A Collection of Spectacles


Our first action

Title of Action: Blocks Away

Date: Friday 10.01.10

Time: 12:00-4 or 5

Organizer: Laura Elrick w/ Kate Eichhorn


1. Multiple groups of 2 converge at Ground Zero near the corner of Church St. and Vesey St. This is the first stop, and the 1st Photo is taken of the full number of participants.

2. Groups of 2 then diverge in different directional vectors in a starburst pattern, walking in silence and noticing the material, psychological, political and emotional characteristics of the terrains they move through.

3. Throughout this walk (along their directional vector), each group will stop 5-7 times at intervals of 1-5 blocks, 6-10 blocks, 11-15 blocks, 16-20 blocks, 21-25 blocks (and so forth) away from the Ground Zero Vortex. The particular location of the stop is determined by the group and is based on the potential material, psychological, political or emotional interest of the site for framing the “blocks away” action and signage (see next). Note: Vector may “drift” as needed when passage is blocked by dead-ends, buildings and the like, but group should attempt to return to original direction as soon as is possible.

4. At each stop, a sign is constructed using the list of phrases provided as guides (or some variation thereof). The group then stands in silence for between 10 and 15 minutes holding the sign in front of their chosen site.  At some point after the action has commenced (not sooner than 5 minutes into the action) one group member takes a snapshot of the sign and makes a careful note on the map of their location.

5. Immediately upon leaving each stop, the group discusses their experience briefly and sends a twitter description of the session. Literal, coy, critical, sarcastic, somber, witty or other modes are encouraged depending on need and desire.

6. The action ends either when the group finishes between 5 and 7 stops, or at 3:30, whichever comes first.  The group then hails a cab and returns to Lang (location TBA) for debriefing and discussion of the action. KEEP YOUR RECEIPT so you can get reimbursed.

7. Photos and twitters will be collected and used to construct documentation of the action to be distributed using various possible methods (google earth, a website, exhibition, etc).

Legal Information:

Groups of up to 3 people who do not intend to block traffic or use amplified sound, DO NOT need a permit as long as the gathering is on public property. Business owners may hassle you; if they do, say nothing, choose either to complete your action or move on.  If police officers approach, explain that your action is limited to 10 minutes and that you will be moving on. If they insist, don’t fight it, just move on to your next location. Make sure to have at least 3 phone numbers of people in other groups that you can call in case of emergency or other unexpected occurrence.

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