TERRA COTTA (we are the little curds in cottage cheese) FINAL ITERATION



We were initially going to focus on tree tree but as the weather got worse and we talked about it with the rest of the group we decided to relocate to the Terra Cotta.

Here is some coffee shop-esque music to listen to as you read the rest of the story.

Moving sites was beneficial because there were more factors to consider and play with at Terra Cotta due to the heavier traffic flow and more human influences. We each made our own private notes and discoveries and then we came together as a group to work together and gather intel for our installation.

Following our individual and collective research we used our findings to create a our installation which Josh made sure was slammin and up to his standards.20161007_104931 We were also tasked with forming 640 proposed interventions! Soon thereafter we were instructed to sift through those and…

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Our 560 Group Proposals (since we didn’t get any from a member)


Key to Which Proposals Belong to Whom

Hannah 1-20

Olivia 21-40

Kenna 41-60  

Evelyn 61-80

Jacob 81-100         

Makenzie 101-120

Josh 121-140          

Absurd Proposals

  1. Hook wires up to the ceiling and every time I sneeze raise several feet in the air as if blown away by sneeze.
  2. Begin chopping up the tables and chairs in the room and throwing the “lumber” into a wheelbarrow for the winter.
  3. Tear up the floor then replacing it with wood textured paper and having a pit underneath all overnight with a simple plastic shovel and pail. The people would subsist off of split pea soup and would remain trapped until bailed out by friends, relatives or prospective new owners. All proceeds go to Terra Cotta.
  4. Place swarming wasps overhead the tables to encourage patrons to eat quickly. Those who finish in record time can keep the stingers plucked from slow customers.
  5. Stage the…

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Our Group Performances and Group Research

Nordin Foundations

3 Wild Performances at the Terra-Cottta

  1. The Sandwich – A sandwich turns out to be too much for our young heroes…
  2. Sensory speed writing – The red shirt group cycled around a table, writing down anything that came to mind at that moment. After a few minutes they had a wheel of ideas.
  3. Intense Chess – Josh and Jacob battled through an intense game of chess at the table in the middle of the Terra-Cotta. Fans cheered from the sidelines, Jacob took the win after hard fought game.

8 Even Wilder Research Activities

  • Walking around a table at a constant pace, participants wrote everything that came to their mind, including sights, smells, sounds, and thoughts.

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  • Individually, we recorded a texture through paper wall rubbings and brought them all together on the wall in our Terra-Cotta space.

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10 Individual Tragedies That I Call Research

  1. The Light Just Then

WIndow Edit.jpg

I was exploring Terra Cotta looking for things to…borrow….when the beautiful light coming through the window caught my eye. It was angled in such a way that only a strip of the room was really visible, and this added a layer of mystery to the space which I decided to capture photographically.

 2. Scratchboard Study – Breakfast Specials



For this gathering of information, I decided to visually study the breakfast menu and attempt to recreate it on scratchboard (with a few creative liberties added).

3. He was a lonely boy

So upon reaching Terra Cotta, my group’s plans had immediately been derailed due to the upper floor being rented out, with the exception of the back deck. We proceeded to carry out our performances and group investigations in that time, however upon peeking into the upstairs lounge, I noticed that there was only one man in the room.


One man had rented the entire floor to himself.

This wasn’t even the weirdest part…He was just sitting in a chair, staring at the wall.

I wish I were making this up but it was honestly one of the most bizarre, and slightly disturbing things I had ever seen.

4. Rubbing Myself. Twice.IMG_4818.JPG

This was an individual rubbing I created as result of textural exploration of the upper deck. We later brought all of these individual rubbings together to create a collaborative piece of textural expression.

5. The Frat Party Coffee Funnel


This was kind of a study of the physics of coffee, as I created the funnel and attached the tube, plugging the other end that was within the coffee cup. When I poked a hole in this end, I allowed the air in the tube to be forced out and the coffee to travel from the makeshift funnel down the tube and into the coffee cup.

6. Hoo-Dun ItIMG_4813.JPG

After carefully observing the cashier’s patterns of behavior when someone ordered, I was able to pinpoint an ideal time to take this stuffed owl, which sat right in front of the register and well within sight of employees. Its twin sat atop the Breakfast Menu.

7. Fan Recreation – As if one tacky palm frond fan wasn’t enough



8. How I became 50% dairy


So, I’m not exactly sure why I wanted to try this, or what I thought it would accomplish.

I went into the Terra Cotta earlier in the week. Ordered a small how Mochaccino as usual, sat upstairs, enjoyed my time alone and sipped my beverage.

Everything was going pretty well, I was taking in the space around me and brainstorming things I could do to perform in or investigate the space.

I thought then would be the perfect time to do both.

I walked downstairs

Looked the cashier dead in the eye

Filled my entire cup with Half and Half

Drank it all in front of her

And subsequently walked out.


And that is why I felt sick for the entire day on Tuesday.

9. The following is my highly exaggerated ordeal of attaining coffee stirrers:

I walked into Terra Cotta and all eyes were on me. They knew I was up to pure evil. I nonchalantly ordered my drink, the cashier not being smooth about detecting my poker face. As she turned to make my drink, I searched the counter and side counter for stirrers, only to find travel cup plugs. Who even uses those?!

As I was very disappointed, I returned to Harder Hall for a bit, where my friend asked me where the RePo was located. I brought her down to the courtyard and opened the door for her to find the space almost immaculate in comparison to how I had last seen it.
Upon inspection of a few drawers, I saw that one had a container in it.


Could it be?


The one thing my heart had been missing?


And that was how I came across approximately 200 coffee stirrers without having to embrace my inner kleptomaniac.

10. Embossing Foam


For this study, I noticed foam-filler on the exterior of the building and decided to document the elevations of sections of it using hot glue overtop and image I took of the substance.

New Location – 80 Individual Proposals

20 Absurd Proposals

  1. Steal several travel coffee lids/holders
  2. Sit face-first into a chair
  3. Ask everybody who walks in if they’d like to donate a dollar to your college fund.
  4. Go outside and pour your coffee through your vest; “It wasn’t filtered well enough”
  5. Shatter every piece if pottery in the building
  6. Reconstruct broken pottery shards into an installation
  7. Crawl down the stairs on your hands and knees
  8. Ask the cashier for a hot smoothie
  9. Attempt to pay with monopoly money
  10. Order a slice of cheesecake then step on it with your bare foot
  11. Ask a random person if they would like to eat it.
  12. Make a tower of coffee lids on the counter and kick it over
  13. Walk around showing student ID and ask people if they’ve seen this person
  14. Close the bathroom door and stand in line as if its been occupied for a long time
  15. Take all of the dirty dishes off the dish counter and put them on clean tables
  16. Pretend to be a Salvation Army Bell Ringer with the red vest
  17. Go behind the counter and squeeze an entire bottle of flavor syrup on your head
  18. Unplug/turn off all of the exterior lights at night
  19. Put the money in the freezer and put a deck of cards in the register
  20. Paint the entire floor with greek yogurt


20 Silent Proposals

  1. Pretend to throw an invisible ball around the room with group; no talking
  2. Order without speaking
  3. Sit in the middle of the order area, don’t speak, don’t move, don’t make eye contact.
  4. Sit in one of the chairs upstairs and stare straight ahead for 5 minutes
  5. Play Rock-Paper-Scissors with a partner
  6. Put up wanted posters for yourself
  7. Turn off all music in the shop
  8. Play charades on the upper deck at night
  9. Take someone else’s coffee, look closely at it, put it back
  10. Draw someone without them noticing
  11. Spin in circles among several strangers until someone asks you to stop
  12. Point at people, when they notice, point at someone else
  13. Pour your coffee in your mouth from about a foot above while walking up stairs
  14. Pour a coffee over the balcony
  15. Read a book upside-down, flip the book around and look confused
  16. Drink directly from the public half and half pitchers
  17. Unpack your entire backpack onto the counter
  18. Eat all of the whipped cream in front of the cashier
  19. Cover all of the windows with raw meat
  20. Take everything out of the broom closets and organize them on the floor


20 Boring Proposals

  1. Walk up and down the stairs, let people pass if they need to.
  2. Play chess alone
  3. Sip coffee every time someone walks in
  4. Walk outside onto the upper deck in a circle
  5. Take a nap on one of the couches upstairs
  6. Whistle continuously for 5 minutes
  7. Pretend to spill your coffee
  8. Erase all accessible chalkboards
  9. Tie two chairs together at the leg with vest
  10. Write an exaggerated narrative about the space
  11. Sing along with the music playing
  12. Slide down the railing
  13. Open/Close the sliding secondary door in front
  14. Stand still in the front door
  15. Order a coffee and throw it out the moment you get it
  16. Pretend to be a musical artist
  17. Ask for cups of water over and over again, put them on tables
  18. Talk to everyone in Spanish
  19. Give everyone a napkin
  20. Add a piece of tape to every wall, ceiling, and floor


20 Non-Category

  1. Walk a lap around the entire building
  2. Put all chairs on top of tables right side up
  3. Put syrup in all of the vases/pots/vessels
  4. Span Saran Wrap across the doorway at the top of the stairs
  5. Come in with a bucket and ask them to fill it with frappe
  6. Ask the cashier for sashimi
  7. Throw popcorn around the room
  8. Take polaroids with everyone there and sell them to them for $2
  9. Wave around a straw yelling weird latin-sounding words
  10. Caress every available non-living surface
  11. Take off your clothes and nail every piece to a separate wall
  12. Saw all of the tables in half and flip one half upside down
  13. Tell everyone you’re leading an aerobics class upstairs and leave out the back staircase when people start to come up
  14. Plant pine seedlings inside the floor
  15. Put glitter on every available surface
  16. Say hi to people and when they respond, accuse them of insulting you
  17. Walk around the building with white paint on your feet
  18. Take all of the pens and put them in the tip jar, put tips in pen cup
  19. Hum your entire order and say yes to whatever the cashier thinks you want
  20. Remove the handles off of all doors

You call THAT absurd? Oh Please…


16 sites

  1. Abandoned building next to wellness center
  2. Alumni hall
  3. Tree-Tree (treehouse on pine hill trail)
  4. Hairpin
  5. Leadership center next to Openhym
  6. Herrick
  7. Brick basement
  8. Mocha joka
  9. Miller Theater
  10. Scholes attic
  11. Racquetball room in McLane
  12. Murder Shack off of Pine Hill trail
  13. Powell mailroom
  14. Pool in McLane
  15. Knight’s club
  16. Glass Hot Shop in Harder


8 Absurd Interventions 

  1. Fill the honey jar at mocha joka with solid wax of a similar color
  2. Cover the surface of the pool with ping pong balls
  3. Saran wrap the entire exterior of the treehouse, including the entry hatch
  4. Come to open figure drawing at the Brick basement in just your underwear and say that you thought it was a requirement
  5. Create a meth lab in the murder shack, convince your arch-nemesis to tag along, then turn them in and pin the operation on them
  6. Fill Scholes attic with rotten watermelon, hoping to attract pests
  7.  Set off the lights in Knight’s Club and play Cher’s “Do You Believe in Life After Love” on repeat, covering the floor in peanut butter prior.
  8. Stand in between the movable bookshelves in Herrick so that some books cannot be accessed without crushing you alive


32 strategies

Take memory items
Photograph things/scenes
Charcoal wall rubbings
Video recordings
Noise recordings
Converse with students in the space
Sketch the space
Describe the space in a journal entry
Create a fictional narrative within the space
Lay on a heavily trodden area of the floor
People-Watch and list everyone’s habits
Talk to employees/staff within the space
Create sculptures inside the space with only on-hand materials
Walk the entire interior of the building listing textures you feel on the walls
Ask people for knick-knacks
Record how many people you see
Try to open every locked door
Record every smell you encounter
Write stories about the internal thoughts of everyone that passes you
Pretend to walk an imaginary dog through the space and mentally record reactions
Try to camouflage
Draw everything you see on a super small scale
Reorganize furniture within the space, see how it changes interaction
Dance through the entire space yelling at people to join you
Go during different times of day and comment on the lighting
Stand in the middle of a doorway that is used often; force people to reroute. say nothing.
Make a survey about the building and distribute it
Cry in public and observe responses
Pour water on every (safe) available surface and see how it distributes/flows
Eat everything that is technically edible
Sleep there overnight
Sneak into the area when it is Closed