On Thursday 14th March we gave our class a taster experience of our piece. We took them to the train station and asked them to repeat four common gestures seen at the train station; putting headphones in, pressing the button to open the train door, pulling a suitcase and picking something up from the floor. We then asked them to perform these gestures around the outside of the train station. By doing this, the group were demonstrating the repetitiveness of getting on the train and the social normalities which come with journeys.
After this, we asked them to reflect on how this made them feel, how getting on a train feels, where they are going or where they have come from. All of these questions relate to the journey. Asking them to then write them on paper attached to Jade, meant we could keep a record of everyone’s experience, creating our own visual map of journeys.
When doing this, we had a few public responses. Unlike the applying of make-up in a shopping centre (one of our earlier Carl Lavery tasks) which did not catch the public’s attention, this experience arose a few comments. The taxi drivers outside the train station showed an interest in our project and stated “You are doing what people do at the train station”. A few of them were even brave enough to sign the paper. This public response is something we hope to get when we do our piece properly at a later date, a project counting solely on public participation. We will board a train wearing our strips of paper and invite people to write aspects of their journey on us.
Like Knowbotiq Macghillie, an artist we are taking inspiration from, we aim to create a loss of identity by covering ourselves with the pieces of paper just as he did. By encapsulating our body with thoughts of those around us, we become the train itself. We are lost in the journey of the non-space, like the rest of the people around us.
Visit the site to learn more about Knowbotiq’s intervention: