Saturday, January 3, 2015

Heart box

I think many people forgot First Friday last evening.  Or perhaps it was too cold for folks to venture out.  Either way, pity.

I have been working with my sweetie and conspirator on little automata.  Together we created a little blue bird automaton.  Last night was its public debut.  It was an interesting one.

This is it in motion:

However,only a few people even bothered to ask what was in the box.  In previous evenings I have had the black box that seemed to compel folks to ask what was in it.  My thought was that this box would do similar things.  I was wrong-ish.

Only a few folks seemed curious enough to completely engage.  One gentleman said that I was a puzzle that he NEEDED to figure out an engaged in "conversation" for almost 2 minutes.  The "conversation" was so long that my sweetie (who watches from the sideline to keep me safe) thought that I was verbally talking to him.  Eventually, this gentleman figured that he needed to ask to see in the box.  He laughed, seemingly delighted when he finally saw the bird.

My point in this piece is not to deal with emotion.  My heart is not broken nor am I seeking any spiritual enlightenment for myself or the community.  My point is to get people engaged in asking.

I placed myself near another artist friend, Abbeth Russel last night. She was juggling and is all around wonderful. (She also is a founder of The Hidden Ladder Collective.)  We were among the small handful of artists out.  After being out for a bit we went off to have a beer and debrief ourselves.  On of our questions was: How to engage people? and Why do people NOT engage?

I wonder if people feel exposed when they are curious.  Is curiosity too risky?  I know I did not engage one person last evening while I was walking to the corner of Brown and Congress because I was focused on walking and there was a bit of fear around talking (or in my case non-verbally communicating) with people.  I was fixated on my own goal and thereby negated her curiosity.

Other folks seemed pompous and self important.  They seemed to already know everything about what I was doing even though they really couldn't have.  Perhaps this was a fear mechanism as well?

I would like to thank those folks who did stop to engage with me last evening.  Sharing my art with you is the reason to stand out in the cold.  And the interaction with you made me forget about how cold it was for at least the duration of the engagement.

See you soon!