contemplating new questions for citizen

part i

how have you benefited from privilege?
how have you experienced prejudice or racism?
have you ever felt unsafe in public?
what does white privilege mean to you?
do you see disparities between different races?
what do you think systemic racism or system violence means?
have you ever experiences systemic racism or systemic violence?
do you know people who are not like you?
do you have friends who do not look like, think like, live like you?
do you understand what racism means?
what does racism mean to you?
can you describe economic disparities you have seen in the last week?
why do you think these disparities exist?
how do you prioritize your weekly/monthly needs? (economic, social, emotional, physical, etc.)


Citizen form — Question 01.

Citizen* is a collaborative art project between Tash Kahn and john ros which explores ideas of how members of the public relate to each other and what it means to be a member of society today.

*We define citizen as a participant in a physical social network regardless of legal status or national origin.


the best i could do (for now) is pare down to ten… six from you; four from me…

  • what is the best/worst thing about your neighborhood?
  • what would you do to improve it?
  • have you lived in the area all your life? If so, how has it changed?
  • what is your passion?
  • what is the meal that makes you think of home?
  • what is your relationship to (the street/area/shop you found this card)?
  • when is the last time you read a physical newspaper or magazine?
  • how do you identify?
  • how often do you cook for yourself or your family?
  • what is the first thing you do when you wake up?


i’ve also done a bit off research on po boxes; postcards and postage:

po box / 150$/yr
postcard / 4.5 x 6 in.
/ $0.35

100 post cards | heavy matte
/ 75$

po box / 270£/yr
/ 16.5 x 24 cm
/ 61p


  • physical postcard, filled out and returned to us.
  • physical postcard with a url and/or code to online form
  • stickers with a url and/or code to online form
  • advertisement with a url and/or code to online form (pull-away url?)


possible citizen questions … as i was typing my weird keyboard jumped and deleted part of the sentence to leave, “zen questions.” … bashert?

in thinking about questions to ask participants, passers-by, viewers, community members, residents, etc. — i cannot help put conjure thoughts and ideas of haacke.

list of questions session 01

  • where were you born?
  • what neighborhood do you live in?
  • can you name a famous artwork?
  • can you name a famous song?
  • can you name a famous composer?
  • what is your favorite tv show?
  • what is your favorite movie?
  • what is your favorite book?
  • who is your favorite celebrity?
  • can you name a famous artist?
  • what genre of music do you most often listen to?
  • what was your favorite subject in school?
  • what if your favorite food?
  • are you a dog or a cat person?
  • what do you think being a dog or cat person means?
  • when is the last time you read a physical newspaper or magazine?
  • do you subscribe to any newspapers or magazines (either physical or digital)
  • what is your age group? (<14; 14-17; 18-22; 23-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60-70; 70-80; 80-90; >90).

list of questions session 02

  • how do you identify?
  • how do you identify your gender?
  • would you consider yourself a sexual person?
  • how often do you have sex a week?
  • do you consider yourself religious?
  • do you go to any type of religious service?
  • what if your highest level of education?
  • how often do you eat out or get takeaway?
  • how often do you eat fast food?
  • how often do you cook for yourself or your family?
  • are you partnered? or grouped?
  • how large is your family unit?
  • how much sleep do you get a night?
  • when do you wake up?
  • what is the first thing you do when you wake up?


i always used to make myself create something new after the stroke of midnight on new years. it felt like a good way to start the year. a good way to assure the continuance of practice. i did this through the latter part of the nineties and throughout the early oughts and the earlier part of the twenty-teens. i suppose i have turned this practice more into thinking rather than making. thinking, reading, writing, being, connecting — all seem more important these days than simply making. but how does that really form into any sort of tangible practice? or does it even have to be tangible? i am still in the early phases of thinking about my practice anew. i have many questions and not so many answers.

after finishing my last project for 2019 i am feeling good about the progress, but also maybe a bit tense about next phases. i often look back to projects and create them anew. this has worked in the past, but again, there is urgency here. there has been talk on the signal-machine between the two of us to re-imagine citizen. i am interested in what this may mean. what it may become.

in the meantime, i will continue to seek answers in the studio. more likely, only more questions will abound — presenting themselves with glee and fear. anxiety and pleasure. ahh… the conundrums of 2020 present themselves. i have always said continuance is a measure of success. so i continue.

john ros, walk home from studio 001, 01 january 2020
john ros, walk home from studio 002, 01 january 2020

… and i awoke again, as tends to be the trend lately. round pain pushing through spaces that most likely shouldn’t be pushed. but we do — because we can. or is it, “we should”? or is it hubris? privilege?
landlocked in this space with tributaries and their journeys — telling stories — finding ways to tell secrets and desires — one’s decree. as i look out that window of only a year… and ten… and eight and ten more. in time there is only air. this air. this space. this work fills walls and rooms and boxes — and me.
final as it may be — what is, what was, and how we are what we are. especially now — this moment — silenced by a stable song or riff or possibility of year on year — and this odd year. more war, more destruction, more hate… as we sit… resting… watching… listless and motionless.

john ros, some kind of announcement, 01 January 2007

some things never seem to change. we must change these things.