Dropping down a floor from my usual experience in Harder Hall, I began my real exploration of the base floor. At first I was hesitant to be in a space where I could easily get lost due to my absence of knowledge on the building and its corridors. I used this as the beginning of my research.
First I walked through the space, carefully mapping what I saw as I went. I created my own map of my walk through the studios and rooms, eventually finishing a loop that did not quite line up. This allowed me to learn the space and find what places I couldn’t see as an observer. Everywhere I couldn’t go became an empty space on my visual mind map.
Next I recorded some audio of the space. One included the sounds of a brick I found in the kiln room against some random surfaces. The sound of feet descending the steps into the space followed directly after. Finally I recorded the hum and bustle of the kiln room left to its own devices.
Deciding I needed some pictorial proof I recorded imaged of various textures I found around the space. These were done in a macro style to focus in on their simple complexity and detail.
Continuing the idea of drawn evidence I recorded a study of students in space as they hunched over their work. This was followed by a study of forms and vessels students in the space had finished creating.
For video evidence I focused on the interaction of students in the studio. One video was the interaction of a casual setting. The second video was the event of a mini potter’s wheel that was purchased at a local thrift-shop and the activity of students attempting to use it. these are at the bottom of this post.
For my last investigation I wondered the space and recorded the number of people I encountered and the color they wore that I noticed first.
After my individual studies I met with my group for our joint investigations. These were more thought out and focused on how we interacted with the space around us.
First we recorded the time it took all of us to find the Repo from the edges of the base floor of Harder. Results were: Myself- 31 seconds/ Mark- 28/ Ryan- 71/ Brandon- no results, he could not find the Repo.
Secondly we blindfolded Brandon and had him navigate the halls of the space. This is video recorded and included below this post. We also video recorded Brandon being pushed on a cart ride down the halls behind the glass shop. This turned out a bit dangerous and is also included below.
We included a video interview of our own Mark Gallo as he reflected on the environment of the base floor and the attitude of the students that inhibited it.
We decided to find a place that we had all never seen before and this took the form of the room directly beside the Repo. It was a multi-story space with nothing but a mini-fridge and a microwave on the top level. It reeked of smoke and was uninhabited for the most part.
The discovered space lead to the borrowing of objects from the base floor. In the upper level of our newly found room I took a broken record. Mark took a brick from the kiln room. Brandon found a discarded piece of cane in the glass studio. Ryan sought out a misshapen ceramic piece that was an interesting shape. We gathered our souvenirs and created a display of the in the Foundations studio.
Our last two activities were scrunching ourselves into lockers and laying a friendly game of hide n seek. The locker test was interesting as we jammed the doors from the outside as the victim was forced to accept their lack of control in the situation. I figured out how to work the latch from the inside and escaped quickly. Brandon was let out quickly. Mark was locked in with a marker preventing the latch from opening and stayed in the longest of all. Ryan was put into the same situation as Mark but deceived to think we walked away and left him locked inside. The hide n seek was unsuccessful due to the huge space and I was only able to find Ryan before the allotted time ran up.
Finally we created the lists of our 80 proposals for the space and used them to pick one master proposal we felt was doable but insightful. We decided to pick a victim in the studios in the future. We will greet them by shaking their hand and holding on for a tad too long for comfort. Then we would watch and stalk our victims for a number of days, taking pictures of them while they are in the studio . Finally we would each compose a love-letter for our respective victims and leave it on their work space or potter’s Wheel for them to find.
Thus we have concluded our first actions as a group in our new space and are working towards future research on the base of Harder Hall.