Monday, November 10, 2008
The Jelly Bean Project: Exhibition Possibility and Comparison
Can our project be a good exhibition piece? I think the project itself was already an exhibition piece. We watched people say "Is that an art exhibition?" when they encountered the beans. Many people took pictures of the jelly beans. Indeed, the fact that some people may have thought it was an art display possibly discouraged them from interacting with the project or touching the beans.
While I was researching ideas for this public space project, Dutch Artist Henk Hofstra’s city exhibition surprised me. One of his environmental artworks, ‘Art-Eggcident’, has been displayed in Leeuwarden, a city in the northern Netherlands. I feel that a large-scale public space project should be able to get people to participate more and furthermore, it can be part of their lives. Artworks can draw visitors to the city, and encourage conversation.
Some of the limited engagement we witnessed was likely due to the restrictions on the project itself. In ‘Chanel Mobile Art,’ collaboration between Zaha Hadid and Karl Lagerfield that was featured in Central Park, each visitor was given a set of headphones with an iShuffle, and instructed to follow the audio directions. People were willing to comply with these instructions, and it was very interesting to observe that people tend to be more serious when they are given an instruction. If we had been allowed to provide verbal instruction in this project, it likely would have been beneficial in reducing some of the confusion in visitor responses.