Elena Kosowski’s Score: Path of Unnamed Faces

by | Sep 24, 2019 | Artwork #1: Score, Projects


Walk along a path

  1. a) Walk for 1 minute
  2. b) Walk for 3 minutes
  3. c) Walk for a year

Observe and stare at the people you pass by

When you reach the end, sketch the people you saw with as much detail as you can

No video or camera allowed

Do it with a friend; compare and discuss your sketches

Erase everything




Artist Statement:

I came up with the basis of my score while walking across the Ruggles train station. I noticed that while I walked, I passed so many unique and diverse people. A couple minutes after that walk, however, I would completely forget all of them. This short experience made me wonder exactly how many people I’ve passed by and immediately forgotten in my life. These people I’ve passed may have meant so little to me, but they mean so much to others. To someone else, I was one of these insignificant people.

I wanted my score to repeat this experience. People will walk along a path and must pay attention to the people who pass them. They are encouraged to observe as much detail about this person as they can. After the walk, they must sketch what they remember. I wanted to make it clear in the score that use of video and cameras during this activity were prohibited. You aren’t supposed to know how accurate your memory is at the end. You may feel like you’ve forgotten to draw a particular person, and this uncertainty is part of the experience. The duration of the activity I think is an interesting addition. It is much easier to remember all the people you’ve met only a minute ago than three minute ago. A year is considered impossible. Lastly, the act of erasing all the sketches at the end symbolize erasing them from your memory altogether.

When I performed this score in order to test it, I did it with my friend Ariana. I think the best part of the experience afterwards was comparing our sketches. Ariana would notice and remember people I couldn’t recall in the slightest. The details we remembered were different too. While I would remember people based on their shirt colors or hair, Ariana would remember them based on race or the accessories they had. At one point we passed someone that I recognized from my English class, but to Ariana they were a complete stranger.  During this activity it was very sunny, and I wore sunglasses while Ariana did not. Ariana commented that she felt like she made people uncomfortable because she was noticeably staring at them. I had not experienced this issue.

One Minute Activity: Elena’s (first) and Ariana’s (second)

Three Minute Activity: Elena’s (first) and Ariana’s (second)