When I went to print the posters I had a mare with the printer and it printed everything double sided. Initially I was annoyed but then I realised this could have been for the best. Now there was no front or back – the texts had become objects.
Following on from what Sean said tried imposing these texts into the public realm. I wanted them to be slightly hidden, so people would discover them by chance. I decided the library was the best place to try on campus – it’s very busy and people interact with it so there would be more chance of people uncovering THE ART. I knew I didn’t want to put it in the art building because everyone puts weird stuff there all the time, to the point where no one bats an eyelid anymore.
I put the text pieces into different locations in the library where I hope they’d blend in yet still be noticeable. I’ll go back later in the week to see if anything’s happened to them and if so what. Part of me doesn’t want to know if or how people interacted with them. I feel like my part is done – they’re off into the world, now they can go on existing as they please.
I did have a few issues with it in hindsight. Firstly, I was just putting more text into an already word heavy environment. The library is a bombardment of information, users become very good at filtering out everything they don’t need to see. Moreover, people can just look away even if they notice the text. This is where I think sound would be more appropriate. I need to find a way of disrupting people’s use of an environment and making them pay attention. If there was a quiet sound piece hidden in a bookshelf for example, only audible from nearby, then when people walked past it would be a personal interaction just for them. A bit like the Janet Cardiff audio walk, I feel the one to one connection between artist and audience through the art has more of a profound impact on people.
I did a small experiment on Instagram which yielded interesting results.
As people scrolled down the text distorted and changed. I could tell a lot of people took note because there were a lot of comments, likes etc. I’ve looked into several artists in the past who use social media as their art site, but this may be worth looking into further as a platform.
I definitely want to move more back into sound now. You can close your eyes; you can’t close your ears. Sound can be more subtle, yet once you notice it it becomes inescapable. I think to continue working with sound is the best next step, but also retaining an interest in words. Maybe combining the two at first – like the Janet Cardiff Audio walk, give someone headphones and instruct them how to navigate a space, leading them to the hidden texts perhaps?
I am still interested in the ways I can present text, however. How do different materials lend context to words? How do different environments change meaning?
Now field is starting I’ll try to incorporate my current line of practice into the project whilst continuing to work on my Wales in Venice work and some zines I have planned.