Socially engaged art 2

Survey at the University of Wollongong


We started our survey at the first site outside the creative arts building, the going was slow our reluctance to approach people was obverse as time ticked by we remained empty handed. Our first participant proved to be little help, maybe we didn’t present our predicament well but the response was more in the form of encouragement for our assignment rather than ideas for what we should do. He suggested that we try a different location and after another twenty minutes or so and a few more knock backs that’s what we decided to do. Our next location would be out the front of the uow library. It must be said that this type of data collection is greatly affected by the weather conditions and in this case our cause was not being helped by cold grey sky’s, still we pushed on. To be effectively able to collect data of this nature requires a certain approach, friendly and open without being intimidating, some people are just naturally better at it than others. Our little group was to struggle to meet the demands of the task we had set for ourselves. The second location proved to be a little more fruitful, securing a couple of voice recordings thanks to a couple of Xanders friends that came along. This was to prove our saving grace for round 1, we decided to call it a day and hope for more favorable results for the next location.

Allan Kaprow states in his article ‘Just doing’ that ”playing with everyday life often is just paying attention to what is conventionally hidden”(Kaprow 1997 p.104). Through our little exercise it did seem that what we were trying to reveal what is conventionally hidden by everyday life. Through the audience we are trying to uncover answers that already exist, that exist within the audience. So in a sense it does feel like that Kaprow’s statement does apply to our situation and that we are in deed not only paying attention to what is conventionally hidden but unearthing answers from a reluctant audience.



Kaprow, A 1997 ‘Just doing’, TDR, Vol .41, No. 3, pp. 101-106.

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