Couch Project

(we just haven't met yet)

ABOUT

My name is Bizzy, and I currently live in Oxford Ohio where I attend Miami University.
This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to work with a mentor
and develop a digital installation art project that I dubbed “The Couch Project” 

The simple reason I started this project was because I’ve always been a curious listener.
My life as a listener went hand in hand with collecting. I collect the words, images, and ideas of those around me and I have come to realize that I am not alone in doing so: we as humans are a compilation of the habits and traits we have gathered and learned from those around us.

After 21 years of gathering, I came to the obvious conclusion that there are people very different than me who hold meaningful knowledge on life itself. A desire to collect their stories and lives propelled me to create something that I could share with others just as curious as I was. So inspired by the idea that we are made up of bit and pieces compiled from people around us, I dove into the realm of digital art and captured small snapshots of my interactions with strangers that I found profound and provoking.

The Couch Project is comprised of a series of smaller installments, documenting my interactions with strangers. The installments each reveal something small about human nature. You can navigate through the tabs above to view the projects and get a better understanding of how they come together to make the Couch Project.

“Through this entire project,
I’ve found that people possess this rather incredible trait to surprise you,
if given the chance.”

 TWITTERFLICKRVIMEOYOUTUBEFACEBOOKTUMBLR


A special thanks to everyone
who made this project possible: 

Miami University
Undergraduate

Summer Scholars
Program

Jason Palmeri

Taylor Y

Annie R

Becca R

Tyler P

Jack M

Sara S

Eric H 

and the rest of my friends
who have supported my weird
and extravagant ideas

(and to all those strangers)

off
June 30, 2012

BUT WHY A COUCH?

When I first created this project it had no name. My professor and I would meet in a little booth in the back of a cafe and discuss how the project would go, the eight week schedule I would be working on it, and what kind of things had to be done to achieve the final result. I wanted to have the project be centered around connection and engaging strangers in conversation. I wanted it to break the barrier between people who know absolutely nothing about one another. Thinking back to real life situations, when we are put into a room with people we don’t know, conversations tend to begin with the aid of furniture. An empty seat means an open opportunity for conversation.

If you really think about what we center our conversations around, it’s the furniture in a room. A room with close knit chairs will lead to a conversation everyone can join in on. A room with just one love seat in the back will probably lead to an intimate conversation and usually be snatched away by lovers later in the night not to be disturbed. A comfortable couch will lend a hand to easy flowing dialog.

Furniture has a big impact on the way we view approachability. If someone is sitting in the middle of a bench, their approachability declines and they won’t be disturbed. If someone is sitting all the way over leaving the perfect “you” sized space – you might ask if you could join while waiting for the bus.

In the end, I wanted people to be comfortable and open up when talking to me. I thought about possible ways to do this, and I liked the idea of metaphorically inviting them into my “living room” by bringing my couch out with me. It got plenty of attention and a lot of people approached us which really surprised me.

So here’s a toast to the couch: bringing people together since whenever it was invented!

Teaser Video from Biz Y on Vimeo.

 

off