Monday, January 22, 2007

Saturday was completely fruitless in terms of "actors" out in the streets of Austin. Apparently it was too cold and wet for them to act outside, thus preferring their warm houses and cars. Sunday on the other hand appeared much more promising when I glanced out the window as I woke up. Considering I did not have a car I opted to walk to the closest moon tower which was in West Campus.
Once there, feeling slightly creepy, I observed no one walking around. After a period of time someone finally walked by. Though not certain, I feel that he did not interact with any objects besides the sidewalk in order to get away the creepy stalker guy with a camera waiting for him to throw something away or sit down. Bikers and cars were the only other things that felt like passing by me. I grudgingly went to get my bike.
The next closest place on my map was at 15th and San Antonio where I found something promising. I waited for the light to change and crossed the street.
Any normal person would not nearly be as excited about people sitting at tables as i was at that moment. This is probably why people honked as I crossed the street. After crossing the four lanes I start observing what is going on with the two cafe tables that are being occupied. Here is what I write in my notebook-
- i crossed 15th street
- take a seat at the outdoor chairs
- in the shade away from traffic quite comfortable
- a group of four discuss at one table
- farther down 2 bums with their dog ask some guy from the street for some change, he gets the change, picks up his stuff from the table and they both leave with their dog
- the four at the table remain, one elderly, and one man and two women about in 30s
- heard something about world not being right, while some women is getting her hair messed with by other woman
- continue to work and realize i am becoming part of this interaction with the outdoor furniture

In fact I had become part of the interaction because I had been myself sitting at the cafe table taking notes. I hope that some other architecture student saw me and said "a student sits at work and observes others from the table..."


creighton said...

It might be interesting to explore the social dynamic of people sitting at tables. The setup of the table probably has a significant effect on how they interact.

cjfranck said...

I like the idea of the accidental discovery of your object and your personal realization of its subtle control over your own behavior. I visited that site on Saturday when it was utterly deserted, so it also interests me that activity does occur there at times.

ANE said...

I like how at the end of your story, you, too become a part of the same objects your actors are a part of. I think this happens to all of us. We go to the site playing one part, and we end up playing another, either engaging in conversation with the actors (which interferes with our "narratives" of beginning to find more uses (or discovering similar uses) for objects as those do around you.

adanziger said...

i presume this was a restaurant of sorts. if so, i wonder why people were sitting outside as opposed to inside. the answer is probably bc it was a beautiful day. okay, then i might consider did people just eat inside on the cold rainy day or did they not come to restaurant at all. weather is a big deal. it affects our moods greatly. i was sad as shit when it was rainy and cold not bc something was going wrong in my life but bc it just felt like the right thing to do. i simpky wonder how differently the location functioned the day before. people probably ordered different things (ie soup and tea) and possibly talked about different things.