Would you like to know how an art exhibition which included multi-media digital frames helped a whole community to connect with each other in a very special way?
An artist and her collaborator arrived in a small town in North Carolina. This is a town of approximately people. Their objective was to present an art project that promised to capture the essence of what the concept “home” means to the residents of the town
Within almost a 3 week period these 2 complete strangers to the town, managed to interview a wide range of residents across many different age groups and living styles and from both old and new residents. Each was asked what home means to them and what it means to call the town their home.
The interviews from the residents were recorded in photos, videos and handwritten notes. This information was then organized and presented to the citizens in a unique art exhibition through a combination of maps, digital wallpaper cool, traditional frames, TV and computers. Their findings allowed the project managers to discover and then present many of the features that make this town different, but also the same, as other towns across the country.
A temporary residence was obtained for the project and furnishings were purchased from the local thrift store to provide a homey setting for the visitors. The 2 organizers gathered the photos and handwritten memories of their visits and displayed them in various ways on the windows and walls of the house.
The kitchen was the display area for 52 traditional frames, each of which contained a photo and a statement that showed its location. These were cleverly arranged on the wall to relate to each one’s location within a map of the town.
The videos that had been recorded were placed on digital frames with headphones under each frame so people could listen privately to the interviews. Computers allowed people to scroll to their own interviews if they wished to. A giant TV screen was also placed in one room for visitors to watch the interviews.
The video interviews on the digital frames were a resounding success. It was here that the real connecting took place. As each of the interviewees introduced themselves and intimately shared their home lives and their memories of the town, the town residents were able to connect with their neighbors in ways that would not have been possible without this project.
The citizens of this small town were treated to a rare and unique view of their town and its inhabitants and all those that participated in the interviews felt honored to be a part of this amazing project. Those residents who visited the exhibit were truly able to connect to it and to each other and to feel a closeness and a connection to their community and its members they had not experienced before.