Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lily Leads Sleep Exploration Class

On Monday Oct. 20th, Lily Gael led a discussion in the classroom about what makes a particular art project fall within the realm of social practice. She then took us on a mini-tour of the PSU campus in search of places to nap in public, wanting to get comments and support for her idea to create a Napping Station for PSU students/teachers. This seek-and-sleep experience became a collaborative experiment with everyone in the class suggesting places to stop and nap. The Roving Napping Pod eventually napped in both a fairly private landing space, and in a much- traveled hallway at Smith Hall, in the Psychology Dept's waiting area on couches and chairs, and on the first level of a stairwell in Cramer Hall where they stretched out shoulder to shoulder to fill up the space. Passer-bys (the audience) got into the Napping act and participated with spontaneous cultural gestures that seemed natural to being in the presence of others sleeping (even though the locations chosen for napping were unconventional). The audience tiptoed up stairs, lowered their voices to whispering when passing by, used charade-type sign language to communicate with friends if sitting close by, and took circuitous routes to where they were going to not disturb the napping group. The experiment led to many inspiring ideas from the class about how the Napping Project might evolve.

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