Artwork #3: Intervene

Artwork 3: Intervention

What I decided to do for Artwork 3 was making a poster that says “Write down your ideas! What sort of RA/RD event would you actually go to?” and a lot of blank space underneath for in order to let people write underneath. I only did this for the third floor of WVE, which was conveniently the floor I lived on, because it was where the main RA (Resident Assistant) and RD (Resident Director) office in the building are along with the only laundry room and main common area.

It was a little hard to develop the project because I don’t like to take up space or gather any attention to myself. So inspirations of how the project came to be came from From Jen and Derek’s presentation, I noticed that Tactical Media the line ‘anger is an energy’ and ‘create spaces, channels, and platforms for power reversals’. In terms of wanting anonymity, I looked at Michael Rakowitz’s parasite and decided that it’d be less stressful to leave a platform and let others use it how they choose.

Something that always irked me was that the RAs would make events that no one would be interested in and practically no one goes to and the money they’d use for that is chipped in from every resident on their floor. The RAs are nice and always say that we should email them if we have any ideas, but it’s not anonymous and that makes people uncomfortable.

I didn’t want to show myself and keep anonymous. So I decided to make project to at give people a way to write down their ideas and not interact with a human being.

Documentation:

The plan was to keep the poster taped on for a few days and then collect it. I taped the poster near the door of the laundry room which is close to the other areas.

Some of the things written on the paper on the first day such as “bring back the free succulents” and “pizza night, every week. (Just for our floor)(smily face)”. There were more jokey inputs, but one revealed more about problems that needed to be solved such as “free beer, hockey tickets, (I couldn’t read the last thing)” and “return my laundry dollars”.

I kinda hoped for more things written on paper due to the foot traffic to the laundry room, but then I realized that no one carries writing utensils with them when doing laundry and probably don’t want to go out of their way to get one out of their bag when dredging themselves back to their room.

If I was to do this project again. I’d pin a pen near the paper so it’d be more accessible and maybe add the words “collected in # days” like a countdown to give people some sort of urgency to put their ideas down.

Artwork 3: Overwatch Intervention

For my intervention piece, I chose to play as a pacifist in Overwatch. I was inspired by the World of Warcraft group we spoke about in class that healed both sides of a PvP fight, acting as a neutral party in a game that typically pits people against one another and encourages you to take a side. Overwatch is similar – players are grouped into teams of six and fight each other to win capture points or push payloads. I had seen individual players act as pacifists before with varying success, and occasionally everyone would catch on and act friendly, but I was interested to see what would happen if an entire team refused to fight.

I gathered a group of friends to team up with. Unfortunately, due to time constraints and busy schedules, I could only gather four friends at a time, so we had to ask the randomly assigned sixth player to help our cause and act as a pacifist. One person actually left the game before it started since they were not interested in not fighting. We played three games, each time using a predetermined formula. For the first round or point of each game, we would go to the capture point and only use our emotes or voice lines to communicate with the other team. We acted as nonviolently as possible, and did not shoot at the other team. A few people from the other team caught on in the beginning, and acted friendly and nonviolently towards us, but for the most part players on the other team just killed us. We then typed in the match chat and told the other team our intentions, and again waited to see what they would do. A few more players acted nonviolently, but most still shot at us.

I can conclude from this intervention that the few games of Overwatch I’ve seen in which every player acts as a pacifist are rare. Just because a team acts friendly doesn’t mean that everyone will respond in the same way. Many of the players just want to play the game as intended. Those rare moments of pacifism usually happen organically, and everyone must agree, either through chat or through nonviolent actions, to not shoot. I think this intervention showed just how compelling the rules of Overwatch are, and the competitive nature of the players who are unwilling to subvert the expectations of the game. In the future I would be interested to see if playing as a pacifist in other competitive games would be more or less successful than this attempt.

The documentation of this intervention can be seen below in three videos.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/10Odmh-tH5WWthI-9MO8wpKKjOBnQlZLY/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gTzztSaC1sG7b3gSi1hAL7hGIicqaet_/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bWDcc4G9vZg9o0KSOJUSF_rds0oy9iwQ/view?usp=sharing

Intervention: Letting my opponents choose my weapons in CSGO

For my intervention, I planned on doing something related to my card games that I play so much. However, at the tournament I was at, I ended up playing nearly the entire tournament. So, I decided to take it to CSGO, and let my opponents choose my weapons. I hopped onto a smurf account of mine (an account deliberately ranked lower than the player’s actual skill level) to test this.

It ended up providing very interesting results, with some matches resulting in a plethora of weapons, some in one or two, and some ended in me getting kicked by my team. The results can be seen here.

I decided to do this because I wanted to see how many people would blatantly abuse the system to gain an advantage. Of course, the easiest way to do this would be to tell me to buy nothing or buy a small taser. In two games I was asked to buy a taser, one where I was kicked by my own team for it. Most games, the opposing team just had me use a pistol or something so as to not abuse the system entirely, which I saw as interesting as it showed that players wanted an advantage, but not an auto-win of sorts.

This project speaks on how the strides players will go to to win and how much they actually care about winning versus how much they value their pride. For example, in the first game, they valued their pride far more, refusing to tell me a gun to use for an entire half until I racked up nearly 25 kills in a single half. Then, in a dire situation, they complied. So in a pinch, the win often matters more. Most players valued their pride to some degree, just having me use a pistol or something, but some didn’t care about it at all, giving me a taser that essentially turned me into a useless asset.

I took inspiration from this from Yoko Ono’s “Cut Piece” work. Although not necessarily an intervention, since it was on a planned stage at an event, there are some parallels. Yoko left it up to the “players” whether to abuse the system or not for personal gain, having the option to deliberately reveal private areas of Ono’s body. This would test to see who would abuse the system, and who would just have a little fun with it. Like Ono’s, the players had the opportunity to completely abuse the system for personal gain. In both scenarios, most people didn’t, having at least some sort of pride to hold on to.

 

Intervention: Library Nap

It’s no surprise that college students are often sleep deprived because of their courseloads. I’ve been under a lot of stress recently and certainly experienced this myself, which is why I wanted to do something related to sleeping, specifically in a studying setting like the library. People fall asleep there often, so I did something that would draw more attention and seem more deliberate; therefore, I tried to recruit multiple people, and had them use pillows and blankets, set up near the entrance where most people would see.

Some of the project was vaguely inspired by the homelessness-related tactical media projects that were presented to us in class, namely the works of Wodiczko and Rakowitz. Though the underlying message differs from mine, it inspired the thought of playing with where people and certain daily activities belong, primarily sleeping. Usually, a single homeless person sleeping on the sidewalk doesn’t attract much attention and blends in; I wanted to put sleeping people in a context where they would be noticed.

Groups of people doing unusual things is fascinating to me, especially the happenings by Kaprow. While mine was less absurd, I was still inspired by his works and the public disruptions he and other Fluxus artists led.

While I wanted it to stand out, I was also wondering how much this intervention would blend in. I wanted to see at what point it does become unusual. I couldn’t get many people for mine, but someone was already sleeping when we arrived, which helped set the scene and almost made it feel more acceptable. The most common reaction would be someone staring as they walked past, or pairs of people staring, whispering something about it to each other, and moving on. The best part, however, happened at the end, when someone who works at the library approached. They stood by for a bit, looking concerned, before kneeling next to one of the participants, watching him, and then approaching me. They first asked if it was “protesting something,” which fascinated me, since in a way, we were, and it was interesting that someone would guess that just from people taking a nap on the floor. I felt like we were going to be asked to leave and we had already been there long enough, so I told them we would be leaving soon.

If I were to do this again, I would experiment with larger groups of people, inviting bystanders over, and/or putting up a sign that acknowledged the people sleeping to make it seem even more deliberate. Interventions generally have a social statement, and I would want to make one about college burnout more clear with other iterations.

Intervention: Lifting Up Spirits

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..”.

 

Iterations:

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

 

EARN THE MOST POINTS

Group

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)

EARN THE MOST POINTS

 

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)

EARN THE MOST POINTS

_____

 

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.

Documentation:

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

Intervention: Reserved

Rules:

Place a piece of paper reading “Reserved” on a table in a dining hall, or other area where seating is open. Wait 20-60 minutes to see what happens.

Documentation:

The first round was in Stetson East. The sign read “Reserved (in large font) for those without backpacks (in smaller font)”. Duration: 60 minutes.

The dining hall wasn’t too busy, but there were enough people that at least 10 came and went over an hour.  Several people looked at it, and one girl with a background touched it, read the small text, and then chose another booth. Everyone sat around the booth it was in.

The second round was also in Steast. The sign read “Reserved for those wearing Husky gear”. Duration: 30 minutes.

I chose a busier time to see if desperation for seating would make people more willing to disregard the sign. The same thing happened, with no one sitting there. However, the different this round was that when I looked up the sign was gone; someone had taken it.

The third round was in International Village. The sign read “Reserved for a couple.” Duration: 30 minutes.

Several people gave the sign strange looks or frowns, and one person talked about it to their friend, came over the the table, set their stuff down, read the small text, and went back to their old seating place.

This got me thinking that maybe people were hesitant to sit at a table that said “Reserved” even if they fit the description, so I made a new sign.

The fourth round was in Curry Student Center. The sign read “Reserved for those who wants to sit here.” Duration: 1 minute

This time I decided to “reserve” the table for anyone who read the small text. Once I set it down, the table was claimed within seconds of me walking away to get a picture. I wonder if this was because Curry was really busy, or because older students might have less indecisiveness about sitting at a table marked reserved.

The fifth round was in Steast again. The sign read the same “Reserved for those who want to sit here.” Duration: 20 minutes.

Because of the change of setting, this time took longer for someone to sit down. What I found interesting was that several people read the sign and decided to sit somewhere else (this may indicate they only read the large text?) After 15 minutes someone finally read it, smiled, and decided to sit there.

Statement:

I originally had the idea to give flyers to those distributing flyers, namely the Jehovah’s witnesses, but that proved too difficult. Instead, I decided to play with the idea of how much people trust signs to have authority. Even the paper sign I made in Paint and then printed on normal printing paper seemed to have some sort of authority, even though it really didn’t. The structure of the dining hall was a good place to set it, because seating is always open, and I’ve never seen any table be reserved. How and why would you even reserve a table in a dining hall? Still, people seemed to buy it. Surprisingly, no one contradicted the signs through the 5 runs, and more than that, no one fitting the descriptions decided to sit there either, until the last sign (“Reserved for those who want to sit here”). I wonder: if there were to be someone fitting the description sitting at the table if others would be more keen to sit there (or if a person sitting there would stop them from doing the same instead of sitting by themselves.)

This intervention played with the cultural expectation of food seating, or the experiential affordance of a table. A table can be reserved in a restaurant setting, and even though the dining hall is not a restaurant setting, people are easily willing to accept it since the context is similar enough, even if they’ve never had the experience of reserving a table in a dining hall. It also questions what makes something have authority, if there is nothing concrete to back that up. The sign, though paper, had enough details (the fact that it was printed, the font, the more complicated way it was folded) to register as “formal”. If I were simply to have written Reserved on a scrap piece of paper, there might’ve been less regard given to those instructions.

This idea fed from similar ideas from past projects, namely the beach balls left in the quad and the origami paper cranes left out. I wanted to do something regarding out of order elevators or showers, but that had already been done. It was also inspired partially by Chris Burden’s questions of authority, and his Shout Piece, described in On Edge like this: “he sat on a brightly lit platform… ordering people to ‘get the fuck out”—which most did, immediately.” That description stood out to me.

Overall, I think this intervention was more of a social experiment, but a success nevertheless.

Artwork 3: GTA V Helicopter News (Intervention)

ARTWORK 3: Intervention – GTA V Helicopter News

The Premise:

Players have to act as reporters in a GTA Online match and report what they’re seeing in Game Chat

The Rules:

  1. Two players (One Pilot, One Reporter) pretend to be part of a News Helicopter crew in a GTA Online lobby
  2. The Reporter must “report” in game chat where everyone can hear them
  3. Neither the Pilot nor the Reporter can attack other players or return fire if attacked by other players

Artist Statement & Inspiration:

My main goal with GTA V Helicopter News was two fold: One, to create a fun and silly game that forced participants to interact with the extremely hostile world of GTA Online in a different context (as a defenseless spectator), and Two, to force those who commit the actions that make GTA Online extremely hostile to view their actions through someone else’s eyes.

Part of the inspiration for this project came from memories of the mini games my friends and I had come up with playing games like GTA IV. I also drew some inspiration from machinimas like Freeman’s Mind and Red vs. Blue, which usually manipulated the game to create content that was somewhat different from the intended play (more so in the case of Red vs. Blue). The main inspiration came from several role-playing mods that sprung up from games like ARMA 3 (Project Life) and GTA V (LSPDFR), as well as the many videos that sprung up around such mods.

As for broader sources of inspiration, the work of The Yes Men, particularly in regards to the performance where one of their members impersonated a DOW Chemical spokesperson on the BBC, was influential. This performance drew international attention to DOW’s misdeeds (in regards to them failing to clean-up after the 1984 Bhopal Chemical leak, which was caused by a company they later bought), while also showing how they continued to do nothing to mitigate the damage (i.e. Failed to compensate the victims of the disaster). While my project had far lower stakes, their method of using performance art to make a group of people come face to face with their misdeeds explicitly inspired the second part of the project’s main goal.

Play Report:

  • Results weren’t bad, but they weren’t great either.
  • Plenty of footage was recorded, but there wasn’t much vocal response from the players
  • 9 times out of 10 we were shot out of the sky before we could start recording (had to constantly stop and restart due to Xbox Capture limitations) by hostile players in various flying vehicles (Helicopters, Jets, Hover Bikes, etc.) as well as ground-based players with anti-aircraft weapons (Heat-Seeking Missiles)
  • Side note: It was also really difficult trying to get helicopters because they were spawning in weird places and I had my HUD turned off to get the best footage

Documentation:

 

Intervention: Walk Around (Boston)

Score:

Take a walk following these rules:

  1. Sidewalk Slalom
    1. Walk down the part of the sidewalk closest to the street, swerving between obstacles
  2. Moving around a bench
    1. If there’s a bench or some other object to the side, walk the wrong way around it
  3. Turn Around
    1. At random points, turn around abruptly
  4. Change Speeds
    1. Without warning, go from a walk to sprint and back
  5. Walk on curbs
    1. If something is above walking level, walk on it
  6. Up and Down
    1. Go down a stairs, and then right back up
  7. In a circle
    1. Walk in a circle around things
  8. Path Less Traveled
    1. Go off the sidewalk in parks and plazas
  9. Hop-chain
    1. When there are barriers with small chains, jump over them
  10. Walk Everywhere
    1. Walk to a dead end or secluded alley and back.

Documentation:
Walking Path:

Sidewalk Slalom:

 

Plaza Walks:

 

 

 

Other videos:

 

Artist Statement:

Above all other influences: I just wanted to take a walk. It’s a relaxing experience to explore somewhere without a goal. Before you leave Boston get some long walks in. (That goes for everyone reading this) Okay so the inspiration for the medium was my own desires, but how did I put it together?

There might have been a time in life where I wouldn’t consider a walk through a city a valid form of art, but that was long ago. More recently there was a time where I would not feel confident enough that a walk I would do could potentially be considered arts. I have to thank our good friend R.Mutt for that confidence, because his Fountain has showed that anything can be art as long as someone thinks it’s art. There’s something about the absurdist of Dadaist art that connects to the absurdism I was trying to create. Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven certainly encapsulates more than me the absurdist public performative nature I was trying to encapsulate.

Of course wherever Dada goes Fluxus will soon follow, and Fluxus was a larger inspiration for me. If R.Mutt proved that anything can be art Allison Knowles and her dedication to the Tuna Sandwich showed us what anything as art really means. Going for a walk, eating a sandwich, making a salad are all pedestrian activities that Fluxus artists worked in throughout the movements history. This piece also comes with a score, which is certainty inspired by those of Ono. I mentioned Map Piece in my last write up but it’s even more relevant here. The work is a walk following an imaginary map; I continue to walk that path.

The final major inspiration  (although if I would have done further research into the Situationists before going on the walk it might not have been the final paragraph) were performance artists. While my walk was not as impressive or interesting as walking across the Great Wall of China it was still inspired by Marina Abromovic and Ulay’s Lovers. That piece was the first time I learned of a walk that was also a work of art. The goal of my walk was much more inspired by a Monty Python sketch then a 3 month spiritual journey of two collaborators and ex-lovers, but it remains in the same medium.

Oh and yes, here are the two (1, 2) most influential Monty Python sketches. Not just on my walk, but on my life.

Project 3: Intervention – RIP Diablo 4

Artist Statement:

My final iteration of my intervention piece was almost completely different from the original pitch. My original idea was to hold an in-game peace protest in World of Warcraft to make a statement against the perpetual faction conflict (originally inspired by the group who acted as the Red Cross in game by only healing players). However, this weekend was Blizzcon. At the convention 2 things happened: they revealed more information about the upcoming WoW patches that quelled my annoyance, and they announced a new Diablo game on mobile to booing from the crowd.

I was admittedly hopeful of the new mobile game, but as I learned more, I felt like the Diablo fans got cheated with an outsourced mobile-game re-skin as the “big Diablo news”. I don’t personally believe that Diablo 4 won’t happen, but I was disappointed with the lack of news and also wanted to express the frustration many of my friends were experiencing. I decided to pivot my protest about WoW inside WoW to a statement piece expressing the disappointment in the Diablo news. My piece was inspired by two main things: the Institute for Applied Autonomy’s graffiti writer, and emergent behavior in WoW where people use items to write messages on the ground.

My final piece was done in “feast graffiti” (writing messages using feast tables which would disappear around 10 minutes after they are placed but are otherwise impossible to remove without me doing so) and was attempting to show solidarity and support for the Diablo community as well as use another Blizzard game as a platform against Blizzard’s lackluster showing for one of its 20+ year old franchises. I took to the virtual streets in 3 different cities and plastered my message of “RIP D4” (Rest in Peace Diablo 4) on the digital cobblestone.

The first city was Stormwind, the Alliance capital city. I put my message in front of the auction house due to its high traffic volume. This initial showing attracted a small crowd and a few people laughing and making meme jokes about Blizzard’s responses such as “don’t you all have phones?”

After Stormwind, I went to Dalaran, the main hub of the previous expansion where both Horde and Alliance share spaces. I set up outside the Horde quarter by people and actually had a couple people walk over to see what I was spelling. When I was done I posed at the top of my art and people were talking about it. One person even emoted cheering for me.

Finally, I took to Boralus Harbor, the main Alliance hub for the current expansion. This was the most crowded spot and I immediately set about writing my message right through the middle of the crowd. People moved out of the way as they saw me approach so I could write more clearly. This one got the loudest response in game even if it was still pretty quiet and full of memes.

My message was seen and that was that; or so I thought. I woke up the next day to find someone had taken a screenshot of the message and posted it on Reddit (something I made the decision not to do myself as I was content with the small bits of approval I did receive). The post was the 3rd most popular post 13 hours after it was posted, with 5.8k upvotes and 556 comments. After 22 hours the post had 6.6k upvotes and 671 comments. The comments range from people memeing about the Diablo Immortal announcement, to people making well written cases for why mobile was bad for PR and also people calling the Diablo players “entitled”. The reddit post can be found here: https://www.reddit.com/r/wow/comments/9u9kn3/standing_in_solidarity_with_our_diablo_brothers/

 

Ultimately, I am proud of how my intervention lived on past my initial graffiti. I really appreciate that other random people who agreed with the sentiment I was expressing also became vocal and spread the art of my intervention.

 

 

Intervention: PseudoScience in a Scientific Forum

Artist Statement:

Originally, I thought that I might do something with forums and the weirdos that crop up around them. At about the same time, Youtube started recommending me the Spirit Science youtube channel, a channel devoted to pseudoscience like merkhaba forcefields, chakras, etc (with racist overtones of Jews being a benign race of aliens from space for added measure)

I decided to inject pseudoscience into a scientific forum, and, taking inspiration from Spirit Science and the “documentaries” posted on their official website, as well as the Yes Men and their act as presenting as a group they do not actually side with as a way to bring light to issues that are not actually visible in normal life. Specifically, I was influenced by the Bhopal hoax, where one of the Yes Men pretended to be a spokesman for Dow Chemical, the way I pretended to be a believer of pseudoscience.

My intervention attempted to push pseudoscience into visibility as a problem on a scientific forum. (honestly, there was already a lot of pseudoscience, and most of it was phrased less carefully and sensically than what I produced, such as arm whip man, featured below)


(I think there might be something wrong with the quality of the images, but you already saw them in my presentation)

I only managed to present two questions, each of which was taken down from the general public eye really quickly, though they can still be found with a little searching. The first was in the Genetics section of the forum, asking if it was possible to use CRISPR, a genetic manipulation tool currently in development as a possible way to cure cancer and other genetic issues, to unlock chakras, spiritual centers of energy in a person’s body, with major points running down the middle of the body. This strange blend of real and fictional is a trademark of pseudoscience, and what makes it seem to make at least some sense to the occasional person.  Only one person got to see my post before it was locked by moderators and the person used that opportunity to mock the question, likening the dubious existence of chakras to the invisible dragon beneath his chair.

My second question was in Earth Science, asking what minerals were considered “safe” as healing crystals, since magnets could warp a soul out of shape, and chalcanthite could upset a body’s copper stores (a reference to the fact that chalcanthite is poisonous partially due to its high copper content). That one was locked by moderators instantly.

After that second question, I got banned, and then banned again when I made a second account, with a similar name and liked the post where the mods mentioned banning me.