What is my activity-?
For this exercise I will be doing my “usual” hair and make-up somewhere in Pitt Street. By this I mean that it’s just the norm (what I wear/do for uni), the simple beauty regime I do every day in my own bathroom. This activity was derived from the tooth brushing exercise we did in class as I found it really interesting to observe the norm in a different setting.
The aim of this exercise is to examine my own thoughts and actions by taking this ordinary/usually private activity and placing it in a public space. Will I think about what I’m doing or continue with my idle thoughts? Will I notice those around me or will I become suddenly conscious about what I’m doing or become absorbed in it? As Kaprow stated “when you do life consciously, however, life becomes pretty strange-paying attention changes the thing attended to” (pg 195 essays on the blurring of art and life).
While I don’t think the travel to Pitt street will bother me as I’ll be in my car or a train carriage, I do think that when I go to pick a place to sit I will become nervous- why, when I’m doing something I do just about every morning I don’t know. I also think I will receive a lot of “what the hell” looks rather than having any actual interaction with those around me.
I cannot make verbal interaction with those around me unless for whatever reason there is a problem. This rule is because; when I do my hair and make-up normally I wouldn’t be chatting to anyone as I would be in the privacy of the bathroom. Besides this I don’t want any rules as I don’t have rules when I do my norm so what’s the point making them now?
The documentation of Activity
(The shortened version of diary entries made that day)
After having an eventful morning to say the least by waking up late, my make-up box breaking and the realisation of needing to wash my hair (therefore not being able to start from ground zero when it comes to doing my hair in Pitt st) I am quite content sitting on this train listening to my ipod- having to cut down my bathroom time by not doing my make-up or hair it also cut down how much music I listened too before starting my day. Sitting here fresh faced, the only thing that is annoying me is that my hair is not brushed or up in its usual pony-tale style. The person in front has the window opened next to them and the “slight breeze” is moving my hair around like hurricane sally. Pretty sure that I will shave it off in Pitt Street instead of styling it if this keeps up!
Turning off the ipod when I’m listening to Rihanna’s new single “stay” as I’m finally arriving at the St James station– wish I had my normal music time because I really feel like “staying” on this train just too listen!
But, alas! I’m here and ready to begin, time to pick the perfect spot!
I choose a spot directly across from the only performers I could find (a singer and guitarist). Knowing they are doing something different other than walking comforts me as I look at them. They stood out of the way of the middle of Pitt St Mall which is odd as normally performers stand in the middle, maybe during the week the performers aren’t allowed here due to the amount of people? I think if I was sitting in the middle I would get trampled.
I haven’t even started and the action of sitting has made people stare at me, guys’ sitting is not odd is it??
I ease myself into my regime by starting my hair; brushing it feels great! I realise I normally do this after my make-up not before but due to the space I have I can’t lay out my make-up yet- don’t feel like chasing after a tube of mascara that’s been kicked down the walkway.
I look up to the performers, they are being asked to leave by a man looking very serious?! My comfort buddies! NOOO! However- I look at my crossed legs after brushing my hair, jesus, it looks like a dead animal sitting there, do I normally lose this much hair?
First mirror check, no bumps in my hair. Two people have stopped in front of me; I think that they are unaware that I am sitting at their feet. They haven’t acknowledged that I’m here. Although, two business men and a group of young girls have and seem to be very interested as they have slowed right down when walking past and have stared at me until they were out of sight.
Time to start my make-up
Foundation is done. I don’t think I have ever done this so quickly. Being slightly nervous I realised that I had skipped concealer- why do I normally waste time with this?
I was approached by the same guy that told the performers to leave. He asked me what I was doing, if what I was doing was a performance or was I getting ready for a performance? I didn’t want to explain to him that this was an assignment as my one rule was not to interact verbally to those around me. However, rules are meant to be broken and I didn’t feel like moving so I made it clear that I was not performing; just doing my usual. He pre-warned me about the flying coins that people in the area may throw at me as I look like I’m doing a performance. . .arhh buddy, I do this every day it’s not a performance!!
Or is it now that I’m here??? Hmmm
First layer of mascara, this was easier and less rushed as I had to use a small mirror-looking at myself was much like looking at the performers. It was comforting because I’m use to it. And I notice less staring this way.
Trying to hold a mirror while applying eyeliner is more difficult than I thought! Another layer of mascara, and more stares from people that are interested for a moment then just move on. Have they never seen someone put on make-up? It seems that women are more interested then men as women seem to stare longer.
I’m done! Last mirror check. This was quicker than I normally do it, what takes me so long? Maybe the distraction of music and advantage of not being looked at!
Reflection on activity-
By sitting on the side rather than in the middle of Pitt street mall I felt more comfortable however the amount of looks I got was absurd and made me style my hair/apply make-up slightly quicker. I found it interesting that there were more looks from women than men as most women do this every day. I was interested in the fact that the man who asked the performers to leave approached me on the basis that he thought I was performing. When sitting there I didn’t think it was. However after walking away and realising that I was doing something that although normal, was out of place, and by having a walking audience; it made me think, was it a performance after all? I did take notice that when doing this activity at home my brain normally wonders . . . What am I making for dinner? Is my little brother up for school yet or do I need to wake him? Crap I forgot to read the reading AGAIN for that class . . . but here in Pitt Street, I was more conscious of what I was doing. I noticed when I done things quicker, when I skipped things that I normally wouldn’t or didn’t put as much effort in as this would take more time and I was keen as a bean to finish!
I also noticed that the use of the mirror made me more comfortable because I stopped looking at other people and my own face reassured me as this is what I’m use to. The mirror made me so comfortable that I decided to start walking around with it using the mirror to look rather than my eyes. . .Im thinking a good idea for the “walking” assessment!