Sunday, February 24, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Model 3

Statement of Intent for a Narratorium

Statement of Intent for a Narratorium

Story telling is a personal experience between the story teller and the person or people who are listening to the story. If the story teller loses the ability to engage the audience personally he or she is not telling a story, he is giving a lecture. Because a Narratorium is meant to be a place where stories are told, the story telling places should not facilitate large groups of people. Instead they should encourage small groups of people to engage in the act of story telling.

If the Narratorium is going to act as a civic institution, it will have to allow the general public to actively engage with it. It should encourage people to come in and listen to stories but more importantly it should invite them to tell their own stories. If the only people telling stories in this place are the professional story tellers then the Narratorium will be nothing more than another movie theatre or concert hall. By engaging the public through encouraging them to tell their own stories not only will the Narratorium help enhance the art of story telling, it will preserve the role of story telling in modern society and in the process record the popular history of the city and its inhabitants.

Although story telling is something that requires personal interactions, it is important that the Narratorium records people’s stories for later generations. This is how the Narratorium will function as something more than being just a place to sit and talk. In addition to recording the history of the city, the Narratorium needs to promote the art of oral story telling. This will be done to some extent by having people come in off the street and tell their stories. The Narratorium will formally promote the art of story telling by offering story telling workshops. These workshops would be taught by the story tellers employed by the Narratorium and by the resident guest story teller.

Another important feature of the Narratorium will be the translation of oral stories into works of art. There will be accommodations for an invited guest artist to live and create art work based on the stories he or she has heard at the Narratorium. The work produced by the artist will then be displayed either in a gallery at the Narratorium or in the story telling areas of the building.

The other live-in guest at the Narratorium will be a visiting story teller. He or she will take part in engaging the public in story telling. He or she will conduct some of the story telling workshops and in addition to telling his or her own stories, he or she will spend his or her time in the Narratorium talking to the public and encouraging them to tell their own stories. The third task of the guest story teller will be to work with the guest artist. The story teller will tell his or her stories to the artist who will then create art that is inspired by or recreates the story teller’s stories. The artist will hopefully also create art that is inspired by the stories told by the public who come into the Narratorium to tell their own stories.

In order to get people to tell their own stories the Narratorium will employ several story tellers who go out into the Natatorium’s story telling areas and ask people questions that will help them begin telling stories of their own. The Naratorium’s story tellers will also tell their stories to get the public to tell stories in response to what they have just heard.

Together with the guest story teller the story tellers employed by the Narratorium will determine which stories should be archived. If a story is deemed archive worthy, the person will be asked to return to the Narratorium to retell their story so that it can be recorded and put into the archive. Even though the most important part of story telling will be lost when someone watches a video of a story being told, the archive will be an important part of the Narratorium. Through the archive, the Narratorium will be able to preserve people’s stories for future generations and build a history of the city as it is seen by the people who live here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Part 3

Wow, way too much sugar. I should probably get over to the where house now. I can never understand how bras and or panties end up on the sidewalk. Some times people just can’t wait to get home I guess. Of course the abandoned bras across the street from the shut down school do complement each other nicely. Maybe that was one they should have kept open.

Two blocks and one busy street and there’s no sign of that quiet neighborhood Floyd’s is in. Now its just semi deserted streets inhabited mainly by the homeless who have set up camp. Discount office furniture, paint stores, and auto shops take up most of the buildings between here and the slightly nicer shops on MLK and Grand. West of MLK the buildings change into a collection of neglected brick and concrete where houses and storage buildings. Raised loading platforms along second for unloading trucks and the same along first for the trains make up the streetscape here.

Making it through the carnival between the two buildings that make up City Liquidators I can see the where house boss standing on the loading platform. He’s doing what he’s always doing when I come by, standing around smoking and drinking a cup of coffee.

“Hey, did you get those showers I ordered yet?”

“Where checking them in as we speak,” he flicked is cigarette into the street and added, “We do have a working phone here.”

“Yeah I know.”

“Want some coffee?”

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Part 2

Shit its cold out here. I could use a cup of coffee. I think there’s a coffee shop over on eleventh or twelfth. I hope nobody sees me rounding the corner and head away from the where house. The Penn Building 1964. That must have been a simpler time, when you could be proud of building an oversized concrete box. An ironic place for Creative Woodworking to operate out of. At least it doesn’t have those ugly saw tooth sky lights like the building up ahead.
There’s twelfth and no little yellow coffee shop, but there is a house and someone’s garage that have been converted into bars. I made it this far out of my way. I might as well keep going. It can’t be too much farther.
Zell's cafĂ© looks like it’s quite the popular spot for breakfast although I think Hall’s tavern is more like my kind of place. Hey, there it is Floyd’s Coffee Shop.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Story Part 1

Fifteen new voicemails. It’s amazing how fast they pile up when you skip out early and then come in late the next day, but I guess people do need their toilets. In just 4 years as an American Standard wholesaler and now I get to talk too many of the city’s leading kitchen and bathroom fixture retailers on a daily basis. I guess it’s better than having to be on the show room floor helping customers all day.

After an hour of returning phone calls that is just what I found myself doing. My third customer in a row and another identical conversation. I really hope she doesn’t want to talk about toilets and tubs for her new bathroom.

I have a feeling that her contractor sent her down here so that he could get some work done without her looking over his shoulder for a little while. Why can’t these people just look at our stuff online? They really don’t have to come in here to talk to a salesman only to take a catalogue and say that they will have think about what they want and then go home.

“Well thanks for your help. I think I need to go home and talk to my contractor before I make any decision.”

“Here’s my card. When you decide what you want to do give us a call.”

I hope that was one of the old cards that don’t have my direct line on it. It’s not even ten and I think I need a reason to step out of the office for a little while. I bet the where house guys screwed something up and need my help fixing it.