Day 5

Wow, the First Friday event was an overwhelming success. A big thank you to those of you who made it out.  It was really great to be able to speak to many of you about the project.  It’s always interesting to hear your responses.

I haven’t spoken much about how this project came about so I thought I would explain a little.  I was driving home from a grad school recruiting event while talking to Josh. I was explaining what concepts I wanted to focus my portfolio on and he was telling me how he was bummed that his current project fell through.  Originally, Josh was going to have a person living in the space who would try and create the smallest carbon footprint possible, but the guy backed out.  It was on that phone call that I said, “put me in the box.”  During the call we both realized that our concepts worked well together and it could be a great project.  That was on October 10th.  That didn’t leave us a lot of time to pull it all together and I had to make the drive here from LA. Needless to say, it’s been a busy few weeks.

Once we got started outlining the project, a few kinks started to arise.  One thing was that it was really important to me that the audience be able to see in the gallery, but for me to not be able to see out.  I did a ton of research trying to find a material that would allow this.  There is such a thing that is used often for surveillance windows, but scientifically it doesn’t work for this.  Whichever side is brighter is the side you will be able to see into.  And, well, I can’t control the sun – even in Portland.  I told Josh this might be a deal breaker for me.

He then proceeded to explain to me that the glass really doesn’t allow anyone to communicate effectively in any real meaningful way.  And after being in here, he is right. I can wave and make out a word or two and sometimes body language allows me to communicate, but I never really understand the full intention.  I just get bits and pieces.  It turns out, this is very fitting for what I am trying to say.  I compare this to the way we communicate in social media.  We tell people what is going on with us, but a lot of time it’s in 140 characters or less.  We don’t send letters anymore.  Instead, we keep in touch with short emails and facebook messages.  Does this mean fragmentation is the new narrative? Have we stopped communicating in a way where we tell a story that has a beginning, middle, and end?  Even in person we often stop a real life conversation to respond to text messages and to update out profile statuses.  I am beginning to wonder.

I also think Josh was right because I am still missing a key part of human interaction – the touch.  I can’t shake a hand or give a hug.  So whether or not I can see through the glass or make out a couple words a person says, I am still isolated in here.  The video chats do help me feel connected. We’ll see if that lasts.

When collaborating with another artist, you often have to make compromises to your project to make both pieces work.  Luckily for us, the topic of the windows was really the only thing that we had to adjust.  And in the end,  I think it works better anyway.

5 Responses to “Day 5”

  1. kris Says:

    So nice to kinda meet you last night. “Goodnight Moon” was my favorite book when I was really little. Since you’re living in a glass box for 30 days, I thought it might be nice for someone to tell you a bedtime story. To, you know, help make up for all the crazies who bang on the glass in the middle of the night.

    Do we really outgrow bedtime stories? I think not.

    – kris

  2. Cristin Says:

    I think not. It was great to meet you too. Thank you so much for the bedtime story. It does make up for the crazies.

  3. Barry Says:

    I think it’s interesting that people are posting notes on the outside of your windows. They are messages to you – but you didn’t ask for them, and you can’t censor them or tune them out or take them down. They might all be really nice sentiments! But they’re still….well, inflicted on you. Once they are taped up, they are there to stay, in front of your view, whether you like it or not. With the glass in the way, it’s the closest the world can come to shouting at you, right?

    And since they ARE nice sentiments – isn’t it odd that you can’t own them? Someone nice gave you a friendly note, but the next passerby could rip it off and keep it for themselves….

  4. Cristin Says:

    Very good point, Barry. I hope people only yell nice things for the next 3 weeks. Interestingly enough, someone did tear off some of those nice sentiments, but then their friend left a note apologizing.

  5. Nicole Says:

    Pff… people are posting on your wall 😀
    Thank goodness they can’t poke you

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Cristin Norine and Joshua Jay Elliott