After such a strong performance with Co-Modify, I'm pleased to announce @Platea's next public art project, "hopes/dreams/fears". We're moving away from performance per se this time around and are trying a new direction: public participatory art with both digital and physical aspects.
As those of us who use social media know, the collected status updates of an individual over time can paint a picture of who he or she is. We get a sense of his or her life's ups and downs, lunch and dinner preferences, social life and travel schedule, and so much more. Over time, even if you've never met this person, you feel like you know so much about him or her. It's an idea often referred to as "ambient awareness": the aggregate of little details leads to something of a picture of an individual.
At the same time, I do wonder about the power of social media in connecting the world, when most of our social media activity is self-selected. Yes, everyone from the Hollywood glitterati to the homeless and struggling use the Internet, but are we really connecting with each other, or are we just following our friends and a few random strangers?
I'm curious about the power of ambient awareness and how it might apply to broad communities of strangers. What if were able to bring together hundreds, perhaps thousands, of status updates, many of which can come from those who don't even use social media to begin with, into one feed? This feed would show a wide breadth of life perspectives and lifestyles and would bring together disparate groups who don't normally interact.
Hence, @Platea Project III: "hopes/dreams/fears".
"hopes/dreams/fears" is a global online public art project being formally launched in New York City starting June 12 during the FIGMENT NYC arts festival on Governor's Island and running till the end of July with crowdsourced hopes, dreams and fears from other communities. Members of online public art collective @Platea are gathering individuals' hopes, dreams and fears in the form of status update language (i.e., "Jessica hopes that she graduates with honors next year." "Fred fears he might lose his job due to the recession").
These will then be broadcast to a broader audience via a Facebook page, with the goal of uniting diverse groups via social media and offering a collective picture of communities' hopes, dreams and fears during this time of economic crisis and transition. In particular, as status updates can seem so ironic or detached at times, the process of formulating these updates into the language of hopes, dreams and fears can hopefully help us get at the deeper consciousness of communities around the world.
How to Participate
Interested? First, be sure to add the hopes/dreams/fears page on Facebook. This will ensure you see individuals' hopes, dreams and fears appear in your news feed over the next month and a half.
Secondly, help us gather your community's hopes, dreams and fears. Here are a few options:
* Join us in New York City during the FIGMENT NYC festival June 12-14 on Governor's Island. FIGMENT is an annual participatory arts event with artwork in every medium, from installation to performance to music to games and many things in between. To volunteer your time and help gather the hopes, dreams and fears of the thousands of individual in attendance, please contact An Xiao at email@example.com.
* Form your own "hopes/dreams/fears" gathering in person. Have a community fair or coffee shop where you could host your h/d/f gathering? Some ideas include setting up a table in a local coffee shop during a poetry reading, hosting a dinner party or get-together, participating in a community fair, or any number of summer activities. Some of these can be large events or small events. Everything you need to get your in-person gathering started can be found on this PDF. Then, input folks' h/d/f into our form at http://tinyurl.com/kj75lc. If you have a particularly large number of participants and using the form would be cumbersome, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be accepting h/d/f till mid-July for broadcast into the Facebook feed.
* Form your gathering online. Are you part of a Facebook group or online message board system? Gather your friends together and encourage them to participate in hopes/dreams/fears. Here's a sample blurb you can post:Hi!
I'm participating in an online public art project and hope you can join. It's called "hopes/dreams/fears", and I hope you can join me. All you have to do is:
1. Fill out the form at http://tinyurl.com/kj75lc.
2. Join the hopes/dreams/fears Facebook group at http://tr.im/n6KP.
3. Wait to see yours and others' hopes, dreams and fears broadcast over the next month and a half in your Facebook feed.
"hopes/dreams/fears" began in New York City on June 12 during the FIGMENT NYC arts festival on Governor's Island and runs till the end of July with participants across the world. Members of online public art collective @Platea are gathering individuals' hopes, dreams and fears in the form of status update language (i.e., "Jessica hopes that she graduates with honors next year." "Fred fears he might lose his job due to the recession"). These will then be broadcast to a broader audience via a Facebook page, with the goal of uniting diverse groups via social media and offering a collective picture of communities' hopes, dreams and fears during this time of economic crisis and transition.
To learn more about @Platea, please visit http://plateastweets.blogspot.com.
* Fill out your hope/dream/fear and share the link with others. Too busy to organize a gathering? Not a problem! Just send in your own hope/dream/fear with the following spreadsheet: http://tinyurl.com/kj75lc. You can even send out a tweet or status update to your friends to encourage them to join at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/kj75lc.
Then, be sure to do these very important things:
1. Add the hopes/dreams/fears page on Facebook. This will ensure you see individuals' hopes, dreams and fears appear in your news feed over the next month and a half.
2. And if you plan to form a gathering, leave a comment and let us know how you'll be participating. That way, we'll know to expect your h/d/f and can be in touch to coordinate when they will be posted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I submit a hope/dream/fear in a language other than English?
Yes! Our steering committee speaks, to varying degrees, Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin and Cantonese, and we'll do our best to post your hope/dream/fear even if it's in a different language.
Is there anything I can't say?
Not really! We simply ask that you avoid defamatory language. We don't wish to censor folks' thoughts, but we do want to be respectful of the kids and families who will be submitting their hopes/dreams/fears and following the Facebook page.
I'm organizing my own online/offline gathering. Do I have to use the exact language/PDF you provided?
Not at all - they are simply suggestions to help get you started. The most important part is that we receive your gathering's hopes, dreams and fears in status update format. Just be sure to leave a comment so we know you'll be participating.
What happens to the hopes/dreams/fears after they're posted?
Like any Facebook status update, they are thrown into the Internet ether. We're not sure what Facebook does with status updates, but they're probably kept in a server somewhere. We will only be posting these updates using individuals' first names, and we're giving everyone the option to post a pseudonym instead of their actual name.
What's the latest you'll accept hopes/dreams/fears from me/my community?
We will be accepting them till mid-July for broadcast into the Facebook feed. We don't have a firm date just yet until we get a better sense of how many folks will be participating.
I have more questions. How do I get them answered?
Leave a comment here!