Eva Papadouraki & Joanna Poupaki &Theodora Sianou / University of Thessaly / 2018-2019 / Gradution Project / Tutor: Phoebe Giannisi
Our thesis began with questions concerning the free movement of the body in crowd situations. To answer this, we studied the gathering of “the many” through field investigation and theoretical framing of the term “crowd”. Investigating, we redefined it through the terms of intensity, coordination and getting-together. As “crowd”, we consider all those who have the desire of getting-together and who experience moments of coordination. We define getting-together as the situation in which singularities are in contact with each other, in bodily closeness and coordination, and they share common intensity.
We studied and documented 27 events for every one of which we designed diagrams for the codification of the elements of the crowd. These include intensity diagrams where the crowd is depicted as a sea urchin, spatial diagrams of the crowd where its spatial footprint is shown without the existing spatial boundaries, passage diagrams, diagrams of body movement, sound diagrams and an object catalogue. The representation of the crowd becomes clearer through the production of videos and soundscapes.
In the events we studied, we were more interested in the element of free movement through dancing. Therefore, we chose to focus on parties introducing the term of “party culture”, which refers to parties as an entertainment practice, as something that one seeks out solely for the party experience and not to celebrate something specific. It appears in clubs, concerts, fairs and parties. We focus on open parties of public character because they do not have the face control of the clubs and there is not an entrance fee. Additionally, at parties we encounter the “becoming”, meaning the changing of one’s state of intensity.
Observing the parties of our study, we found that there are rarely parties just for the sake of partying. Taking that into account and wanting to reproduce the crowd experience, we decided to design a dance party. The Animal Party. We kept comments and observations from the events, such as the importance of the continuous music, the dancing space, the bar, the ambiance and the promotion and these are the conditions on which we chose to experiment. Having the production of an experiment party as our goal, we translate our comments concerning the events and party culture into spatial and behavioral conditions simultaneously introducing a role play game/the cards.
For the execution of the party, we selected the university space because it is/was a public space, open to all. The Animal Party was yet another crowd condition, like all the events we studied. Aside from the reproduction of the crowd condition through the party, important parts of our project are the depiction of the crowd as a sea urchin and the representation of its experience through videos, diagrams, sounds and words.
The crowd is a situation that has to be experienced in order for its feeling to be understood. You can observe it from the exterior but to perceive it you have to traverse it, touch it, feel its intensity, be part of it, move freely within it.