Boots

Final project time, woo! This project is called "Boots", and it deals with either a social phenomenon or the psychic energy we have inside all of us, whatever you believe in or not. I had a really good time acting as the facilitator of this exercise, I basically just got to play with people's psyches for a bit, trying to tease out a more comprehensive image.

The exercise went as follows: I set up in a space that was unfamiliar-ish, or at least not a personal space, then I asked the subject to examine the boots for as long as they felt they needed. Then I read out the following script (with a little variation based on their answers):

"Close your eyes. Imagine a comforting and familiar space. It can be in your home, at school, or a place that you’ve never been. Please describe this space. 

Now, invite the owner of the boots into your space. Take a moment to greet them and look at them.

Now describe them to me. How old are they? How tall are they? What are they wearing? Do they have glasses? What is their sex? What is their gender? What is their race? 

Take a closer look at their face. What color are their eyes? What is the shape of their face? What color is their hair? Is there anything else that stands out to you? Do they have any scars?

Now assess their health. Are they happy? Do they have any ailments? If they do, heal them using whatever method you can think of. 

Now say goodbye to them. Open your eyes."

In this way, it was a bit ritualistic or a bit clinical (what's the difference, really?). Taking out the psychic part of it, it becomes an experiment in almost Sherlock Holmes-esque investigation, examining the various scratches, worn parts, etc. I believe that this exercise reveals how an object becomes associated with a specific type of person, in other words becomes a palimpsest for culture. 

If we choose to look at the psychic part of it, I would point out that each person I talked to described the boots as belonging to a caucasian woman, around 5'8", and clothed her in baggy, earth-toned clothes. This is interesting because I actually found these in the boy's children section of the Thrift Shoppe. 

"The root of artistic practice lies in the production of subjectivity; it matters little what the specific production method may be. But this activity nevertheless turns out to be determined by the enunciative agency chosen" - Bourriaud, page 102. This quote does a really good job of summing up the basic goal of this project; by attempting to get others to articulate a subjectivity and energy different from theirs, it ends up revealing more about themselves than the owners of the boots. 

You'll find the recordings in your emails! Please feel free to put your headphones in and relive their experience. I would recommend that you close your eyes to picture what they are. Thanks!

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