This Great Society November 2009: Contents
             
This Great Society - Arts
             
 
Jim Boraas: Some Thoughts on 'Headbands and Bracelets'
 
Jim Boraas: Some Thoughts on 'Headbands and Bracelets'
 
Jim Boraas: Some Thoughts on 'Headbands and Bracelets'
 
             
 

Intimacy exists most in isolation: a dark room for our thoughts, a candle for our lovers; any external event is a detraction, a challenge to our intimacy. Likewise, in groups, when there is no shared spectacle, no motive for gathering beyond a desire to interact, getting to know those around us becomes easier, and can become the common focus of a group.

Children often find themselves in group settings isolated from the distractions of spectacle. In these settings the only entertainment they can expect to find is in the personalities around them. This is a perfect time to network, to make friends, to learn about those around you who were unfortunate enough to find themselves shuffled off to the same playground, day-camp, or youth group. These are childhood's candlelight dinners of the vacant lot and corner store.

Adult life provides few similar opportunities to meet those around us in such intimate contexts. There is no longer a need to make our own fun because we can afford to pay others to make it for us. Unfortunately, when we are bored, and not forced to rely on our immediate contemporaries for a mutual distraction or escape, we become spectators of entertainment rather than participants. Though the production value may be higher the satisfaction it generates lacks the longevity of that created when experience is lived rather than observed.

Events external to those observing them vary in the extent to which they conflict with the communing of individuals. A shared sunset is clearly less distracting than a shared action-film—unless the latter becomes a replacement catalyst for commiseration, filling in for uninspired high-school teachers of years past. People desire a reasonable pretext for social connection and the commiseration provided by action-films and lethargic pontificators fit the role perfectly.

This need for a social catalyst is recognized in the work of Heidi Nagtegaal, who attempts to create participation within spaces or events that characteristically focus more on the spectacle rather than the spectator. By attempting to lessen the divide between entertainment and those being entertained, Headbands & Bracelets is a project through which Heidi often succeeds in generating a sense of intimacy within an otherwise disconnected group. In this context, isolated from our entertainment, we are better positioned to recognize our role as part of a moment rather than superfluous to it, aware that we never merely observe a moment, we are one of the many that create it.

 
 
Arts: This Great Society November 2009
This Great Society November 2009: Contents
This Great Society November 2009: Contents
This Great Society November 2009: Contents This Great Society November 2009: Arts This Great Society November 2009: Creative Writing This Great Society November 2009: Thoughts and Analysis This Great Society November 2009: Formalities Jim Boraas: This Great Society - Arts This Great Society - Arts