play music. There would also be a table set up in front of the studio inviting people in off the streets.


1. You can play for as long as you want but you must play for at least 30 minutes.
2. You have to play at least one instrument you are either not very skilled at or have never played before.
3. Be respectful of other musicians.

The purpose of this project is to see what it would sound like if people from all different backgrounds came together and recorded music for one whole day.

Participatory Art

I've always believed that a picture or image can sometimes convey a stronger message than words. Though cliche, an image can really be worth a thousand words. In this participatory art, participants would choose an image or symbol that means something to him or her, be it a logo of a sports team, brand of clothing, a simple shape such as a heart, etc, and have it on some sort of paper medium. You could print it out on a sheet of computer paper, have it on a larger scale photo print, or a poster board. Anything really. Once you have your image, all participants would gather in a general area, spread out, and basically just stand in a certain spot, holding the image for passersby to see. And it will grab their attention, since people are more prone to look at something if a person is standing completely still right by it. Here are the rules:

1. The image has to be something meaningful to you.
2. The image cannot be something vulgar or offensive. Let's keep it tasteful.
3. Somewhere on the image, write the words, "It means something more..."

By having these words written on the image, the whole project is united and brought together, since it would become a running theme in all the images, however different they may be.

Flash mob

My idea for a flash mob would be to have 10-15 people in a crowded area start singing the Queen song We are the Champions. Everyone knows that song and it always gets people fired up so hopefully everyone around them will start singing too. If it works out, everyone in the area will get super motivated and just generally feel good. It shows how easily simple audio cues can effect human emotion.

1. Everyone needs to sing at the same time and if someone is tone deaf they need to sing quiet.
2. It would be nice if Emilio Estevez would join everyone for the initial singing.
3. If it's successful and many people begin singing, everyone needs to put their arms around each other.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Participatory Art

My idea was one that would be a flash mob type scenario. I would have a large group of people in a public place that at the same type begin to cheer and applaud. Those participating would also speak to people around them while cheering, saying things like good job, or thank you, other nice things. Like in the notes and readings this idea shows how art is an alternative exchange to the normal types of communication between people. Those involved would be open and kind instead of just passing by and ignoring each other.
The entire cheering outburst would last for about 10 minutes, or for however long others feel necessary. The point of this is just to lighten a mood, get people spirits up, and appreciate your fellow neighbors. This is a way for us to take our normal "systemized interactions" and flip them around and make people look up and notice each other and maybe brighten up someone else's day. The fact that we are in the city would make it a lot easy, seeing that cities "permit proximity" and that the normal imposed interactions can be altered and changed to a more positive form.
Life can get very stressful, especially this time of year with school. So if a whole group of people are all cheering and complimenting those around them, it may help someone out who is having a bad day.

The rules for the experiment would be
Rule 1: Say something nice to at least 10 people.
Rule 2: Applaud for the entire 10 minutes.
Rule 3: Get at least 3 others not involved to join in.

public art form

For idea, I want to explore the social norms people expect to see happen in public, and what happens when they aren't done, namely when someone does something that's just not the norm.

I had the idea that 4 or 5 people would each go to an elevator around campus, preferably buildings with several elevators. We'd wait until the car had only 1 or 2 people going in it, then we'd enter like normally. But once the lift doors close, the 4 or 5 people turn around and just face the 1 or 2 people. The idea is when this happens, it can be extremely uncomfortable for some inexplicable reason. People naturally expect everyone to face forward, and when even one person does it, it can be a little weird. The rules are as follows:

1) No touching of the people.
2) Act as if nothing were out of the ordinary.
3) Make minimal interaction with the people. Maybe a "hi" or other one word responses, but no more.

Public art

I would like to do a sort of public art form that represents technologies hold on society, and the impact it would have on us if it were taken away. For this I would have a group of students gather at the bell tower with computer in hand and and complete the following rules:
1. Everyone would need to sit, concentrated in one area and in the way of mobile students at the same time. (having their computer opened but not turned on)
2.For five minutes sit still and in silence, and than at a cue start yelling.
3. Finally at a second cue get up and walk away.
This is an example of relational aesthetics because all students begin together and they are part of the art, as well as the viewers. Relational aesthetics allows the viewers to become more involved in the art, allowing for more understanding. By making the viewers part of the art it also changes the way we communicate with one another, creating clearer images. relational aesthetics also help produce more relationship and somewhat weird encounters.

public art form

Public art is used in some ways to interact with others or draw attention to one or a group. With the ones we discussed in class the groups had performed some type of silent form of expression that had no real contact with others. In our lecture we learned that art is the platform that launches us outside of the norm. My idea changes the way we normally interact with strangers we pass everyday. For my idea you take a group of people around 15-20 people and stand in the downstairs area in the Student center, right by the front door. For a certain amount of time the group walks around in that small area shaking everyones hands. After that time is up the people in the group pause for 2-3 minutes and then start it up again. While frozen you can observe how your actions at such a large scale have affected the people.

1) Must shake the hands of people in and outside of the group.
2) No talking or communicating verbally with the people.
3) Must shake hands two times and freeze twice.

Miming as a Public Art Form

The human body is an art form in of itself so I think this would be an interesting task to attempt. Get a group of at least 15 people to gather on a busy corner street such as Montgomery Ave and Broad St. There will be at least 5 people on each corner.

Rule #1: At a certain signal, stop what you're doing and start miming for 5 minutes.
Rule #2: After 5 minutes, cross the street in any direction and when the light changes, start miming again for 5 more minutes.
Rule #3: Can interact with other mimes and also with any passerby.

The purpose of this is to see the different ways people would react and also to get as many people as possible to join in. This goal may prove to be difficult because people do tend to try to avoid interacting with others, like what Chris said in his post.

Public Art Forms

I usually find it that people will rather avoid interaction with humans if they are in they are in the way of a persons path, rather than interact with them directly. So, it might be interesting to have the class sit in a stairway on campus, and fill up the entire first flight or so. People will then either try to fight their way through the crowded stairs, or they will go around some other way. I can't say it is art, but I'm not sure if any of this is art. However, this is an interesting experiment to see what the human mind will do when conflicted about interaction in an odd way. Anyway, you asked for certain rules to be in place.

1. The entire stairway must be filled with people. If it is of ease for someone to get around it is then the action has no point.
2. Do not move or interact with anyone who is trying to get by. If we ignore them then they will most likely go another route.
3. After 5 minutes of sitting down and causing traffic pattern changes, we can leave and re-open the stairway.

Participatory Action

My participatory action is called Sleeping on Liacouras Walk. Here are the rules: first everyone would have to sit, stand, or lay some where on Liacouras Walk during a busy time of day. Second everyone would have a set time when they would pretend to fall asleep. Every ten seconds another bunch of us would fall asleep. Third after five minutes we would all wake up and walk away.

According to Nicolas Bourriaud intersubjectivity is a big part of relational aesthetics. This experiment would involve a lot of this. It would involve a lot of people being all together but some would be the artist (sleeping people) and others would be the viewers (people not in on it)

The point of this is to see how people who are not involved in our class would react. If one person fell asleep around there it would not be a big deal an nobody would really notice. But, what if every time you turned around you saw about ten more sleeping people? It would be interesting to see if people noticed and if they would think anything of it.

I thought this was really interesting

I think this is the first time I've seen YouTube used like this.

Revised Participatory Action

High fiving. Participants would congregate in one space, and on cue high five for one minute. The goal would be to see how many people outside of the participating group would join in the action. This would utilize an audience, not viewer (as defined in the reading).

#1 Keep high fiving for the full minute, never stop.
#2 High five people outside the immediate group of participants. Involve the viewers.
#3 Enjoy it. Smile. High five happily. Wikipedia defines high fiving as the way: “to communicate mutual satisfaction between spectators and between participants alike, during a sporting event, or to extend congratulations from one person to another in any informal setting.” Keep that in mind.

This participatory art would alter the normal exchanges that happen within the space by forcing a change reaction. It would bend the everyday culture-determined need for a high five, celebration, and turn it into an action of pure exchange, celebratory or not. The audience would be active or this action would not work, hopefully opening people up for more exchange, or lessening the social anxieties people have when in a public space.

A few thoughts have come up during this assignment. Can a participatory action be done simultaneously in different spaces? For example, could one person be giving high fives in Annenberg, another in Gladfelter, another in the Library, etc. Would that still be participatory art? I realize it would be harder to measure the effect this would have. But if we had enough participants, students would presumably talk about it with their friends, on facebook and/or texting. I would be more interested in having participants scattered, doing the same action at the same time, than in one space. How many other people would start high fiving in the various spaces?

Also, has anyone ever heard of, seen, or participated in those group hug or cuddling events they have? I remember one a few years back on Rittenhouse. I’d be curious to know more about them.

Scribe 9/10

- Read “Relational Aesthetics” by Nicolas Bourriaud. You do not have to blog about this reading.
- Participatory Action assignment is due by Monday at 6p. Description is on the class website.

We started class talking about new technologies. One student brought up the new iPod release. Another described a new type of nanotechnology spray.

We then discussed the reading “Remixability and Modularity” by Lev Manovich. Some important notes are:
- Data has been made modular, meaning it is easily exchanged; one does not need to be proficient in computer programming to utilize its functions
- Web 2.0: refers to our current Internet; accessibility and user friendliness
- The modular form of the web makes it easy for anyone to use for various purposes, even beyond the original creators intent.
Some students said this reading was a bit difficult.

The discussion continued with remixability. Remixing can be done by anyone to anything in anyway. Modern remixability removes the prerequisite of being an expert.

We then looked at Post Secret, a type of community project in which participants send a post card with a secret written on it to one person, ultimately the editor, who the puts it online. The attraction to Post Secret could be because of its short form, accessibility, anonymity and potentially voyeurism. The question asked was: Is this art? Does it have an aesthetic concern? The argument that this is art can be made in that the creator, presumably, made a conscious choice of what post card and what secret to pair together. It is a composed piece of something. We discussed the possibility of fakes and whether or not that matters. was briefly introduced. It is a website in which documentary filmmakers can upload clips of their work to be traded with other filmmakers.

Clips from Improv Everywhere were shown. This group organizes participatory actions in public venues. We looked at “Frozen in Grand Central” where volunteers were organized to freeze on a specific cue, hold their pose, and unfreeze on another cue. We looked at clips of flash mobs as well and discussed what was art and why. What are the requirements to make it art? Is it the amount of direction?

Lastly Professor Drury mentioned the concept of whether there is a political dimension in this participatory art.

To prepare us for this weeks reading, she brought up the term interstice which literally means (according to Miriam Webster) a space that intervenes between things. In the reading this term is used to describe the space in between people and public space.

*All the clips mentioned have links on the class website.*

Elements of Waste: Participatory Action

My participatory action is a Flash Mob scenario that is designed to make a commentary on the amount of waste that humans produce. The place would be either a large sporting event or concert where the aftermath is always a ton of trash. The trash we produce could be seen as an interstice of society, the forgotten trash that the rich as well as poor produce and forget about. We believe when we throw something away that it just magically disappears without envisioning the overflowing piles of garbage in the world.

Rule one: Gather in a huge, congested circle.

Rule two: Bring a can soda, beer, or other canned beverage.

Rule Three: Gather together, open the cans simultaneously, pour them out, and drop the cans on the ground in unison.

The awkwardness of so many people opening cans of soda simultaneously and looking at a giant pile of soda cans on the ground would be very shocking to the audience observing it.