This day we decided to give a second round of interviewing to the people at the Uni, here recording some conversations with some Uni students. We found it easier this time round as we had an idea of how to approach the students who passed us. The students also felt less intimidating to approach as we are also Uni students, so less pressure in the sense of being afraid to talk to people. After discussing the way the documentation for this project should be done a poster that explained the assignment and our process to finish the project was a better idea, this scratched the Infographic idea. After we had gotten some poor results back from interviewing people around both the Uni and Wollongong mall we decided to go back and think about asking a closer pool of friends for some answers. This was because most people who passed us in the two locations told us they were busy, even if we told them it would take a minute of their time. Also because of the little amount of results we got from those that did stop and speak with us. We probably spent over an hour at the locations, as we did need to think about the time we had.
I found the reading from week 2 called ‘Just Doing’ by Allan Kaprow. In this this reading Kaprow talks about experimentation and art working together. Kaprow states “Playing with everyday life often is just paying attention to what is conventionally hidden” (Kaprow 1988, p. 104) here in the context of our project it means that we had no underlying purpose to what we were doing, which was something we were told often when discussing the project. It also relates to what we were doing because conventionally with assignments the students have an idea and with some set guidelines go forth and pursue a particular idea for an end result. We were experimenting in the fact that whatever each person said lead us to another person to another person or from one idea to another idea. Essentially the public became the catalyst for moving forward with more “playing” as Kaprow states “Playing has no purpose other than more playing” (Kaprow 1988, p. 104). With our project we let it flow the way it had to flow we had to learn to not have a set end result in mind as to not think to far ahead.
Maria Lind was another artist I read into from one of the readings, this explains collaboration and the concept of agency with how these terms or concepts relate to contemporary art. This reading first suggests that collaboration is nothing new to the art world and that some collaborations call for responses to something, kind of how we had to work, where the project revolved around the responses we got. Lind (p. 53) then defines agency as performing an action or intervention to get an effect. In this project me, Xander and Shannon talked to people and by doing this got some sort of response, whether it was “sorry, I’m busy” or “yes, I can help” we got a response and some results.
We then discussed that asking some friends and family would be another way to get some responses, as the people at the Uni or the Mall were either busy or we were afraid to approach them, because of the little responses we got from people in the locations . Xander then took all the audio that was collected and put it into an audio compilation so that each person’s answers would play one after the other in a total time of fifteen minutes. This would be an interesting way of hearing back the ideas from different individuals as they would be completely different ideas from one another and the documentation would be focused on only the response. If we had played us introducing ourselves and explaining the subject before each person’s answers it would not have been as engaging. After this I met Shannon and Xander in the library to listen back to each response and make sure we were all happy with it. We then compiled information we had read from the subject outline and put it into our own words to help explain the subject on a poster that would be hung above the portable speaker playing the audio compilation.
Day 1 of Asking People – 25/5/16 – University
Today Xander, Shannon and Myself decided to meet up at two for the purpose of going around and asking people questions about the subject of CAOS201. The idea was to find out what an appropriate group assignment that interacts with the idea of social intersections would be. At first meeting we were in a positive mood and ready to talk about what questions we might ask and where we would go around the Uni, however, upon starting a conversation with someone around the Uni, none of us were brave enough to do so. Though Xander was able to talk with some people and record the conversation he had with them, after asking for permission of course. From here Shannon took some notes, while I interacted with two of the people by joining in on the conversations a little bit.
The first man that Xander approached figured out straight away that we were art students and he also came to the conclusion that we were doing the assignment. He said that he was from sociology and understood we had turned the assignment into our project and immediately told us to move on towards other people further down towards building 67. It was, overall, a struggle to approach people and that I think is, for me personally, I was lacking in confidence to talk to people and ask them the questions we had. I want to call the project SAIP 101, in other words Standing Awkwardly in Public 101, as we were mostly standing around with people watching us. I think these people passing us knew we had something to ask them, as we were holding our books and making eye contact, just not approaching people properly.
We need to improve the way we approach people, as we mostly did not interact with anyone passing by. This was because we needed to understand how to look friendly in a way that brought the people to us instead of having them walk away. To improve we need to get some courage to break the ice between the people around us and ourselves. We should also work out what we are going to say before we say it; this is because we were struggling to decide upon how to describe the subject and how to not reveal that we did not know what we we’re doing. I believe to not fall into the trap of revealing the truth behind the purpose of us asking the questions we could say we are journalism students that are representing a class of creative arts students going around doing research. We can then ask the questions to those that pass us to maybe get some more confidence and more results. Though by saying we are journalist students could put people off, as not many people like to interact and get asked questions, and they may not believe us even more. I suggested this to Xander and Shannon and they did not seem keen on the idea as they thought maybe saying we had an assignment and that we were creative arts students would help more.
First meeting and Discussion
This project is going to be a challenge as working in groups can be a positive and negative experience. Though I think this one will go well as it could be fun and enjoyable to do something out in a space that can involve other people in it. Nevertheless, the need to be brave and have some form of courage is essential to get the project done with the best results. I met with my two group members and we brainstormed our ideas about what the project could be. From here we discovered we were thinking to far ahead as we were talking about how we were going to document, how we could get people involved and where we could go. These things are stuff to think about but we should have gone back to the readings and the themes we could explore before coming to those things.
After struggling to put an idea together we went for a walk around the Uni for inspiration and we even met one day during the week at the gallery to see other art works to get some inspiration. From here we were still stuck, I was stuck on an idea of having an object be put in a space for people to interact with however they wanted from just looking at it, ignoring it or picking it up, but I didn’t know anything more than that. This is when we had a discussion with some of the classes input to putting not knowing what to do as the thing to do; our not knowing lead us to an idea. So I got my notebook and brainstormed how we could ask people questions about what a good idea would be for this assignment. From here Xander, Shannon and I had to flesh out the tactic to approach and go from there.
“If anything, art is about aesthetics, about morals, about our belief in humanity. Without that, there simply is no art.”
The Artist as an activist is one whose works are concerned with or produced by social movements. These can include works such as banners, signs, posters and other printed materials that broadcast a particular message. These forms are usually paired with demonstrations or acts of civil disobedience. Protest art also includes (but is not limited to) performance, site-specific installations, graffiti and street art, and crosses the boundaries of art genres, media, and disciplines. Protest arts also regularly bypass traditional art-world institutions such as museums in an attempt to reach a wider audience.
Tatlin’s Whisper #5 2008
Two uniformed mounted policemen, crowd control police technique, two horses (one white, one black or dark brown), audience
Some high-profile activist artists are Tania Bruguera, Cildo Meireles, and the Guerilla Girls
As part of her on-going project Immigrant Movement International, Cuban Artist Tania Bruguera explores questions surrounding immigration. These include; how is an immigrant defined? And what it means to be a citizen of the world.
Known by many, but for those who don’t?
The ‘Smoko’ is considered as a short, often informal, cigarette break taken during work or military duty, although the term can also be used to describe any short break such as a rest or a coffee/tea break.
Within Australia specifically, the ‘Smoko’ was originally coined by sheep shearers in Australia, being known as a mid-morning break, between breakfast and lunch, in which a light meal may be eaten.
Although the involvement of cigarettes seems partial, among ‘Tradies’ the ‘Smoko’ is commonplace for a quick cigarette before getting back hard at work, with this strong relationship, the ‘Smoko’ has grown to become an institution symbolic to the rights of workers’.
Despite this, in 2006, the Australian government’s Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources banned the “Smoko” from its Canberra offices, prompting then Health Minister Tony Abbott to declare that the “Smoko has had its day”.
Health concerns regarding cigarettes are all well and true, and fine, but the question remains, if the ‘Smoko’ that represents worker’s rights is banned, then what will represent the rights of the workers’ now?