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"Play" Documentation Pt. 4 – Second Performance Review

A text and video review of the second performance of "Play". It covers the interesting interactions I saw that afternoon, as well as draws parallels between the two performances.

Full entry below the fold:

The second performance of “Play? was held on April 21 from 2:00 to 4:30 pm. This performance was scheduled late in the duration of the BA show, primarily so that a few important people could see it and so I could do a little more publicity this time around. I sent out a number of invites for people to attend as I knew there wasn’t going to be much of an audience unless I created it. There was no large congregation of gallery attendees I could expect to show up, it was all on me.

There weren’t as many people at this performance, but about 15 made the effort to come see “Play?. This was a much more intimate show for my friends and family, as many of them were not able to attend the opening a few weeks earlier. Nearly everyone that visited that afternoon had heard me explain the piece to them at an earlier date, so most people knew what to expect and how to interact with it. Even so, I still was able to see some very interesting experiences and gather feedback from people close to me.

Two of my close friends made the trek down from Bethel University had a very worthwhile experience, some of which is presented in the video below. They were very hesitant at first, but were soon enjoying themselves thoroughly. Much like the 18 month old the performance before, they attempted to keep all the balls moving at all times, and even got in a small dodge ball game for a few minutes. My 80-something grandmother also came by to see the piece, but the whole concept of interactive art was completely foreign to her. I had to provide more direct instructions for her, and I think the experience may have been a little too much for her to grasp. I’m sure she enjoyed it, but probably more for the fact that I made it than any other reason.

There were some interesting parallels that I was able to draw after seeing two separate groups of people come and see “Play?. The viewers that seemed to enjoy themselves the most came in with a group, so that one person could participate. Also, allowing themselves to enjoy the piece was important, as those viewers who approached the piece with a playful attitude had the most fun. Single participants had slight difficulty experiencing the entire scope of the piece, as it was difficult to interact with all four balls at once. Overall, there were a wide variety of interactions from a very diverse group of people over the two showings. It was an extremely valuable experience to show my work publicly, and I hope to again in the future.