This month, I have seen many of the same faces outside of these windows. Some of whom I have been able to talk to on Facebook, Twitter, or email. Some I haven’t spoken to at all, but we wave and smile. I find a sense of comfort in our daily interaction. When you spend this amount of time seeing the same people you feel like you know them. Like the gentleman who taps on the window to say good morning or the group of day laborers who check-in to make sure I am okay and sometimes like to play friendly tricks on me. I have grown a sense of fondness for them, but I don’t know anything about them. I wonder what their lives are like and how they spend the rest of their days. I recognize that it would have been unlikely for our paths to cross if I was not doing this project. And I wonder how would this be different if I was standing on the corner instead of inside this glass box. Would they show empathy for me or me for them?
I will miss seeing these people, as I will miss the interactions that I have been able to have with those new friends online. If I had covered the windows so that I couldn’t see out like I had originally planned, I would not have had the same experience and although that may have made more of a legitimate social experiment, I am okay with that because this is an art installation and those people have become part of the project.
The media coverage has also had an effect on the project and I have wondered many times if it would have been better to ignore these requests. It’s not something that Josh or I ever planned for. In fact, I have been uncomfortable with all the attention, but the media has made it possible to talk to people all over the world about this topic.
People have asked me frequently, why are you doing this? The answer is simple, to start a conversation. I don’t pretend to know the answers to all of the questions we have. I only hope to shed light on the things that have I noticed changing in my relationships with others.
This conversation doesn’t have to be with me. In fact, I want people to discuss this among themselves. Art can be a useful tool to get this started. So even though some may think introspective art exhibitions are boring, that’s okay. Because for me the fact that people are talking about this and how it affects them makes me feel like the project was a success.