As Durham changes rapidly, can its long-time and recent denizens and visitors interact in a meaningful way to learn about each other? In a time when civil society seems more divided than ever, can a simple, participatory art project bridge any of those divides? Can it create something of aesthetic value as well as social cohesion value?
In this project, Wendy Spitzer (musician/composer/ art-maker) and Douglas Vuncannon (documentary photographer/musician) seek to engage the public in a collaborative, participatory art/photography exercise. Visitors will be paired with other visitors whom they don't know and will be tasked with discovering the most unusual thing they have in common. After a five-minute discussion, the participants will then be photographed together. The final outcome will be a video of the photographed portraits and an accompanying original musical soundtrack, to be posted online for Durhamites and the wider world.
How do you broach a stranger and share something about yourself? Only by doing so can our commonalities become apparent, but taking the first step presents a challenge many never overcome. By creating a situation in which people are invited to share and learn, this project offers participants the chance to take that first step.
Rain date 8/24