“Mental Map” was a performative exercise in how we remember things together, and how our everyday experiences shape the spaces we inhabit. Over the course of BRIC’s March House Party, attendees were invited to record their experiences through a combination of words and mixed media materials. The artist—Chloë Bass—set up a Mental Map station that sent BRIC’s guests throughout the House Party carrying a series of clues and prompts. Clue/prompt envelopes were divided into five basic categories:
WHO – instructions for noticing others
WHAT – instructions for making categories
WHEN – instructions for bending time
WHERE – instructions for making space
WHY – instructions for how we talk about it
After using the clues and prompts to explore the party and events of the day, participants were asked to leave a single item for the mental map: a short written statement, a drawing, an object, etc. All collected materials were bagged as evidence and available on view as part of the “Mental Map” installation set-up.
This participatory performance and installation served two primary purposes: first, to foster a sense of play as a prerequisite for engaging both with art (and/or art space) and with other people in public or semi-public surroundings and second, to capture the fleeting experience of what it actually means to be in an art space both as a viewer and a kind of participant-maker.
The performance aspects were repeated by BRIC’s staff and interns for the April House Party, which took place on April 11, 2015. The artist was not in attendance. The “Mental Map” installation remained on view for future visitors to observe and interact with through May 2015.