Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's been quite awhile since the last post, and I do apologize for that. This has been mostly an issue of finals. Finals for studio art majors essentially consist of several weeks of hellacious pushing towards the end of projects. On the few occasions I did manage to grab the time (two hours or so are required) to post, I didn't manage to muster the wherewithal to do so. Ani herself, however, hasn't been latent since the last post. She's been out four times, once with our dear photographer Steve Arrelin...and she's gotten some recognition outside of the suit, too. I've got a super-fun entry for you today to try to make up for the delay!
Last week, the girl behind Ani headed up to the front of the class in street clothes and explained just what the heck was going on this semester. The reception, really, was quite wonderful; my classmates seemed genuinely intrigued and enthusiastic about the project. The traditional "stare silently at the professor for ninety-three percent of each class" rule didn't apply here, and I was thrilled to field twenty or thirty questions. According to the class, the "whole Psychology building" has been talking about Ani and just trying to figure her out. Too fun!
The icing on the cake was that, not only was the talk enjoyable, but there's an almost missionary-like satisfaction in feeling that a lot of the students left with a clarified idea of just what performance art is. That was wonderful.
Before beginning my talk, the class graciously agreed to jot down their ideas about Ani and what it was like to have her in class. These were collected and, for your viewing pleasure and my own, here they are. To remind you of context, I'll point out that this class title is "Abnormal Psychology."
|Thought it was very weird, but I knew there was some sort of experiment behind it. Eager to find out what the experiment is. Since you went to all these regular places, did you scare anyone or get any funny reactions? [Editor: I think my readers can answer that one. ;)]
|Class projects are always strange, just another day in college.
|I thought you might have a phobia or something. You know, like you're afraid of human contact or germs maybe. Then I got to thinking it was just for attention. And after that, I thought it was maybe for an experiment.
|Assumed you were doing a study on people's reactions.
|I knew she was doing an experiment, but didn't know what type. I thought it was crazy @ first. Then I realized after a week what could be happening or taking place.
|At first I was completely thrown off by the blue body suit! I thought, "this girl is just crazy and trying to get a rise out of people." But then as the weeks went by in the semester, I started to assume this was a psychology experiment of some sort. Either way, I'm sure it made her life easier b/c she didn't have to debate over what she'd wear that day.
|After first seeing the "blue suit" I thought maybe it was being worn as an experiment to see how classmates would react to the suit. After talking it over with others who had seen the "blue suit" we thought whoever was wearing it may have an allergy to the sun, and the suit protected against UV rays!
|I thought maybe she had some sort of skin disorder and she was embarassed and didn't want anyone to see it. I also thought maybe she was allergic to the sun so that covered her from it.
|- I got scared once but then realized it was you.
- I thought it was interesting and figured it was some kind of an experiment.
|I figured you were doing some kind of project/experiment. I thought you were trying to see how people reacted to you. I thought you had some guts to be wearing such a form fitting outfit. :)
|When I first saw you, I did a double take! But seeing as that we were in abnormal psych. together, I thought "whatever, to each her own!" But needless to say, I wanted to ask you why you dressed like that, but I couldn't. Now I'm glad you're explaining this!
|Thought maybe was a medical condition from the sun, or some kind of study of psych.
|Is this person going to use some sort of microscopic equipment to read the thoughts I think about the differentiation of appearance?
|Thought she was doing some type of experiment on peer interaction - Do people treat people different based on appearance
|When I first saw you I thought perhaps the suit had something to do with bondage or S&M.
Very interesting I might add!
|I believe the blue lady is an experiment to see how people react to her. maybe like a modern day racism study, like how people used to treat blacks, seeing if they react in similar ways.
|At first I thought I was seeing things. Is there really a person dressed in all blue. I thought it was a brave thing to do. Never would I have the guts to do that, but wearing a mask who is to know.
|I figured it was some type of psychological experiment. Felt sorry for you because some days it was really hot. [Editor: And how!]
|I was shocked at first when I saw her but then I just figured she was doing some sort of experiment for a psych. class.
|I have to say I was freaked out at first. I didn't really know what to think but then after a while it didn't bother me. I think I just figured something was wrong with your skin or you were hiding your face. It never crossed my mind that it was art.
|I thought the blue person was some outlandish expression of art.
|I thought that maybe there's some sort of event going on.
Maybe she was a mascot for something.
|1. At first I thought you were conducting a psychological experiment.
2. When I spoke to you about what you were doing, you said that it was an art project and at first I wasn't quire sure how it could be an art project.
3. When I approached you to ask you what you were doing, you were very nice and patient. Thank you for that! :) [Editor: Thank you!]
|I was taken back when I first saw you, but (to be honest) nothing really surprises me. After seeing you around, I figured it had to do with some type of art expression or experiment.
42 yrs. old
goal: Special Education Teacher
|I knew it was you!
(I was in Forsyth's class with you.)
I didn't think the "Lady in Blue" was weird; just thought it was an experiment!
Many, many thanks to all the writers of these comments! The time and thoughts are most appreciated. If you want your name added to an anonymous comment or want it removed from a non-anonymous one, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know. Also feel free to similarly prod me if your comment isn't here and was supposed to be. I didn't intentionally exclude any, but it is possible that I misplaced a paper or somesuch. If you have anything else you'd like to say or add, feel free to leave a comment on this post. You don't need to be a member of Livejournal to do so.
|To answer a few questions raised by the class here as well:
Q: Did you feel self-conscious about wearing that tight, showy suit in public?
A: More or less, yes. I'm not exactly swimsuit model material and don't particularly like my body...but I do accept it for what it is. Also, the extensive undergarments (the entire area from the bra to mid-thigh is covered) do help to feel decent, even when the visual change is only slight.
Q: How is this art?
A: "Conceptual Art" theory aside...seeing Ani sit in a classroom, grab a coffee, walk down the hall, or even completely mind her own business is an image that will stay with you for a very long time. That concept and mental image, so very tangible an interactive, is something that you tell friends about, that you talk about at the dinner table, and that will be remembered possibly for years to come. Not many paintings or sculptures can claim that same level of impact.
Q: Do you feel that this suit is a stigma of sorts?
A: I post this question because it's the only one that stumped me. I'm the sort of person who processes new ideas slowly and deliberately, so this answer wasn't yet clarified in my head. No, I wouldn't consider the suit a stigma...simply because, like the "A" of The Scarlet Letter, "stigma" implies that people know what it means. While the suit does set me aside in a strikingly similar manner, it lends itself more to a "fear of the unknown" sort of reaction rather than a revulsion against a known transgression.
However, for the sake of different, valid viewpoints, the girl who posed this question did offer an alternative answer: yes, the suit's a stigma because it indicates oddity. Strangeness is something to be ostracized regardless of whether it's understood.
Q: Do people of different ages react differently to the blue person?
A: Definitely. The most accepting group, by and large, was the teen and twenty-something crowd. The least accepting was the sixty plus demographic...although I can think of specific, outstanding exceptions to both rules.
I'm having difficulty remembering some of the other questions asked...at least, the ones that haven't already been answered many times over in this blog. Most of them are details that the dedicated readers among you could have answered just as well as me. :)
As for this experiment: Ani's time isn't entirely over, but it is winding down for the winter. A couple more posts will be made in the next week or so to cover some of the jaunts in the last couple of weeks (photographs, an art museum, and a library are all involved!) After that, this blog will be one to move into the "check occasionally" section of your bookmarks. Ani isn't ending by any means, she's way too cool for that and will update occasionally afterward...but won't keep to any semblance of a weekly schedule. She'll definitely been attending the opening of the CSU-Pueblo Student Show in the Spring, for one...at least, she will if her project is accepted as an exhibit!
This project has been very successful --not to mention educational-- in any case, and a full revival is entirely possible in the future. Ani is really quite fun when she doesn't have to keep to a strict schedule. Once the girl behind her has had a bit of a break, she'll probably be quite willing to take Ani out frequently again...though probably once the weather warms. ;) Thank you all for your continued readership, and here's to many good jaunts in the future!