Artwork #3: Intervene (Public Artwork)

Project Description and Setup:

For my intervention, I left a prompt on a canvas in a public space, which allowed for people to interrupt their daily routine to draw whatever they would like.

  1. Find a public space to display a whiteboard or surface to draw on
  2. Write a prompt which invites people to draw or create whatever they please
  3. Return to the board in 24hrs to see what has been created

At first, my idea was to sit on the centennial common with a whiteboard and ask people to come and draw whatever they’d like to. This idea posed a few problems though. Firstly, I had discovered that allowing people to draw without others observing produced much more creative and interesting results than if there had been others around. Secondly, I do not own a whiteboard large enough to get peoples attention without asking them if they would like to participate. Since this is an intervention piece, I did not want to have as much of a role in the users’ experience as I would have had if I were to camp out on centennial. Therefore I modified my original idea so that I could use a larger canvas in a less public and crowded space. Thus, I chose to setup my intervention in a study room in my dorm building (West Village F). This allowed for participants to take a break from studying to draw whatever was on their mind. The results from this were unique to say the least.

Canvas before:

Canvas 24 hours later:

Upon first observing the changes, I noticed that there were not nearly as many drawings as i’d hoped there would be. All though this was saddening, I was still able to appreciate kirby, a volleyball, bubble tea, and a very awful drawing of spongebob dubbed “spong”.

The results were pretty indicative of the current mental state of those residing in my building. Although stressed by workload around midterms and nearing finals, students were still able to have fun in expressing themselves and displaying their work to others.

The Movies (Final)

For my intervention I plan on going to the movie theater.  I will pay for a random movie (the movie doesn’t matter). Once the movie starts I will bring out a book and read it throughout the film. Watch how the other movie goers and theater staff react to you reading a book instead watching the movie, which everyone expects.

Documentation: I went to see the 12:35PM show of the Young Messiah at the AMC Loews Theater because I expected there to be a fair number of people at the theater at noon time. I sat in the front row of the theater so that everyone in the theater could see me. I pulled out my book as the movie started and began reading. It was dark so I assumed that it would take other people in the theater some time to notice that I was reading a book. However, it seemed like the other movie goers were far more interested in the movie. I only observed three people who actually seemed to notice that I wasn’t watching the movie, but reading a book. There was a man who was sitting next to me that was the first to notice. He glanced over but did not seem surprised or seem to care at all. A few moments later he went back to enjoying the movie. Half way into the movie two old ladies left the theater. As they walked towards the exit they saw me reading.  They gave me funny looks, but did not question me about it. No one at the theater seemed to really care or notice, which was a little disappointing. I was expecting people to ask questions, but they did not.


Young messiah


Artist Statement:

The original concept for this intervention was to watch a Netflix movie at the movie theater. However, I realized that that would not be possible as the theater I was in did not have wi-fi. I wanted to do this because I thought it was interesting to see how people reacted to me interacting with a media at a setting created for the specific consumption of a different type of media. In any given social setting people have a certain idea of what is acceptable or the “norm.” I wanted to do the complete opposite of the “norm” and see how people reacted.

I was inspired primarily by the Dada artist who created art out of pre-existing things. I created something new out of a pre-existing process which is similar to what the Dadaist did. I was particularly influenced by Marcel Duchamp’s piece The Fountain. The Fountain was essentially a bathroom urinal that Duchamp sent to an art society contest. The society believed that the urinal was a joke and not really art so they rejected the urinal. The society was expecting more conventional forms of art such as painting or sculptures. However, Duchamp decided to do something unconventional and surprising. It inspired me to do something that was unexpected and unconventional. It inspired me to go against what the expected norms were and do something completely unexpected. In this case the expectation was to watch the movie, but by reading instead I went against the established norms like Duchamp.

The Dinglehopper Poster Experience

Artist Statement:

As described in my proposal, I wanted to leverage the name and assets of my last card game, Dinglehopper, in a physical space as an intervention. As Dinglehopper relied on an interesting environment to begin with in its initial format, I felt it would be an interesting thing to use a physical medium to call people to action in redefining the objects around campus. It also could be used to possibly stir interest in the card game, which I was very pleased with, and would like to pursue further.

The core of the experience in designing this intervention was the call for players to act in a way that they may normally not consider: redefining objects they see every day. While we as creatively thinking beings often will look at an unknown item and ponder its purpose, rarely do we consciously look at something familiar in the same light as a new object. We bring our preconceived notions to bear in almost every interaction we have with the items around us, and that can lead to mental stagnation. Dinglehopper exists to shake things up, and to get us as creatives looking at objects as if they were brand new to us.

Documentation and Results:

Dinglehopper, while a fun card game with a lot of potential, apparently does not elicit a great response in the physical space.

I probably underestimated how little time people actually spend reading posters, and even the ones who did stop to read it apparently did not interact with it. Even the friends who I begged to use the hashtag to seed the Twitter account apparently did not; proof of this is that the hashtag #DinglehopperNU remains unused after 6 days of existence, and remains with only myself as a follower. To remedy this in the future, I think rather than using a hashtag, I would link them directly to the Twitter page to follow and Tweet at. Perhaps I would also remove the Tumblr from the equation entirely, as fewer people Tumbl than Tweet, and having it on the poster might have confused players.

I think one of the other major issues that arose in this experiment was poster removal. Several of the posters I had put up in Ryder Hall were not there on Thursday when I checked on them, likely taken down by facilities between Tuesday and Thursday. Perhaps with more time I would have been able to get more approval for pasting them up in public places and not have them taken down, but we’ll likely never know.

I have updated the poster for future game endeavors to direct people to Tweet to @DinglehopGame rather than use the hashtag, and while I don’t have time to post it at Northeastern before this assignment comes to a close, I will see if I can get any feedback from other universities in the future. In any case, photo documentation by me does exist that the original posters were there (not all are pictured here; click images to view full-sized). The Tumblr and the Twitter also will remain up, just in case I decide to start a marketing campaign for the card game in the future.

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New Intervention Proposal

Thinking about the last assignment (the Appropriation), which I really enjoyed the final product of, I decided to extend the theme of that into the next project and make the Appropriation into an Intervention as well.

Which brings us to the return of Dinglehopper.

I have designed a poster that I can hang up on various items around the Northeastern campus, stating that the object it is attached to is “not used for _______”. I will fill in the item’s actual purpose in that blank, and then leave it with the instructions for readers to take a picture and Tweet the result using a specific hashtag (#dinglehopperNU). I have set up a Twitter account and Tumblr to track the Tweets, and will post what I think is the “best of the day” each day next week on the Tumblr. I am hoping this will add a little more imagination to students’ days, and maybe drum up some interest in the original card game as well, eventually. I still plan on pursuing that one independently this summer, so more awareness is always good.

I am thinking of a list of places to put the posters right now; interesting places may include dining halls, janitorial closets, random classrooms, and more. For documentation, I will have the Twitter record of #dinglehopperNU, as well as the Tumblr account. I may try to run some analysis to see if the game grows more popular each day, and may even try getting other schools involved (#dinglehopperBU, for example, could be fun).

Current poster design is Here.
The Tumblr page is Here.
The Twitter page is Here.

#YitzLives – Proposal and Call for Comments/Suggestions

Inspired by Celia’s “Tiamat Media” pervasive game experience at DragonCon, I would like to do something similar regarding the Shillman Cat (who, I found out, is modeled after a [now-deceased] stray cat from Haifa named Yitz). Hopefully this will include a Tumblr blog with regularly scheduled updates, an ad or two taken out in the Huntington Times to build interest over time (perhaps even with a fake letter to the editor or column), and perhaps a Twitter account as well (though @shillmancat already exists; a conundrum, to be sure). All  this to convince people that the cat has a sinister purpose, ulterior motive, or some other dark secret, and only with the combined belief of the student body can it be stopped and Yitz laid to rest once and for all.

I am currently researching not only the cat and Robert Shillman (the man next to the cat statue on that stone slab), but also various social media platforms to use with this. Tumblr, Twitter and the school newspaper seem like the easiest to access in a short period of time, but I feel like doing a scavenger hunt as well would be fun for adding more “game-y” aspects to the quest to stop Yitz. If I could get Mr. Shillman on board with this as well, that would be absolutely amazing.

For this particular post, I am seeking comments relating to possible sinister plots, ideas on how to spread the message further, (as well as activities students can do to get more engaged in the game), methods of tracking and logging the adventure, opinions on the validity of this project for the assignment, and any other advice that you feel may add to this experience. Please comment below, or message me privately via social media or email with your suggestions.

Thank you in advance!