curious, not creepy.


is it better to give or to receive? [final project]

my favorite project that i’ve done for this class was the first one, the giving back one. what i wish i would have been able to do was having some sort of interaction with the person on the other end. which is what i attempted to do for this piece. 

this time around, i took some polaroids of things that i never really noticed around my neighborhood:

 

and then attached a note that i typed up for the finder:

 

once i typed up one to go with each photograph, i bundled them them together so that they’d all contain the same things. it looked like this:

 

i then put them in places to be found throughout these two areas:

 

it is my hope that they will be found by people who will be willing to respond. and if not, that’s fine. i like to think that if anything, it is something that is out of the ordinary to interrupt their day. a pleasant surprise, finding these unusual, ‘out-dated’ forms of communication that are wanting to start a dialogue with the finder and myself.

[i encourage anyone who’d like to, to mail me something. even if you don’t find one of my little gifts. i’d be happy to mail something in return. po box 3592 tucson,az 85722]

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maintaining eye contact – walk six
June 9, 2008, 12:32 am
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i chose to maintain eye contact with everyone i interacted with today. 

it seems like such a simple gesture but it’s much harder then what i would have thought. for the most part, the person on the receiving end was not into it. i was lucky to get a glance from the person i was interacting with. but those that reciprocated actually made me uncomfortable. looking directly at someone is something i’m able to do if i know the person and feel comfortable with them. but when a stranger is looking it is my first instinct to look away. i am very aware of that and so i tried to not break away. i was able to do it for a bit but if it lasted too long i’d have to turn away. anything longer then about a minute makes me anxious. 

after trying to do this all day i needed a break and met my friend for some ice tea at a cafe. i told her about my day and she said that she understood how hard eye contact can be to maintained. and said that the only time that she feels comfortable with it [aside from close friends] is at work when she’s on the other side of the counter. that is when she is able to maintain it. and that is one place i feel totally comfortable with as well. maybe it has to do with it being something that i am required to do in order to do my job well. but it also makes me think it has something to with feeling more in control of that situation. though they are still strangers, i don’t necessarily see them in that light. most of the people who come in to the theater are regulars so i feel like i know them more. we have a more frequent interaction then just someone on the sidewalk.  

i’m going to make more of an effort to keep this from being such a strenuous activity. and hopefully it’ll improve. 

 



a magnet would have made this easier – walk five
June 9, 2008, 12:15 am
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i asked a close friend of mine what something is he cares about and would want me to walk in his name for. what he gave me was one of his weird quirks. or at least i find strange because it’s not mine. 

he does this thing, that i make fun of him for but now understand why it is he does it. anytime he’s walking and he sees a nail in the road or on the sidewalk he picks it up. he doesn’t want his car or anyone else’s to run over it and get a flat. it’s a very nice gesture, really. and that’s what he asked me to do, specifically the alley where my house is. so i did. first i did this side of the alley:

and found 56 nails 

then i did the other side,

and found 47

for a total of 103

i am now very curious as to how they got there in the first place. as well as have a greater appreciation for his weird habit. it saves tires. which is always good.



treat it like play money. [project 3]
June 7, 2008, 1:53 am
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I was a sophmore in high school when the Iraq war began, and it took me awhile to figure out where exactly I stood on the issue. My father supported the President, while my mother didn’t take much of a stance either way, friends at school were mostly apathetic but a few took a firm stance against it.  I decided that I wanted to do my own research since I didn’t want to take a side without knowing the facts and after extensive research I found nothing that convinced me that it was a good idea.  And that is when my political activism began, the spring semester of my junior year. I did everything I could to stay informed and attended anti-war and peace rallies whenever I could.  This continued until my first year of college, when the news stopped becoming as important and making time to protest was becoming harder and harder.  But with this assignment, as well all the readings that came along with it, I have had a new motivation to get going again.

I found this website – nationalpriorities.org – which allows you to see how much money the United States, your specific state and even town, has spent on the Iraq war. The numbers are astounding and I felt like they needed to be shared.  When thinking of how to do this I drew inspiration from the Eyes Wide Open piece, I think seeing a massive amount of anything makes people feel overwhelmed and forces them to deal with it as an object which is what I wanted to do, and hope it was accomplished.

For this piece, I took play money and wrote statistics I had found on the National Priorities website and placed them in high traffic areas on campus. This was meant to force the audience to interact with it, to decide wither to leave it or destroy it, to walk on it or over it. I did this all early in the morning as to avoid being seen, and used my lomo fish-eye camera for documentation since it is less conspicuous then a SLR and tripod. I went back later that same day to see what was left  and what was taken down, and was pretty surprised with the outcomes even though I had no expectation of seeing anything when I returned.

art building

Though not as many people saw them as I would have liked, I’m satisfied in knowing that they were at least out in the world and at the very least a handful of people read them while cleaning them up.  Who knows, maybe they ended up engaging in some kind of conversation about wasteful spending.



flower bombs. [project two]
June 2, 2008, 11:00 pm
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it took me a really long time to figure out what it was i wanted to do for this weeks project. i didn’t want to do something predictable, like actual graffiti.  so i was just thinking and thinking and couldn’t come up with anything that i could have gotten done in time for friday. i know, i know, i should have met the deadline but i’d rather do a piece that i actually like a lot and turn it in a couple days late then one that means nothing to me on time. 

what i ended up coming up with was this:

flower bombs. or at least that’s what i’m calling them. originally i wanted to plant flowers throughout my neighborhood in vacant lots, but my concern was their upkeep after being planted. but then, i found this group who was interested in the same thing i was. http://guerrillagardening.org/  i took a spin on their seed bombs and used earthworm castings and wildflower seeds meant to flourish in the southwest. as all cities, ours is growing at a very quick rate. i remember reading an article about a year ago saying that in 10 years [9 now, i guess] Tucson and Phoneix will meet. there will no longer be any desert seperating us.  now, i’m not necessarily the biggest fan of the desert and don’t really find it that attractive but that doesn’t mean i want it to disappear. especially since what will replace it isn’t some greenery, instead its cookie cutter homes which i find to be an even bigger eyesore. so my plan for this project was to go throughout my neighborhoods vacant lots and plant some wildflowers. give the urbanization a litte spruse up, if you will.

i was only able to go a few places because of the size of my mixing bowl, but i have a HUGE bag of castings left so i plan on using them again soon. or if anyone is interested in some, i’d be happy to share.  i tried to focus on vacant lots but found myself putting them in sentimental places as well. there is one in front of a house, i found that piece of paper next to it so i thought i should return the favor with some flowers. and the last one is next to my old high school, that i felt as though deserved my last bit of soil. 



private in public – walk three
June 1, 2008, 3:53 am
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music is more important to some people then others. i like it a lot and have it on all the time, well almost all the time. i used to constantly wear my headphones while riding my bike or walking anywhere. at some point i stopped, i can’t really pin point the exact moment in time in which i’d stopped doing that but i did. so, taking a walk with them on again was very strange. and felt almost like a sensory overload. 

this is the route i took: [black = ipod, blue = no ipod]

i noticed that i became very observant. at least about the big things i saw, like buildings and landscape but totally blew past things that i normally would spend a lot of time with. like the sidewalk and traffic. it was very odd to hear music while walking instead of the sounds that i knew i was producing as well as the ones that were around me.  

i ventured into value village because i realized i’d never tried to go into a store with headphones on. i think it’s really rude to try and interact with other people with them in.  it’s as though what they are listening is too important to give you their full attention. i felt incredibly rude with them on and had a conflict with the other music that was being played, they meshed but not in a good way.

i took a slight detour on my walk home, which felt like FOREVER long. when really, it wasn’t that far. 

i prefer to listen to music in a more private setting, i’ve concluded. in the car, and most definitely at home but it isn’t necessary while walking. also, it isn’t the safest decision to make either. though i become very observant to things that i don’t normally pay much attention to, those other things that are important – like hearing traffic – tend to take the backseat.