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We were here

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Casual encounters

The art of playing with elderly people, to have casual encounters have a greater benefit to them. Interviews revealed that they would prefer to do something together and to chat casually then playing a usual game. Playing has moved from outside (as a child) to inside (as a grownup). Going outside is now going shopping: window shopping, drinking something on a terrace, having a coffee, watching people, meeting and talking to people. It is easier to meet people when there is an actual occasion for it and there is something to talk about. It can be something to look at or something to do together. Without any ambition or judgement, and no matter the outcome. To cooperate, to talk and to laugh with one another evokes a feeling of togetherness.
 
A living Face Book: to meet with friends of friends
For this art project people receive a personal invitation to meet up on a certain day and time at a certain location in Presikhaaf ( a district in Arnhem). A living Face Book is the starting point: someone is sending a written invitation to three people, those three also invite three people, who in their turn also invite three people. Participants actually go because of the assuring knowledge the people they will meet are friends of friends.
 
The casual encounter: to achieve togetherness by interaction
An outdoor terrace is created around an existing bench somewhere in Presikaaf. The invites are welcomed with a coffee. An easier way for people to get to know each other and to achieve the feeling of togetherness is by organizing a workshop. Without ambition or judgement and one in which anyone can join: a workshop on laughter. The sound of their laughter will be recorded.
 
We were here: a lost moment captured
For the inhabitants of Presikhaaf an artwork can be experienced at two spots in their district. The same areas as where the encounters took place. The artwork will consist of an existing park bench, and the traces the people who were there have left behind: the sound of the encounter (the laughter) and a map of the terrace drawn on the floor. The sound will sometimes be heard and sometimes fade away to create liveliness and to encourage conversations.
 
WE WERE HERE is part of the project Tussenruimte (Spaces in Between)
Co-work with Daphne Questro (Workshop Laughter) and Casper Teijgeler (sound)
Funding: Kunstbedrijf Arnhem and the Foundation “Beleven”
2010