Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Individual Post

A Group Project
From the beginning my group had a fairly clear direction to go in. We wanted to do a pile of something and watch people react to it. Originally, we thought we would do a pile of bananas, but honestly that would be too expensive and might make a mess. Then, we thought we could do a pile of candy or something else, but that also didn't really seem to mean much. Finally, we came to the idea of a single item compared to a pile of items and decided to go with paper, which has both the visual disinterest of trash and the interest of a folded paper maybe having something inside it that you might want to read.
From there we began laying out the ground work after classes. We decided to have the event be a singular event, not so much of performance, but more of a short installation involving the CNU community for the interactions. It was to be staged in the DSU for both the best use of public space that people would be in and also because having a pile of paper in the outdoor elements was probably not the best thing to do. We staged the event on the first floor and setup cameras both on the ground level and from the third story.
In planning we decided we would start with a single sheet of paper, folded in fourths be on the floor for about an hour, and then have a pile of papers with different nice handwritten notes, rude typed notes, or blank paper  all folded in fourths. We imagined that the best reactions would come from the pile of paper. We each split up this process of creating the papers for this project equally. Each group member made 10 of each type of the papers for the pile, making 90 sheets of paper.
One of the issues we ran into while planning this project was that CNU staff is supposed to pick up and throw away any piece of trash that they see on the ground. So we made sure to let the staff know what was going to happen and what we were doing.
The Performance
The day of the happening, we all met in the DSU during regular scheduled class time. Whitney placed the first note on the ground and within a minute, CNU staff saw the paper, picked it up and read the note (which said "Please put me back"). They then remembered that they had been notified about the project and apologized. For the most part the entire student population that walked through the DSU completely ignored the single paper in this phase. Though we did have a couple more instances of staff noticing the note and throwing the paper away.
For the last phase, we collected together our contributed papers and placed it in a pile in the center of the DSU. These reactions were much more exciting to watch. There were some people that passed by the pile without actually picking up any paper, but most of them did at least look it over. A couple even walked hand in hand around the pile. The reactions to what people got in regards to what was on the paper were really interesting. Often, if a person got a good note, they would keep the note after reading it. If someone got a bad note, they would usually share it with others and then put it back in the pile. If people got a blank note they would generally look disappointed and often go back to the pile for another paper. The pile definitely attracted a lot of attention and seemed to bring groups of people together to experience the pile. Towards the end though, there was a group of frat guys that swarmed the pile and didn't let anyone else really get to react to it. Surprisingly there was not many people who really looked around for camera's or to see if anyone was watching them that might have set up the pile, though it did happen once or twice.
Each part was given about 1 hour each. We made sure to clean up the papers after each time.
Each reaction was unique I was glad we caught so many on tape. For my part I got about an hours worth of video from the third floor looking down at the pile. Ryan and Whitney stayed on the first floor and also got about an hours worth of video from the ground level. From this I worked on creating a short video from the two parts of our project. I tried to add the video from Ryan's camera, but couldn't find a way to combine the two. I spent a few hours trying my best learning how to work with Final Cut Pro and came up with about 7 minutes of film to serve as documentation as well as creating film stills for the photographs. I think the video turned out okay. I think it gives a pretty good idea of the project and shows how successful it was.

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