Reverse Busking

Brainstorming phase:

Tas and I wanted at first to agree to explore the idea of interaction through the use of popular Internet videos or ‘Memes’ such as the ‘Running Man’ videos. We came to this conclusion at first because at the time it was the ‘it’ video to be watched all over social media and it had involved a dance that we thought would invite the public to dance along to. This idea ultimately became a failure because by the time we had started the work; the video slowly died out and therefore was not eligible for our original idea. This bred the thought of public inclusion though music. We then decided to busk, and that evolved to our final idea, the Come Play, Hear Our Sound do it yourself style busking thought where we would prop up a keyboard for the passing public to play as we were recording there sounds on the computer.


Our process for this assignment came up through a jumble of ideas. After we had come up with the idea we were happy with we had the idea of hosting it in the University, and also to make it as mobile as possible because we wanted to have it in at least three sites. We then had the idea of doing it in public and we gained access to the sites with the help of Bianca. We then had to think of the equipment we wanted to use. The obvious choice was a keyboard with enough octaves on it so people could play two-handed and with a lot of freedom. Next were the speakers. We wanted them to be loud but only loud enough so that the surrounding shops would not be disturbed. Tas supplied two, but in the end we only used one and we found that was sufficient enough for the experiment.

We found a use for the sound program Abelton as well. Through our computers we were able to record what the public was playing to mold the work of our experiment. Lastly a few chairs were needed and a sign that was altogether inviting enough for people and also simple enough to fit on a sign.


Execution of Process:

On the day of the assignment Tas and I were given three options of where to set up amongst the mall of Wollongong. We chose a spot right next to escalators, seating arrangements and shops.


We chose this place because we thought a lot of people would be trafficking through and be interested in our set up.

Our decisions let to the piano facing away from us and tas and I sitting behind a table on chairs far from the keys themselves. The speakers were set up below the keyboard so to project the sound from below in order to minimalise it. The sign was then placed next to the keyboard, standing at about the same height.

At first we spent a few minutes hoping for more people to be coming through our space but we thought we got lucky with a few people who gave us looks but kept walking. Mostly we would call out to people, colluding to our public interaction experiment. We did this in our best inviting voices but it only worked four, maybe five times. Our first interaction involved a man who worked in one of the phone stores above us. He asked us questions about what we where doing (This popped up quite a few times) and gave what he said was his ‘best shot’ on the piano.


Most of our interactions started with the question stated above. About fifteen or so minutes before we decided to pack up. One of two people who stopped thought we were selling something. Perhaps the piano or something we kept under the table. Tas and I acknowledged that although the sign did have that factor to it. Its simple message was what was needed for our space to make sense to the public.


This experiment ultimately could have been decided on the variables that we had brought on the day. If we positioned the piano wrongly, or if we didn’t have any sign, then it would have been seen as busking. Thankfully, that opinion was only voiced by one couple, of whom ended up playing one or two notes in total.

At first the two of us were skeptical about our location and wanted to move, but as the early morning turned to mid morning more and more people passed us we were thankful that we had chosen that spot.

A tail of the Free bus: concluding statement

As this final assessment comes to close, I find myself reminiscing of this semester and the previous  assessments. but in particular, this one as I took everything I know and applied it to this with the best of my knowledge. However, though it wasn’t as a good of a finish than I hoped. I scored well with the whole result but mucked up at the end. either way, it has been an enjoyable class with the most entertaining group of this course and I did quite enjoy all of the assessment and work that came with it.

This final assessment had me testing the limitation of both my physical and mental skill as well as my communication with a public audience. the standing structure between Jane and I was rough at the start but it didn’t last long as we quickly figured a way on presenting ourselves with this work. In a sense though the task that we had undertaken felt like a pilgrimage. As we the young student set out onto a path that was set before us to gather knowledge of the people we passed along the way. Our encounters were short but the story we shared we memorable and all the same somewhat similar to our journey.

The free bus can be seen as a convenient mode of transport but it can also be seen as the basis for the notion that ‘all road lead to Rome’, that we all take this pilgrimage together but at the same time on different point along the journey. With different encounter more stranger and eventful than the next but its what we learn from the people that we meet that teacher a value of ourselves. Whether it be a teacher that seeks for an apprentice or bystanders that are mesmerised but something that catches their attention. With each action we make and the decisions we take in deciding our route, we gain a self-awareness of our surrounding and learn that there is more to someone than what they look like. In which in turn, improves the value of one’s self and sharpen their skills.

A tail of the free bus day 3: we begin

Date: 23/5/2016
Time: 11:00-12:30
Location: Wollongong bus bays
Company: Jane
Encounters: 5
Monday Arvo I met up with Jane as we began our project from the library at which point I had arrived a couple hours earlier to warm myself up to the space that I was in. it gave me time to reflect on my skill set and what I’d learnt from my encounter with the stranger from last time. The result we’re pretty good if I do say so myself and having people look over my shoulder with a hearty approval gave me the confidence bust I needed to start the day off.
soon after I completed my sketch of the area jane had arrived which marked our starting point of our assessment. we started off on deciding to not stay in one place but rather move around so we can get some leg space as well as the different encounter of each different character at each stop. Each stop had its own unique trait with a different crowd around them, hence is why we moved around each bus bay. We came across 5 different people each with their own reason for using the free bus and it’s convenience, we even encounter other pilgrims of the church on their own journey on the path of the word of God. As well as bumping into the stranger that helped me with my sketching the other day.
with each encounter, Jane would take the lead and I would follow up but everytime Jane would address here self to the bystander their attention would always draw to me. I tried not to pay much mind to it as I was on the clock and had only 5-10 minutes to draw them but they did, however, come out pretty well for rough drafts. We ended the day pretty with some good recording of both of us but I also discovered that I had a limit to the amount of drawing I could do in a day.
In conclusion during our walking interviews, we caught the gaze of many bystanders some even lingering over us with curiosity. But for the most part, they more likely were looking at me with curious as to what we were up to but I felt the need to not notice it as I felt more like an object rather than a subject of people attention. As each time I would sketch I would take up part of the walkway that had people flowing around me like water travelling around a stone in a river. I was unaware of the presence around me as my eyes were more fixated towards the subject before me but I did however felt the gaze of the people around me and though I wasn’t fully sure of how many there where I knew that they were there.Scanned-image-2-0Scanned-image-3-0Scanned-image-4-0Scanned-image-5-0Scanned-image-6-0

A tail of the free bus day 2: Alone

Date: 21/5/2016
Time: 11:00
Location: Wollongong Library
Company: non
Saturday afternoon or close to it, after Thursdays class I had agreed to meet up with Jane at the front of the Library to begin our assessment. I wanted to get started on it as soon as possible but the main reason was because I would not be attending next weeks class. This was because I had to attend to family matters that required me to travel north on Wednesday and therefore be away for Thursdays class.

I started the day early and arrived at the front of the library around about 9:30 because I wanted to get some drawings done of the area. Unfortunately, though given that it was the morning I was bit rough with the sketch and still trying to find my rhythm for the book and the space I was in. as I waited for the arrival of Jane I received a couple of glances from the passing people that where going about their day. Some coming in close and another making obvious as they looked over my shoulder to see what I was drawing. But it did not phase me nor did it throw me of the people looking over my shoulder. It wasn’t until something surprising happened where a complete strange came up to me and began to have a discussion with. At first we talked about art as most artist would do but then he began advising and showing me the appropriate way of how I should be drawing the landscape. It wasn’t until I asked that I found out that he was an artist teacher at a high school who studied at the Wollongong Uni. We sat and talked for a good while as he guided me and critique each stroke I made with the pencil show me from the appropriate way to holding a pencil, to even how to look at something. We talked for hours until I realised the time and found out that I had another appointment somewhere else and that I had to cancel my meet up with Jane but my talk with the stranger he asked if I would be interest in some further lesson into the art practice. It was sudden when he asked me that, I almost felt implied to say yes when there so much more that I need to learn about art and he seemed like he would be a good teacher. However even though there is still so much I need to learn about improving my skill I felt as though that he would probably not be the best of teacher for me. He is an artist through and through but even I can tell that something yearns within his heart, I mean he seems like a passionate person but I could sense that his heart seeks longing for what I believe a challenge and a reason to being a teacher. Mostly likely though he seeked for an apprentice that would share his eye for the fine artist. It might be the ego of an artist talking but I felt as though that we probably wouldn’t be a good match but I guess the chance to know that has passed and therefore I’d probably will never know.

In conclusion I learnt of how putting something new into the environment can invite other people to approach in both an appropriate and direct way when observing something out of there daily routine. Which can lead to chance encounter that have us loosing of what could’ve been.

A tail of the free Bus day 1: The deciding vote for the project

Date: 19/5/2016
Time: 11:00
Location: Wollongong Library
Company: Jane and CAOS201 classmates

Thursday followed as I apologised to Jane for my absent on Thursday last week as I was not feeling well and I could not attend the trip to Redfern. She accepted my apology and acknowledged that I couldn’t make it but she, however, got great inspiration from the trip which was great because it wasn’t long until she pitched the idea of how we would tackle this assessment as a team.
We discussed the idea that Jane had and I threw in some input on how I would play my part in it however though the whole situation seemed as though that I had the easiest task and Jane had the most of the load. I didn’t seem to like it but Jane said that she was alright handling it. Class started off as usual but what was different was the fact we were going to spend the rest of the day at the local Wollongong library. Which was great and all especially since it gave me time to discuss with Jane on us pitching the idea to Bianca.

We found great resources on the free buses and how they started here in the Illawarra as well as some entering thing from then that I couldn’t resist on taking a copy. A lot of things happened in the 80’s but reading through it all not much has changed. We ended the day with a high and excitement to start the project.

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