This week in Art110 class we had a guest, Marta Troya come in and introduce us to an activity she called Turning Pages. In this activity we visited the CSULB library and the bookstore. Marta’s idea was for us to challenge our surroundings. This was interesting because I never thought to do something like this in these areas on campus. Before the activity even started I knew that it was definitely going to be an interesting experience.
First our class made our way to the CSULB library. When we got there we went upstairs to the second floor and each choose a children’s book to bring downstairs with us to read. Once we chose our book we proceeded to follow Marta downstairs to form a big circle a corner of the library, near the computers. At first this idea of reading books in the library did not seem like it would be “challenging” the space but the reaction we got from the people around us told me otherwise. With advancements in technology it is becoming less and less common for people to read books. Now people just go to the library to use the computers so students forming a large group and sitting down to read was odd to our onlookers. Also the fact that we were such a large group made it so we stuck out much more. It is so interesting and a little sad to think that it is a spectacle now to actually see a group of people reading books in a library. Glenn and Marta both told us not to document the experience so that we could really be in the moment. Sitting there reading children’s books and seeing the looks we got from the people outside of our class was very interesting and eye opening.
The next place that we went to was the CSULB bookstore. For this part of the activity we were able to document the process so the photos above are from that. Before we entered the bookstore Marta told us to wander around the space and blend ourselves in. Try on clothes, play music upstairs and look at the items around the store. While doing this we had to keep in mind to be aware of our surroundings and really try to take everything in. Walking around the store with this activity in the back of my mind created an interesting view of the bookstore for me. It separated the layout of the bookstore more precisely in my mind and let me be able to see the unconscious actions of other costumers. To be able to observe an area like this instead of blindly walk through it was very intriguing.
Overall I really enjoyed this experience. It was eye opening to everyday things that I do not notice. It also gave me a much better grasp of the nature of space around me. It was very interesting to examine spaces and understand there meanings from an outward perspective. Being able to challenge the space and see what the reaction would be.
Marta Troya was a very wonderful speaker to get to meet and speak with. Experiencing the way she thinks about the spaces around us was fascinating. I hope to see her again. (: