2020-01-21

I have been thinking about Citizen and how to get people to engage with the project. Walking down the street I always walk faster when I see a ‘Chugger’ (charity mugger) or someone handing out leaflets. I might stop and read something at a bus stop, or an advert on the tube for instance, but I am notoriously difficult to engage with if I think strangers are trying to sell me something. So if other people are the same, how do we get this information? I am thinking of the Big-Brother-esque experiment at Schiphol airport where, desperate to keep the men’s room clean (and maintenance costs down), the powers that be painted a fly in the urinals. An experiment in human behaviour that could work here. Then I started thinking about politics, religion, class and celebrity as the basis for questions we could ask people, and then I thought about food.

Some questions I have been mulling over are:
* what is the best/worst thing about your area?
* what could improve it?
* have you lived in the area all your life? If so, how has it changed?
* if you could live anywhere where would you live?
* what does the word community mean to you?
* do you know your neighbours?
* do you have faith in your government to protect you if something went wrong?
* what is your favourite film?
* what is favourite beverage?
* do you go to art galleries? how often?
* what is your passion?
* do you have any rituals particular to your family?
* if I came to dinner what would you cook for me?
* what is your favourite family meal?
* what is the meal that makes you think of home?
* what is the best place to eat in your area?

I am still thinking of what we will do with the data when we get it, and what we envision the show to look like…

3 more questions that I thought of are:
* what is your relationship to (the street they are on/area)?
* how would you describe it to someone who has never been here before?
* what would you hope for the future of (the street they are on/area)?

2 thoughts on “2020-01-21

  1. agreed! i do the same… (walk faster or disengage in eye-contact when i encounter solicitation for a good cause). i love ideas of stumbling… falling upon something that may or may not be art. i think about finding someone’s old photo or receipt as a bookmark from a borrowed library book. i also love reading things in public toilets and am often saddened when there is nothing to read. i wonder if a scan code could work? or a tinyurl pointing people to an online collection space? we could make stickers and throw them everywhere… we could put the url on money… or leave behind in other ways. is it this engagement that we would be more interested in? thoughts of space, place, culture, inequality, etc all play a role. and to echo your last sentence… what do we do with it? i am not sure we need to know yet? but it is something on my mind.

    1. I love the idea of stumbling too, and getting people to think by leaving a book on a bus or a poem on a supermarket shelf. I am slightly wary of tinyurls – would people automatically think viruses?! How far would we go? Would we be similarly wary? I do like the idea of stumbling though. Finding a number in a book/on an old photo… calling it and then being asked a question… Scan codes might work. LOVE the idea of writing things on money, a continuous project that crosses every divide. A project without an end. Wow

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