Jeanne Kelly

Assignment 5: Instruction Sets for Strangers: Prep for First Test

In Collage, Fall 09 Archive, Major Studio Interface on October 21, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Tomorrow we are testing our first assumptions.

Here’s the plan:

At 10:00 am in Bryant Park we’ll start by leaving bags of birdseed on the tables around the north side of the park, excluding the northeast patio behind the library.

This location was determined through repeated observation of the park.  During the morning, and most of the daylight hours, more people gather and pass through the sunnier northern side of the park.  I’ve come to believe from observation that the location of the subway increases foot traffic in the northern side of the park as well. I have also seen more people feeding the birds in this area of the park.  Additionally, more birds can be found in this is the area of the park.


We will document the interaction between the strangers and the bags of bird feed left on the tables on the northern side of the park.

Our assumption being that some people will chose to feed the birds.

If we begin to see that people are not responding to the feed left on the tables then I will start to hand out bags of birdseed to people entering the park from the main steps on 6th Avenue.  We can then compare how our assumptions play out with these two different approaches.

How we prepared:

We started out by going shopping around the neighborhood and getting everything we needed all together.


I got a volunteer, Chris Abell, to help in the ‘feed bag’ production.  We began by stamping each bag with the word feed.  The type is not meant as an instruction, only as a statement about contents of the bag.  I felt it added a small but crucial amount of graphic appeal to the bags along with imparting information.  Perhaps for the second round of tests we can change the bag by adding an image of a finch.




After stamping all one hundred bags we opened then all and added one cup of birdseed to each.


Then folded them all as neatly and compactly as possible.



I began to pack them up for travel tomorrow and started to wonder how much my twenty pounds of birdseed really weighed.


We also have another friend who’s volunteered to help us.  Louis Lucci is a photography major at FIT and is interested in documenting the interactions as well.

So here’s hoping for great weather and curious and thoughtful people tomorrow.


We’ll see how it goes.  🙂


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