project 1 - title
Write On This
“Write On This” is a public space intervention, in which I seek to interact with strangers through the medium of a poster. It is an opportunity and an attempt to reach people for whom interaction with “art” is most likely a rare occurrence. I want to use public space for a meditative, reflective purpose rather than a marketing/consumerist purpose.
A series of questions are posted in heavily postered public areas (in particular those places covered with advertising for products, music, and films.) Each of these posters has a single question printed on it in large black type, and each has a black marker on a string hung with it.
The posters are an invitation to passersby to interact with their public space, as well as an experiment to see if passersby will actually respond to such an invitation.
The questions on these posters relate to “place” as a general idea, to the poster’s specific location, and to a place’s effect on people. Taken together, the questions make up a set – ruminations and meditations on place, an effort to engage people to see where they are and consider their location at that moment (rather than continuing to use public space as merely a thoroughfare on the way to some other place.)
A group walk will take place on the final day of the Conflux, Sunday May 16, from 12:00 to 1:45. The walk will begin at Participant Inc.
Walk participants will visit each poster’s location, so that they can participate in writing on the posters, see the poster’s context, and gauge the results of the public space intervention.
Solo walks to see the posters are also encouraged. Maps to the poster locations are available at Participant Inc.
project 2 - title
Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here” is an exploration of well-known tourist locations in New York City, and the narratives that are constructed about them by souvenir postcards.
Souvenir tourist postcards are a medium that creates narratives, and affixes memories. People buy souvenir postcards to remember a place they have visited, or to tell others of a place they have visited. These postcards often create some sort of perfected vision of a place. Mainstream souvenir postcards often depict a cleaner, prettier, more generic vision of a place than actual experience indicates. These postcards seem to show places devoid of people, or feature idealized depictions of a smiling nuclear family. These visions serve to construct a narrative of perfection, beauty, a homogenized and Disneyfied experience of a place.
“Wish You Were Here” participants visit a traditionally
tourist-oriented spot, experience the place through the activity of a walk, and create an alternate viewpoint by making their own postcards. The participants construct an alternative narrative to a “popular” or supposedly “known” place like Times Square, Grand Central Station, or Chinatown. The project engages the participants to step beyond the commonly accepted/constructed narrative of a place, to create a (perhaps) more authentic one, or at least a more personal narrative. The project challenges both New York residents and out-of-town visitors to experience a tourist destination in a manner different from the norm.
D. Jean Hester
Los Angeles, California
I am a media artist living in Los Angeles, California. I wish to involve users as active, engaged participant-collaborators in the creation of art. My work explores the nature of interactivity and audience/user participation. I combine performative elements, programming, databases, film, and video to create participative/interactive pieces for installations, performances, and the internet. My work has been shown in numerous exhibits, festivals, and screenings in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.