A tail of the free Bus day 0

IMG_0040 Date: 10th/5/2016

Date: 10th/5/2016
Time: 12:30
Starting Location: free bus stops out side of innovation campus
Ending Location: University bus bay
Company: Jane

Tuesday arvo after my tutoring with my tut I set out to meet up with Jane who I agreed that we would meet at the agreeable time of 12:30 at the front of innovation campus. We were fresh with idea’s and eager to get into the project as only the week before we where thrown together and still deciding on how we were going to approach this task at hand. We figured that we would serve food to the people at the bus bays but as we went along through the day we discovered that probably wasn’t the way.

Meeting up with Jane we decide to ride the bus and talk with the passengers on board (after a brief moment of deciding what we were going to do). We would do this in two parts where one of us would have a yarn with them and what would be nice to have during and pre there bus ride and we discuss about our assessment to them and get their opinion. While that was going on the other person would take photos of the conversation between there partner and the other passenger.
IMG_0039IMG_0042We passed the camera between each other and took turn talking to the other passengers until we came to a stop where I would hold the camera (because I knew how to use it) and Jane would be in charge of talking to the other people (because she’s normal and I’m not when talking to other people), it was a mutual agreement and we found this way a lot easier to power through each people we encountered. It also gave us an understanding of both or strength and weakness of how we approach the next encounter out on the field.
We road the bus for about an hour which is the full loop of its journey but we had to stop as Jane discovered that sitting in a moving metal tin did not agree with my stomach (sorry but yes I suffer from motion sickness, not pretty). So we stopped the task at the uni and decide to call it before we could complete the full route. But in the end we had received great result in both the people we talked with which inspired us to come up with something solid for the task but most importantly we came to release that our idea is related to that of a pilgrim and in most cases of the idea of ‘all road’s lead to Rome’.IMG_0052IMG_0044

“Social Intersections Research Project”

“Working in groups of two or three students, produce an art project that engages with issues of the relation between art and the social.”

 

– PROCESS –

After the initial project briefing, my group and I were very confused where to start. We spent some time brainstorming different ideas, drawing from other works we had been shown in the class lectures. When sitting down and thinking held no results, we drew from previous assessments and decided to go for a walk around the Uni campus in an attempt to find some inspiration.

The walk sparked some ideas; camera surveillance, the process of people meeting, etc, but nothing that we could foresee to be project-worthy.

After hours spent and meeting as a group we were still struggling to think of a main idea for our art project, so we turned to Bianca. Bianca took the assessment outline, and gave us the idea that the task itself could be the art project – our problem of not having an idea, could become our solution. It was a really interesting concept in which we decided to take upon. After discussing this with Bianca we went away and decided to lay out some rules for our project. We would visit 3 different locations and survey the public; explain the subject & assessment and ask them what they would do for an art project if they were in our position. We initially aimed to get at least 10 answers at each location, recording the audio of the conversation, and then record the individual’s age, gender, occupation, etc, in order to compare the answers.

On paper, we had an amazingly straightforward and conceptually interesting project, but when we put it into action, problems started to arise.

We started out at the Uni campus as location #1. None of us realised how difficult it would be to walk up to a stranger and start asking them questions. After conquering the first problem and building up the nerve to engage passers by, we came across another problem. Most people do not have a spare minute out of their day to help 3 poor uni students. We tried different openers to try and persuade people to stop and help but we were still not getting any results. After about an hour and a half we had to resume to our individual lives, but decided we would visit Wollongong mall next.

Later that week we set up camp at one of the main entrances to the mall and started harassing strangers. We found people were even less inclined to help in comparison to the Uni. We ended up getting 1 or 2 results from roughly 25 attempts, which took just over an hour. As we were struggling we discussed going into shops and asking staff but agreed that was inappropriate. This is when the project started to evolve. What ever it was that we were doing prior, was not working, so we had to change something. It didn’t suit us – in terms of time – to stand around for hours getting only a few results so discussed what we could do to obtain results more efficiently. I suggested I could interview a bunch of my friends as we couldn’t afford to spend so much time in the hopes of surveying random people on the street. The group agreed, so I recorded the audio of roughly 10 different conversations onto my phone that day.

Our initial idea of presenting our project was to use an info graphic poster, to compare the results of different locations/ages/genders/etc and display this visually. This also had to change, as the majority of the interviewees were of the same age, and the randomness of each individual was eliminated due to the fact I was interviewing my friends. As a group we discussed our options and came to the idea of compiling the audio recordings and playing them through a speaker for our presentation.

I cut up the audio files so that each of the interviewees ideas/answers were back to back, so you didn’t have to listen to me ask the same question over and over. I feel this would be more engaging and interesting for the listener. We then designed a poster to accompany the speaker so that the audience would understand exactly what it is they were listening to.

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Copy of SOCIAL INTERSECTIONSRESEARCH PROJECT

 


Here is the final audio compilation:

“CAOS201: Social Intersections Research Project”


 

 – REFLECTION – 

The two main texts I found relate to our art project would be Allan Kaprow’s “Just Doing” and Roland Barthes’ essay “The Death of the Author”.

1. In Barthes’ essay “The Death of the Author” he talks about rejecting the idea of authorial intent, and instead develops a reader-response critical theory:
‘The reader is the space on which all the quotations that make up a writing are inscribed without any of them being lost; a text’s unity lies not in its origin but in its destination.’ The use of the word “quotations” expresses the idea that a text cannot really be “created” or “original”—it is always made up of an arrangement of preexisting “quotations” or ideas. Therefore, the “author” is not really an author, but rather a dictator who simply puts together pre-existing works, which is exactly what we did as a group. I found it interesting in distinguishing who really was the true artist/author of this project. Yes, our group planned out the idea behind the project, but without the public/audience, the project would not exist. Because of this, I feel as though the public are the true authors of the project, and we (the group) became the audience.

2. In Kaprow’s “Just Doing” he states that ”playing with everyday life often is just paying attention to what is conventionally hidden”. This relates to our project as it held no real purpose; playing, and we were essentially just uncovering ‘what is conventionally hidden’ – that is, the ideas and memories of individuals, which already exist. We continued “playing”, and like Kaprow states “Playing has no purpose other than more playing”, we allowed the project to evolve without consciously setting any kind of limits or boundaries.

 

 – REFERENCES – 

– Kaprow, A 1997 ‘Just doing’, TDR, Vol .41, No. 3, pp. 101-106.
– Barthes, R 1967 ‘The Death of the Author’

 

 

Draw on me (showcasing and installation)

It is not very often that I create art, and when I do, I am not the type of person who would show it off.

In this case, however, I wanted people to see the artwork that had been created as a result of my doing.

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I think the main reason I felt so comfortable about showing the three canvasses was because I didn’t consider myself as the artist. I know that Daniel and I were the reason the artwork was made, but we didn’t draw or paint anything.

In this case, the role of the artist is to facilitate. We provided people with the opportunity to draw on a canvas, without us there is no canvas and without a canvas, there is no artwork.

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I understand that this concept of the facilitator means that I am still the artist, but I still feel as though that I am stealing the artistic skills and properties of other people.

My experience in this project as being a facilitator has been quite an enjoyable one, ideas and concepts such as this interest me quite a lot. I am very happy to say that I was a part of it and have be able to witness the artwork of many others.

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Draw on me reflection/analysis

Throughout this project, I have learnt a lot about the willingness that people have to engage in activities. I always thought that in order to engage any number of people, a rewards system must be put in place. Never in my life have I seen people do things for free and it is not very frequent that people do things out of the kindness of their heart.

The concept of doing something for free in this day and age seems impossible, people always want something. Even in this project I want people to draw on a canvas for the sake of helping me do an assessment, there is no real reward for doing it; yes they may get to have 20 seconds of fun, but is that the reward that has enticed so many people to participate?

Although I am not surprised that so many people were willing to draw on the canvases, I am surprised how much the physical environment dictated their creativity.

Draw on me #1 (At North Wollongong beach)

In the case of the canvas at the beach, it seemed that people were very fixated on representing what they saw. It seemed like they wanted to capture the moment in which they were living. There were pictures of waves, surfers, flowers, fish, whales, grass, boats and dogs, all these items could be seen if you were standing at the canvas.

The beach canvas, in this case, has been able to create a visual representation of what is on the mind of people at this particular place at this particular time. I know that not all elements of the canvas are related to the beach directly, but each item in this piece works together to represent a beach.

Even when I went home to dry the canvas, two of my housemates asked, “Did you put that down at the beach?”  It is clear that even for people who have no idea where or why it was created, they can accurately guess that it is a representation of a beach.

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Draw on me #2 (At Crown St Mall)

Although this particular canvas went through an unimaginable transformation, I believe that it was able to create a raw representation of a person’s mind.

It is not clear what the canvas means or represents, it is very abstract and it can almost depict whatever you want it to.

Once again, I believe that the physical environment in which the lady was in when she painted the canvas has been represented.

On a cold Thursday morning where rain is causing social angst and unhappiness, this lady has used a number of dark colours to engulf and overpower any remains of what was previously there.

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I feel as though this overpowering and smothering nature is a metaphor for the society in which we live and the environment she is in.

This concept over overpowering is also evident by looking at the edges of the canvas; this lady has gone out of her way to paint on all the sides as well the front. By once again referring to the metaphor, if you look at the front of the canvas and society everything seems quite normal. But with the canvas being painted on the side it seems there is no escape and no room for colour or change, it is like we are trapped with no way out.

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Draw on me #3 (At Wollongong University)

A university is a place for people to come follow their dream, everyone is in an upbeat mood because they are able to express themselves and follow a path of their choice.

In this canvas you can see deeper concepts, people have not only thought about drawing something, they have analysed why and how. It almost seems like they have approached it the same way they would approach an essay.

I am not saying that all the pictures on the canvas have done this, but I feel as though a lot have.

Once again, it is evident that the area in which the canvas was placed has determined what got drawn or written.

People have taken their time in an intellectual way to think about what they are going to add.

University life has also been put all over the canvas too; the use of hashtags clearly helps to represent the demographic of the artists participating.

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Draw on me #3 (At Wollongong University)

With the location of our third and final iteration being the University, Daniel said he would meet me there. Once we had met up, we then walked to my place which is located right next to the University. Although we could have carried our supplies to the location we were going to set up, the equipment was already in the car. So just like yesterday, I dropped Dan off at the Uni with the supplies and proceeded to find a park.

Now that we were ready to go, we started to look around the library for a nice spot to set up. With the library being close to the bus stop we thought it would be a great location to get people’s attention. The spot that we chose was perfect; it was a high traffic area that had more than enough room to set up a table and easel without getting in the way of anyone.

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Once we had set everything up it was 10:20am. The weather today was much the same as the weather we had at the beach, sunny with a little bit of wind. With it being Friday we thought that there would be many people willing to add to the canvas. Within the first minute of us sitting down, someone had already started the chain, and as you can see from the table below it never really stopped.

Drawer Time
Start: 10:20am Friday 27th May 2016, University of Wollongong
#1 10:21
#2 10:22
#3 10:28
#4 10:32
#5 10:35
#6 10:38
#7 10:41
Took photo of canvas 10:50
#8 10:57
#9 11:04
#10 11:10
#11 11:16
Took photo of canvas 11:20
#12 11:22
#13 11:29
#14 11:30
#15 11:33
#16 11:38
#17 1139
#18 11:39
#19 11:42
#20 11:43
#21 11:45
Took photo of canvas 11:50
#22 11:52
#23 11:54
#24 11:56
#25 11:57
#26 12:05
#27 12:10
#28 12:11
#29 12:12
#30 12:15
#31 12:16
#32 12:16
#33 12:17
Took photo of canvas and packed up project 12:20

 

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Just like the previous two times we set up this project, we took pictures every half an hour. Right from the first picture we took, there seemed to be a theme in the artworks that people were drawing. Whether people were being impacted by what was already there or not, throughout this two-hour block a lot of cartoon characters and quotes were drawn.

Although there were a few large drawings, the artwork seemed to be a collaborative piece where all the items worked together. This is quite a contrast to yesterday’s canvas hijacking.

With our focus in all three of the canvases being to capture the thoughts and expressions of people in a particular place, I believe that for the third time we have been able to achieve this goal.