Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Today’s observation exercise turned out to be an interesting experience for me. I must admit throughout the exercise my attention did stray from concentrating on pure walking, but in the end it kind of brought me to think about closeness within society.

I decided to sit in a shopping centre food court and watch people as the entered and exited escalators. After a short amount of time sitting there a man in a green jumper came to sit at the table I was at. He initially wandered over to the other end of the table, but eventually moved closer and closer to where I was sitting, as there were dirt and food scraps on the table. When he chose his final seat he was right (and kind of uncomfortably) next to me. I continued watching others in the shopping centre as they walked to and from the escalators. I noticed people holding large objects and bags walked much faster than people who were carrying nothing at all. As I observed, took photos, and filmed, my attention kept getting drawn to the man who was sitting right across from me. I couldn't stop wondering if he was noticing me making my observations and recordings, and was wondering. With him so close to me it made me really consider how I was taking my observations and watching others. This brought my attention to the way in which so many people are moving through the city; walking past each other, physically brushing past each other, standing next to each other in bus lines, and yet, in a relaxed seated position, closeness to others can be so uncomfortable. Its almost as if when we are standing or walking next to strangers, it doesn't matter how close our proximity is, we can stand or walk right next to each other- as long as we are going somewhere and have a purpose for our actions. But if we are to sit next to a stranger closely, we feel uncomfortable and uneasy.

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