I decided to put the posters up around college. I knew the reaction would be different when the viewers were exclusively art students/artists who would notice the posters in a different way to a member of the public walking past one isolated poster in the street, however, putting them up here allowed to me to easily track them and see how they were interacted with.
All the posters had been removed from the tables of both the studio and canteen by the next day. I suppose this sums up one of the key things about working in this way; once the work is in the world, the artist has very little control over it. This is kind of part of what makes up interventionist art as the reaction to the work becomes a key part of the work itself. The posters on the walls lasted much better and I began to see how people have responded to them. I plan to leave the posters up for as long as possible and keep checking back on them / recording progress.
It is fun to think that whoever took the tabs from the posters might still have them, or at least have carried them around in a pocket or a bag for a while. The tabs in a way carry on the kind of network I have tried to create and this is interesting to think about. Would it be possible to create some kind of public work that the viewers unknowingly exaggerate or even help to fully create? I like this idea of bringing the viewer even further into the work, becoming almost participants or performers. [research Tino Sehgal, Adam Chodzko, Christian Falsnaes].
This also started happen via email. I got a couple of responses to my posters, they were both kind of playing along with the joke, obviously seeing the posters as a bit of a silly prank, which is fine with me as long as it incites a response.
Rose’s email intrigued me. How would she respond if I seriously asked for help? Could I start a campaign/group/search party? How big could I make this and how seriously could I make other people take it. I hadn’t thought about how the systems I am creating could be more human-focused rather than being about the objects themselves. Perhaps the manipulation of the viewer is the more interesting element.
Another thing I noticed at college was a poster someone put up to try to find their stylus pen. In the corner of the poster are the words “It’s real”. This is surely in response to my posters which have warped the idea of a lost/found poster to the point where a serious one in the same environment can’t be taken seriously. I very much enjoy the fact that I have had such a subtly big impact on the college. I reckon you could probably ask every student if they had noticed the posters and the majority of them (especially the girls as lots of the posters were in the girls toilets) would say yes. Although, they wouldn’t know who had put them up or what they were about.