ask me about my briefcase

The first day of Event Horizon was indeed pushed back to Sunday, April 13th, due to a last-minute, early morning call, while it was raining pretty heavily outside, combined with a forecast of intermittent showers. In the long run, Saturday ended up being nicer than Sunday, but that was the decision we made at about 6:25 a.m. on Saturday. We held a shortened, one-location-only version of the event on Sunday, which got cut short around 12:30 due to, you guessed it, rain. Planning something outside in New England in the spring (well, anytime of year, really) is tricky.

Wednesday's weather, on the other hand, was just about perfect for hanging out in Somerville's Davis and Union Squares all day. I even got a little pink on my nose and cheeks. I made some last-minute changes to my project based on Sunday's trial run, but even so, I think the event confirmed my attraction to the Internet, initially, as the medium for this project.

Trying to duplicate the Google map I created for The Lost Object Project in some sort of tangible form proved to be more difficult than I thought. All of the pushpins refer to locations where lost objects were last seen. All of the existing stories were in a book next to the map, and new submissions were added to the bottom of the cork board as they were received, with numbered pushpins that corresponded to the pushpin at the location. But because most of the contributions I've received so far, and nearly all of the new stories submitted on Wednesday were for locations in and around Boston, there was a cluster of pushpins covering most of New England (and a little bit of the midwest and Atlantic Ocean as well). I guess I could have had two maps - one for the world and an inset map of the Boston area.

I did manage to make the project a little more self-sufficient, though, so that people browsing the projects at the event weren't completely dumbfounded when they came across mine, especially if I was elsewhere in the square. And I guess the point was to engage the public (in other words, maybe making it self-sufficient wasn't the point), but I think that was probably my least favorite part of the day. I like interacting with total strangers (especially considering some of the interesting folks I came across in Davis Square) via the Internet much better. My theory about that is that while I'm finding myself to be increasingly interested in communication and interaction, I still have a painter's temperament. In other words, I think I enjoyed the tedious couple of hours it took to hole-punch and adhere those little numbers to the tops of the pushpins than I did interacting with people in the square. Also, when I talk about this project in particular, I feel like I sound more like a psychologist than an artist. I get the impression that people wonder what part of this is art, and maybe that's a valid question to ask. But it wasn't a question I was prepared to answer on the spot.

Anyway, by the time we relocated to Union Square in the afternoon, I was beat, but the afternoon flew by. I had some difficulty with my original setup due to the wind, which wasn't a problem in Davis. This is what I came up with.

The only effort I made to engage the public and attract people to my project, really, was a t-shirt I made and wore that day that simply stated, "Ask me about my briefcase," the briefcase, of course, referring to the personal impetus that started the project over a year ago. But even that I didn't particularly want to talk to people about, preferring a rather cryptic introduction to the project that would inspire people to simply participate. Turns out most people really just wanted to know about my briefcase. I did collect a few new submissions to the project, however (and distributed a small portion of the stack of 250 postcards I designed and had printed about a year ago), so I'll be posting those to the project's website over the next few days.

No comments: