The images below are people interacting with a piece I exhibited ‘No Walking Required’ in Ebbs & Flow as part of my interim show.
The work was an audio piece that asked the audience to sit down and listen to a manufactured journey mimicking sounds experienced on a nature walk. These noises are all produced by myself based on the sound effects used in films to create ambience. To give a surrounding experience of sound I included blackout goggles alongside the headphones. Sat down (or standing) in the dark, I hoped for the audience to listen to an artificial environment unfold around.
Each person would approach the work differently, friends that listen were comfortable to sit and put the goggles on trusting. (or as much as they could knowing my mischief) While people who visited that did not know myself and especially if pass through on their own were much more hesitant to put blackout goggles on. Having to give up two of their key senses to experience the work is a lot to ask.
People would be much more pushy to see someone else participate first, letting them be a guinea pig. Or hold the goggles only in front of their eyes to allow them the option to peek.
I am interested in exploring the audience’s involvement with my work here rather than the audio side. How they respond and ways they approach work? With this piece being a solo experience at one time, what position does that put the individual in? To the rest of the people waiting to hear, is that person already listen unintentionally performing in a way?
I have guided them into action/position, where they still have a choice of what is comfortable, standing or sitting, blackout goggles or just closing their eyes. I want to push the participation of the audience in my work, unintentionally performing, swapping their role from just being a spectator.