A String of Simple Rules
In Generative Systems class, we had to design a project based on 6 or fewer simple rules. I worked with Tiffany Chou to create a participatory performance piece in which our classmates tangled themselves in string. We gave everyone in the class (excluding ourselves) two pieces of yarn, each about 4 feet long, and instructed each person to follow these rules:
- Tie each of the strings to any place on your person. Leave at least 3 ft of string hanging off of each. Do not tie the strings together.
- Stand in a circle.
- Find a person who is across from you in the circle. Tie one of your strings to one of their strings.
- Return to your original spot in the circle.
- Find a person next to you. Tie your loose string to their loose string.
- Take 5 steps in the direction you are facing.
We expected that participants might tie strings in their hair or around their wrists, but we did not anticipate that our professor, Todd Holoubek, would bring in clean suits for us to wear that day. The clean suits obstructed several possible string attachment locales, like belt loops and buttons, which made the exercise more challenging. This was the result: