Kevin O - Project Proposal

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Walker Gallery Guest Video Self Portrait Series

Self-Regard will give participants an opportunity to "curate" their own self-portrait in the galleries of the Walker, by volunteering to wear a small camera for a short gallery visit.

After being fitted with the camera, participants will be invited to wander wherever they like within the permitted galleries, choosing which works of art to look at. The camera will record a medium close-up of their face, continuously and unobtrusively, so within a few minutes their self-consciousness about being recorded will likely fade.

They will be instructed to spend time with the art that speaks to them the most, and at the end of their 20-30 minute visit, the footage will be edited so that only the moments in which they were physically standing still will be retained.

The result will be a unique and intimate glimpse of the participant, "alone" in the galleries, in the quiet moments of contemplating art - moments that all museum-goers have (hopefully) experienced at one time or another, but that have been thus far impossible to capture or share.

They will be asked for their name and an email address, and once the footage is compiled, their self-portrait will be made available to them as a quicktime movie. Additionally I would like to discuss the possibility of showing the portraits as an installation loop, on some of the many large LCD screens mounted in the lobbies. If possible, this public showing will complete the participatory experience, allowing participants to engage with the museum as curators, artists, and subjects of art on the walls, all at once.

The self-recording apparatus has already been constructed, and test footage can be seen here: So, practically speaking, all that remains is to set the parameters of the project, the where and when, with the Walker staff, and to extend the invitation to participate at the specified dates and times.

I would love to have a broad range of participants, and would include museum staff, personal friends, and the general public in the invitation. I would set up a table in the lobby with appropriate signage, and schedule appointments with volunteer participants during the allotted times. Space would also be left in the schedule for "walk-up" volunteers. I think the ideal scheduling for this project would be during low-traffic times at the museum - but of course I'm open to museum preference on scheduling.

Post-production on the project would be relatively straightforward, and once the video loop has been constructed and formatted, I would need to be in contact with technical staff at the Walker about display on the lobby screens.

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