Intervention: Lifting Up Spirits

by | Nov 10, 2018 | Artwork #3: Intervene, Uncategorized

Intervention: Lifting Up Spirits

(lol because elevators are called lifts)  

Artist Statement:

I created Lifting Up Spirits because i beloved the elevator is a great petri dish of awkwardness and mundanity to produce interesting social interventions.

This piece draws influence from my personal life and interventions we examined in class (and on my personal time) of causing a public disturbance in a playful manner. I take a less obstructive approach to intervening because I felt it would be rude to interfere with people/students schedules. Instead my piece passively engages with the awkward tension in an elevator.

In my own life, because sometimes I do strange things to spice up someone’s life with a little fluxus/micro-happening. For example when I am walking by the communal bathroom door where I live, ill pop my head in and make a strange noise like an alien bird call or a fart sound, then continue down the hallway.

The other veins of inspiration I pulled from were less extreme than the works found in On Edge, and more geared towards the playfulness in the pieces by improv everywhere. I was hoping for people to become apart of the piece by participating in the game rather than marinating in the awkwardness. The other aria I drew inspiration was the 1962 psychology experiment in conformity Elevator Groupthink. Mostly because this was the only work done in an elevator that came to mind.

Combining my desire to inject strange moments into people’s lives and the interventions I’ve learned about, I wanted to encourage other people to make those same odd decisions by participating in a game in the elevator.

The most common effect my intervention had on the “players” (aka anyone who enters the elevator) was an odd (almost disgusted look) at the instructions. Most people stared at it during their ride, often glancing up at the paper like it was looking at them. The second VERY RARE response was actual participation. This usually arose when people came into the elevator as friends or sometimes questioned me about what was taking place in the elevator. The last reaction was the person just didn’t witness the paper and continued with their lives. One instance i was able to enter the elevator while someone was already inside and participate without seeming suspicious. I made the fart sound with my mouth because it was a personal favorite. The persons reaction was silent but there facial expiration could be described in the words “not to shabby..”.



Iteration 1 (I tried to keep it simple and easy to process)




Say Hi/Hello = 5

Complement = 10 points

Question =15 points


Iteration 2 (I added two sections in case people wanted to participate solo or they were alone in the lift)



Group Points


Say Hi/Hello = 5


High Five = 10


Everyone Hold Hands = 15


Everyone = 15


Solo Points 


Snap your fingers = 5


Clap your hands = 5


Stand on one foot = 10


Dance = 20


Iteration 3 (eliminated the words “Solo Points and Group Points” because they weren’t necessary and i decided the sections with lines)




Say Hi/Hello = 5


High Five Someone = 10


Everyone Hold Hands = 15



Clap or Snap with your hands = 5


Stand on one foot = 10


Make a fart sound = 15


Dance = 20


[untested Iteration 4]

Print out an outline of a hand and above it reads “SLAP FOR GOOD LUCK”

I believe this iteration takes a lot of the social pressure away and i would sit in the elevator and slap it during the ride to encourage people to participate.


This is how the piece looked when the doors were closed.

Here are people not participating and just observing/being intervened.

Girl looks

Girl looks 2

Girl looks 3

Guy looks

Here are people becoming apart of the intervention.

People participate

participatioon guy

Guy participates 2

Girls participate