Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Daisy in a Crack experiment

If you are here because of a fluorescent green post it note stuck in a public place in London, can you indicate your presence by leaving a comment about yourself or sending me an e-mail? In fact, send me your address and, if you are the first person to do so, I will send you one of my CDs.
(I will repeat this until I leave England/Europe at the end of December)


Location: Brixton, England
Weather: Grey sky with patches of blue; not really cold, just refreshing. And speaking of grey skies: on the weekend, at the school, I looked out of the window and said to Rose: "Wow, look at that cloud! We're in for some heavy rain, boy!" What was in fact a really huge, heavy grey cloud turned out to be from the explosion. Last night on the tube coming home, people had their heads buried in the papers reading about it: basically the toxic cloud of hydrocarbons hanging over London.
When I woke up this morning (due to a long chain of thoughts which led me to this idea) I decided I would experiment by advertising Now is Wow. Before heading out the door, I wrote out the address for this blog on 27 green Post It notes (27 because that's all I had). I'm going to leave the Post Its in different places and see if anyone comes to visit this site. The first one I am leaving is right here on the desk next to the computer in the Internet cafe. The image I get of my little Post It notes is that each one is a daisy growing through a crack in the urban concrete ... likely to be stepped on, likely to be passed by, maybe to be noticed by someone who is able to take time and 'smell the daisies'. It makes me think of some people (maybe most?) who bustle by on their way to wherever the bustle to. Everyone in the city is a daisy living in a crack whether they realise it or not.
This experiment raises some questions:
1. How likely is it that anyone will notice the Post Its?
2. Even if they do see the fluoursecent green post it with a web address on it, will they take the time to check it out?
3. How many people who notice and check it out will stay long enough to read anything?
4. Etc ... And many more questions stem from this.
There is advertising everywhere ... from the largest billboard to the smallest piece of graffiti sprayed in a grungy corner ... flyers scattered on the ground ... anything, anywhere is an opportunity for selling or promoting something. If all advertising was noise, the whole world would be shouting and we would all be deaf. It would be so loud that we would never know what silence is. It would be extinct. This is the thing that amazes me. Somehow this time around in London it is what stands out to me: the people, bustling around in the mass of media. The commercialism screams for attention and the people are swallowed by it - like some huge monster that has taken over the world.
Why I'm thinking all of this is because of a dream I had last night. I won't go into it, because this is already getting so long. But suffice it to say, one of my first thoughts when I woke up this morning was: where is the spirituality of/in the city?
As I walked down the road I remembered a small bit of a poem Daddy had written in my autograph book when I was small. I can't remember the exact words, but it was something about a humble daisy ... about the fact that it seemed inconsequential, it wasn't perceived as anything big and powerful or purposeful ... yet the poem ends by saying that the daisy "protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun."
The experiment will continue.


Blogger Kaivalya said...

I've done this with some of my 'Shoot with Cameras not with Guns' photographs - my email address was on the back of photos that I left in public places. No response so far, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

6:06 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

I wonder how many people take time for things like this. It's interesting.

5:48 AM  

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