Attendant is an interactive collaboration with institutions and the people who attend or attend to them, culminating in short performative events, the resulting installations, and their photo documentation.
I'm interested in the question, If we're in the same place at the same time, are we having the same experience? Also, in seeing what happens when expected roles and behaviors within a given environment are changed up for a set interval of time.
In this project, someone working in a space, or a group, volunteers to observe instances of a fleeting event personal to them, and to place a marker of some kind, for each instance he or she observes. The interval of attention can be thirty minutes to many days, the material placed is often wooden blocks, but can be vinyl wall markers, ribbons that are unfurled or found materials from the site if they are available in quantity.
The observed event is intentionally never ‘practical’ for the institution (like counting visitors at a front desk), and is always personal to the observer participant. I provide a list of potential repeating events like hearing a child’s voice, hearing laughter, making eye contact with someone, being alone in a space, sensing a repeating ache, hunger or fatigue. The participant is still working, and there’s no pressure to always be aware. A small label explains the project to anyone encountering the event, and I meet with the participant before and after to plan and learn what the experience was like.
I have worked with guards and docents and front desk attendants at museums, college administrators at their desks, park rangers at their stations, librarians behind their desks, gallerists, and students learning about performance and installation.
University of Michigan, School of Social Work Library, Ann Arbor MI Ann Arbor Community Foundation, In the Neighborhood Program, Ann Arbor MI
555Gallery, Boston MA Participant: Susan Nalband.
Executive MBA Program, Sloan School of MIT Participant: Kim Andrew Cowperthwaite, Administrator
Currier Museum of Art, Manchester NH Participants: Chelcie George , Jean McGiffin, Barbara Shepler, Nancy Stewart, Kim Tyndall
The Urbano Project,Jamaica Plain MA Participants: Aaliyah Cannady, Martin Torres, Amara Dailey, Karl Bazile, Pablo Garcia, Janaya Dailey, Adanna Badgett, Austin Ickes, Vicky Chea, Victoria Ambroise, Sackona Fitts
Peddock's Island Art Encampment: Boston Harbor Islands
Brandeis University, Waltham MA
Crevice Gallery Curated by Heather Kapplow, Provincetown MA
Boston Asian YES Program, Chinatown, Boston MA
Ganser Gallery, Millersville University, Lancaster PA