Saturday, August 08, 2009

Shifting gears.

I'm a talker. I talk a lot. Sometimes to the exclusion of listening. I can also fall into the trap of being all talk and no action. Today I shifted gears on both these fronts, putting a project into motion while doing a whole lot of listening in the process.

My friend Kyle and I collaborated on a project which had us doing man-on-the-street interviews in Union Square for a few hours. A few hours of listening to all sorts of people. A question here, a little back and forth there, but mostly listening. I found it changed my interactions with everyone that day, even after we put the camera away and stopped shooting.

In the cab from the shoot, I was remembering how much fun it was to just listen to all the different strangers I met. At that moment, the driver started telling me a very long and intricate story about his family history and aspiring music career. I maybe said twenty words the whole ride, but when I got out of the car, he told me how talking with me "made his day."

Later on, I went to an art/music show at PS1 MoMA called WARM UP. In Jonathan Horowitz's exhibit (which I highly recommend by the way) a woman started a great conversation with me out of the blue. Throughout the day, it was as if the vibe I was sending out was "talk to me, I'll listen." I think it took being forced into listening all day to help me realize the fun, and power, in it.

One of the more visually interesting and participatory exhibits at PS1 was this pool people could gaze at each other through. It was a great show with plenty to see, and of course, listen to.


Ariel said...

I saw the pool thing in an art magazine and thought it was a clever idea. Nice pics you got of it.

gspan said...

Yeah, but I didn't take the pics. I lifted them from PS1's website.