Sunday, February 17, 2019

unreserved: a new way to experience art

It was Monday morning at the Pamm Perez Art Museum and the freshness of a new week was everywhere.

I always wondered who could come to museums and experience art during the week while the rest of the world sits perched in their cubicle taking orders, filling spreadsheets and making society go round one logistical keystroke at a time. Today, I am that person.

Children wearing matching shirts run past me and the rush reminds me of being a student. Learning, experiencing and the encouragement to look at something that was pretty without words like “results” being tied to it; being allowed to feel something without justification or goals, simply curiosity and experimentation. That’s what unreserved gifted me in this museum at 11 AM on a Monday morning.

unreserved is a location-based audio art experiment. It presents a location-sensitive composition of original music layered with recorded voices and sounds, creating a sonic art collage. The geo-sensitive app allows you to listen and contribute to an audio sound collage– basically letting you to share experiences with other users who were walking exactly where you are days or weeks ago. It’s an incredible app that allows us to transcend time and space, and it gives art another dimension.

I turned on unreserved and walked the PAMM halls listening to the thoughts of those who had previously walked these same halls before me. Some of the installations had changed and yet it didn’t matter. In an instant the tourists and few scattered children disappeared. I was alone and bearing witness to someone else’s artistic breakthrough.

I saw the shoes behind their stitched little corners and suddenly the image of looking down at my grandmother’s feet came to mind. Why do all Cuban ladies wear the same shoes? How interesting the artist chose to stitch them into place, almost like the shackles and restraints that generation faced as immigrants.

I took a few more steps…

Heartbreak. I feel heartbreak in this piece. The colors, the movement, the eyes. Don’t we feel that intense sorrow when our human heart breaks? Don’t we feel that pain like blood bursting through us? We make marks on our heart when we take chances and feel.

It was connection on another level entirely. Unreserved is an experiment. It is more than an app– it’s a tool to experience life and get glimpses of how other people experience it.

When you record something, you are contributing an audio footprint that someone else will listen to when they walk exactly where you are. When you listen, you will hear someone pour their soul, record ambient conversation, recite a poem or sing a song. Despite you never knowing them and probably never meeting them, you share this private moment right where you are.

Cris Ramos, Miami native & word artist. Find her work @ The Emerald Journal.

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