Things That Have (Probably) Never Been Done…

Things That Have (Probably) Never Been Done Before was an experiment and open invitation to create new behaviors for the gallery space at Delaware County Community College.
In an attempt to intervene with social behaviors in a gallery environment, participants were asked to create and document everyday micro-actions that they believed had not happened in the space before using index cards, a set of wireless surveillance cameras and recording device.

Whether or not these actions had or had not occurred in this place is inconsequential- there is no way to prove or disprove the occurrence of these everyday actions previous to their documentation. Micro-actions that were submitted range from “No one has daydreamed here before” and “No one has looked to the future here before” to “No one has picked a wedgie here before”. What I find most interesting about these micro-actions is the wide range of personalities that are evident in each action. Some actions are only documented by the index card that was left behind, while others are documented on video as well. Some have a slapstick humor sensibility, while others are more contemplative. Some are everyday actions, some are not. To me, all of these actions reflect against my own expectations of what I (and I imagine most people) expect of typical gallery behavior: people may daydream, but only when viewing art work, people pick wedgies, do handstands or “crazy dance”.
Taking inspiration from Erving Goffman’s ideas about everyday life, I believe that for every space, whether public or private, we share a different set of coded behaviors that for the most part, is shared among the people that are in the space.

Presented at Articulture at Delaware County Community College.