An interesting venture indeed. So I’m determined to not just ask friends (easy), but it was clear early on that this was a much more difficult kind of participation than I’ve ever asked from people before.
I’ve been going around the city on my normal rounds- the yarn store, the playground with my daughter, the cafes, the hardware store, art supply store, etc. and collecting stories about “an SF moment” from people in and around those places for the sound piece City Pulse (San Francisco) going up in the LAB. Thepiece involves collecting little San Francisco Moment stories from people in the city. I then take their pulse and
I left the story collection towards the end because I was more worried about the technical and sculptural aspects of the piece and I thought the participatory part would be easier. No.
The microphone looked like a taser to some people- very threatening. The pulse meter seems to be equally threatening- medical devices are just scary. This is a huge barrier if handled badly. I almost wan to crochet them little wooly jumpers to make them more approachable. Something about fabric instantly disarms and comforts cold technical devices. I started carrying both these and my extra batteries in a little transparent cloth bag and that actually seemed to help (transparent process, softer, easier to get to quickly, etc.).
In “Write Me for Art” it’s so approachable, so soft. I generally give them to people after they’ve seen me embroidering for a few minutes. Then I can explain the project to someone clearly interested already. This one is so much less visual at this stage that it’s harder to get people to engage. Getting participation becomes and art form in itself.
It’s funny, so far the stories seem to circle around the Haight, the Castro, and random naked men (even when I’m taking the stories in other places). There is something about the Castro and the Haight that say SF more than anywhere else.
I’m excited about getting the piece all together and seeing it up and running. This is so different from other work I’ve done in terms of materials, but very close to the heart of my work generally.
…and for tonight, more embroidering a landscape of San Francisco!
And for tonight… more