PEOPLE IN SPACE
In 2010 Shanghai hosted the largest World Expo in history. 73 million people attending over six months and 246 countries and international organizations participated. People in Space was a project organized to utilize this context as an opportunity for art and artistic research. Approximately 405,000 people attended the Expo each day (on average) and visitors spent several hours waiting in lines, consisting of thousands of people, in order to enter popular pavilions. With these conditions in mind my collaborators and I sent out an international call for proposals inviting creative thinkers to submit ideas for actions that engaged the waiting visitors in unexpected ways. We evaluated the proposed actions based on three categories: utilization of the lines, simplicity of design, and strength of concept as it relates to the context of the Expo and its themes. We then implemented the selected proposals in and through the lines present at the pavilions as surrogate artists.
I spent nearly two months on the ground in Shanghai acclimating to the environment and getting a sense of what was around. The following content documents my own experiences and observations made as well as the surrogate actions we implemented at the Expo. Sandrine Schaefer of The Present Tense helped organize, implement, and write about the actions. Lily Shang was the main photographer of the actions.