My mind is whirring, trying to keep track of everyone and everything…
Body language, eye contact and direction,
attention, are they ‘with’ me,
the first to speak is brave, the second is supportive
stay patient, believe in the process.
The following is what is written on my notes.
[an attempt at filling the gaps in my sporadic note taking]
This is what is happening [in the room]
[someone asks what is happening] [Me:] What would you like [?]
[Eliott:] Rauschenberg paintings
Speculation on Where
Does he [have a pair]
Is it a coincidence [Name shared with plane]
Is it just the white ones [called AF1]
no [clear statement of[ knowledge
share personal [connections and anecdotes]
shumi is right [regarding name:]
Nike 'Air Force'
[Eliott:?] Plutonic Trainer [the idea of the forms?]
Sweat [someone talks about smell]
Back to the Future
[At this point 5 minutes is up and I intervene]
The following is a reflection, a re-telling of the session from memory.
As a result it could, and should, be considered tainted by my personal perspective and bias.
[reflections in square brackets]
(Left Hand Side = Me)
Padlet projected onto wall without direct instruction
Image: white Air Force One trainers on a white background.
(Right Hand Side = Audience)
Appear attentive on the surface.
A minute passes
I feel nervous/excited, perhaps I project this.
Student-lecturers exchange glances
Looking for instruction?[perhaps I imagined this]
Nerves appear mutual.
I begin taking notes.
This is a conscious gesture using nonverbal signals to demonstrate I am mentally present.
[I try to make no clear signals, any action I perform will lead the group]
Notable tension, head turning and comments
Sergio asks if I know the clock is ticking.
I showed him my 5 minute countdown.
Audience feel more at ease*
They begin to comment more freely on the image
Questions about origin story, information exchange
After 5 minutes, I explained that my silence functioned as a space for them (to read the image and form a perspective). Their response (open questions and information exchange) unconsciously supported the intentions behind the gesture: ‘The lesson begins when you decide’ and ‘you have as much to offer each other as I do’.
Questions were answered and I shared more AF1 images as we discussed and dissected the image:
design, sports origins, Black culture, hip-hop, appropriation, advertising design, high Fashion, business strategy, status as Nike’s number 1 seller, raised questions over ethics and politics; who profits from what culture and speculated on what the shoe now symbolises.
*This (starred) moment is key for me.
This was a peak experience (as described by Maslow). An echo to the feeling gained while collaborating with Anthea Hamilton as part of OSE’s 2020/1 cohort. This particular feeling of poignancy, that something important was happening crystallised this moment in my mind.
- Key feedback and takeaways…
- Opening performance matches the white image (minimalism)
- Holding back as a technique for capturing attention
- Session evolved over time
- Different forms of performance
- Good engagement with the session,
- Concern over online engagement
- Unsure of explicit relation to learning outcomes