i’m not looking for candid camera laughs, but social experiments of these kinds have indeed been done before, and in many ways. make a few searches on youtube and many high school or college students have attempted projects on the invasion of personal space as part of their psychology or sociology module assignments.
the research starting point of proxemics and critical boundary in itself already belongs to the school of social sciences. i do see my performance work as a methodology to research the social sciences. i also see my performance work as an inevitable study of the social sciences, that it is inherently a part of each other. and i’m not sure if other artists may share this idea.
but while we are heading in this direction, it is important that i state my “hypothesis” and the aim(s) of my investigation as clearly as possible. (i believe this too will evolve as i understand the work better, but for now…)
1. the research, while done in public on the public, is really about the “performers.” or in this case, i will refer to as “players.” it is crucial, and worthy, to gather the findings based on the players’ reflections and understanding, rather than the reactions of the public involved.
2. having said that, unlike social experiments done within the actual spheres of the social sciences, the findings and results are not quantifiable, but should, ideally, expand into dialogue and conversation.
3. with this aim, it is then important for the players to “play” in as genuine and neutral a state. there is not intended reaction, and hence the intended gestures/actions are to be performed simply as a test of his own boundary, and less of a challenge to the other person’s boundary.
and more to come.