a moment of your time, 2013

People United Commission in association with Turner Contemporary

A gallery and its exhibitions draw many different people together yet little dialogue goes on between strangers when they are looking at works in a show. I was interested in investigating the role of the gallery as a meeting point. Often people occupy the space in a silent, private, disconnected way. Some common curiosity or value has brought disparate groups together in a public space, yet most often people leave having no notion of what they may share with the other people they have spent an hour or more with.

a moment of your time was a dialogic project. Commissioned by People United and Turner Contemporary to develop a piece about values, I initiated random conversations over three months with visitors to the exhibition Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing. Using four selected works from the exhibition as a starting point: A cloudburst of material possessions, Leonardo Da Vinci; Los Alamos National Laboratory Rolodexes, The Center for Land Use Interpretation; The New Mineral, Nina Canell; and Skyquakes in Ear Trumpets, Aura Satz, I encouraged people to explore materialism, ethics and cooperation.

Everyone I spoke to was asked to sum up his or her conversation in 26 words – the equivalent of a tweet. This kind of ‘twitter without the technology’ was about creating a rudimentary version of social media in a real rather than virtual space. In addition to collecting the ‘tweets’ and taking portraits I made four pencil drawings of the selected works, rewriting people’s words in the image that corresponded with the value discussed. During the residency, the drawings were hung in some of the transitional spaces in the gallery and served as a repository – one means to begin to quantify what mattered to people the most.



People United archive