This show is everything I hoped it would be. I have so much gratitude for those that made it possible: Julie Shipp, Colette Copeland, Danny Ducsio, Chris Morgan, Al Johnson, Erica McIlnay, and Aaron and Kyria.
More thanks go to my “informal conversation” volunteers: Gwen Miller, Mike Rose, Judi Wohead, Luisa Benton, and Dan Glass. These lectures are 100% engaging! My dear friend and psychology professor Mike Rose and I developed a teaching style that we call “coffee chat” that we use when we teach our psychology/art appreciation learning community together. We pick a topic that joins both psychology and art, research it a little on our own, and then have a 45 minute conversation merging our two disciplines! It’s very casual and based on the discussions we have in Mike’s office when we get together to talk about the things that excite us. We’ve talked about propaganda, video games, and synesthesia to name a few.
Gwen Miller, professor of biology, and I delivered the first conversation on the opening day. We joked about talking in the cage while the attendees watched from outside and in the end we decided to do it! It was awesome. At night with the low lighting in the gallery we barely saw the audience and it really felt like we were just having an interesting and private conversation between two friends! We discussed different animals that desire privacy and also touched on biometrics. We were told it sounded like a podcast! If you missed it live, I’ll be posting the lectures here soon.
Mike Rose and I talked about the Hawthorne effect and how people change their behavior when they are being observed. This relates to the chilling effect that I refer to with the temperature modification in the gallery which is set to be on the cold side so that you are warmed in the cage. I was surprised to find that when studying police officers wearing body-cams, the Hawthorn effect (a.k.a. the observer effect) gradually wore off over the period of three years. Behavior returned to what it was pre-body-cam even though all actions are still being recorded.
As for the show, I’ve immensely enjoyed watching people experience it. I haven’t had the opportunity to be a fly on the wall when a single person wanders through and learns what this show is about but I have had the pleasure of addressing several classes who have come through.
I am humbled by the comments and questions I have received about the installation. I’m proud when I hear people say they they use duckduckgo as their search engine. (It doesn’t track you.) I’m encouraged when people ask what they can do to protect themselves. I’m glad I’m getting the message out.
I wish the show could be up for a couple of months. Getting the word out is difficult and I fear that what I and the gallery managed to do is too little too late. SO… I’m encouraging you all to go and experience it sooner than later because the show can be seen in 4 ways to provide a completely different experience: 1. By yourself during the day, 2. In a group during the day, 3. By yourself at night, 4. In a group at night. Completely different dynamics!
If you can’t make it during gallery hours, let me know. I will try to arrange to meet you there and walk you through it. It’s worth it to me.
Thank you so much for reading. Please let me know if I can answer any questions!