Uncomfortable Piece

by | Sep 28, 2016 | Artwork #1: Score, Uncategorized

Uncomfortable Piece

  1. Go Outside
  2. Start a conversation with a complete stranger
  3. Your only form of communication is using your phone
  4. Share your results


Artist’s Statement

Nowadays everyone uses some form of digital media. The first thing that comes to my mind is the cell phone. With all the social capabilities digital media offers, you can talk/videochat/play with your friends and family, or even complete strangers across the world with the push of a button(or a tap on a screen). However, overtime, it has become more and more apparent how attached people have become to their phones. You walk down the street, and you’ll see the majority of people talking on them, or aggressively tapping away texting/posting. This personally annoys me when I see people glued to the screens, since it feels like they are becoming further detached from reality.  So I thought of an activity that would hopefully help try and remedy this problem.

I got inspiration for this score, from reading Yoko Ono’s ‘Grapefruit’-Clockwork Piece, the chess video shown to the class, the happening which took place 2 weeks ago outside of Ryder Hall, and of course my previously stated dislike towards people’s obsession with social media. Firstly, Yoko Ono’s Clockwork Piece deeply resonated within me, since I had recently spoke with my relatives from India whom I hadn’t seen in 7 years. It made me realize just how fast time flies, and how much changes. Then, my professor, Celia Pearce, showed us a video of chess with a twist. The two men playing, were playing on a chessboard resting on a man’s back. This made me think of working with everyday, common activities. I also wanted to add a spin to it, making something unique. Another experience which aided me in thinking of this score was the happening in which I took part of. When we went outside, there was a fairly large volunteer fair registration going on in the quad. On top of that, many students were walking to class. I didn’t think much of it at first, until we set up our happening next to the registration tables. This made me uncomfortable, since we tied saran wrap between two trees(representing a net), and half of us were wearing blindfolds. I ended up standing behind my blindfolded classmates, tossing a peanut foam filled ball over the “net” to my other classmates holding magnifying glasses, cardboard, or some object made into a bat. The activity was very enjoyable towards the end, where I started to understand why it was a happening. The uncomfortable moments, I recalled, helped me in realizing how I wanted to shape my score.

I thought of talking to strangers outside, since I have recently been speaking to many residents in Chinatown, where I work. I know some Mandarin, so I try to start conversations with many of the residents there. The strangers were very friendly and helpful in teaching me new words. I then thought of cell phones, because whenever I’m on campus walking to or from class, it seems as if 2 out of 3 students are fiddling with their phones in some way. So, I thought of creating a score where one has to engage someone, whom they do not know, in a conversation with their phone. My aim is to have this experience to be extremely uncomfortable for the player.