Thursday, May 27, 2010

talking to strangers

I used to hate talking to strangers. I used to be that shy girl who walked around people in big, obvious loops rather than face the possibility of having to look someone in the eye and say hello.

The thing is, you can learn amazing things by talking to people you don't know.

My sister and I spent Sunday talking to strangers. We've both been obsessed with the idea of encountering art in the ordinary world. Art should be a part of the ordinary world. Art is a conversation, after all, maybe edited and rarefied, but a conversation about us (me, you, the world) and how can we really engage in it if we only ever go to see it? Museums are fine, fine things. So are theaters. But how much are we missing if we put art in one box and our lives in another?

(Please read Gene Weingarten's excellent article, "Pearls Before Breakfast." It's about Joshua Bell, one of the best violinists in the world, and a Washington, D. C. subway station. It's also about beauty, perspective, and the way we dole out value in our lives.)

We've always liked buskers, and had been wanting to document the objects of our affection while simultaneously finding an excuse to get to know them a bit better. We finally did: BuskerSF.

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