A Field Manual For Change by Chris Worsley
How to turn your local set of Traffic Lights into a 30 Second Dance Party!
Bored of your local traffic light just dictating to you when you can cross the street?
Wish there was better way to share your interest in pop music with your friends?
Can’t find the time to learn the forbidden dance aka ‘the Lambada?’
Hi there! Well you’ve taken the first steps to making this a reality. Your very own Dance Party at your local traffic lights is but a few task’s away. By reading this manual for change, you’ll find insight into the world of everyday objects and the relationship we share with them, the way in which our perspective towards everyday objects can affect us and the community as a whole and how empathy for these objects should be shared. And what better way to do it than through humor.
Its no laughing matter though, While it’s also important that we realize how experimentation and re-appropriation of objects helps us to discover the potential of the items around us, as well as encourages creativity and ingenuity within the community. It is also a great way of communicating an idea or message and changing people’s perception something that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Traffic lights are publicly shared object. The reason why we have chosen this as an object requiring change is that it will communicate to others our message more effectively and quickly, to more people in a shorter amount of time. It will inspire and encourage other to effect their surroundings in a positive way, I hope.
Through this exercise you will see just how easy it is to turn a regular, everyday item into a interactive dance partner. It’s as easy as following the below steps!
You will need the following.
1 x MP3 player/Ipod with remote control, Fully Charged.
1 x Plastic Bag
20 x Cable ties.
1 x Ladder
2 x Hi Vis Safety Vest
3 x Witches Hats
1 x Can of white enamel spray paint
2 x Stencils (1 x Left and 1 x Right foot)
1 x “Out of Order” Sign
1 x Think Cardboard 50cm X 50 cm
1 x Pencil
1 X Stanley knife.
Friendly tip No.1. Do you know the design hub has an A3 printer which you can use fro free!! With the help of your friendly RMIT student,
- Once you have purchase or obtained the items from the list above, Chose the set of street lights you wish to turn change into a futuristic 30 ball of disco ‘amazingness’ and perform your civic duty upon. I suggest perhaps not utilizing the closest set of lights to your house as you may bump into neighbors or people you know during the set-up.
- You’ll need a look out. Convince a friend to help you out, perhaps someone who owes you a favor or someone who shares your point of view on the current state of empathy towards everyday objects.
- Stand on the piece of thin cardboard. With your pencil trace around the outside of each foot. Then using the Stanley knife, cut the outline you have just made. You now have your stencil.
- Pick your favorite musical artist. If you struggling to think of one, below is a list of suggestions.
Prince – 1999
Slayer – Walk
Grandmaster Flash – White lines
Organize a relatively quiet time to install. Peak times might make this awkward, so suggest either the mid morning 10am-11am or late evening. Midday to 3am.
- Place the witches Hats down surrounding the Traffic light around 1m in distance from the light pole base.
- Have your support buddy / look out stand at the bottom of the ladder with two hands supporting the ladder while you climb to the height you wish to install. I suggest just below the actual traffic lights themselves.
- First take up the small two speakers you purchased early and use the cable ties to secure them tightly to the pole with the speakers facing toward the crossing.
- The wrap the Mp3 Player in the plastic bag and tie it closed. This is to prevent any damage is the case of rain.
- Secure the MP3 Player to the pole again using the cable ties.
- Make a quick plan with regard to the type of dance moves you would like executed through the crossing. Now place take the left and right foot stencils and apply a quick treatment of paint through them across the traffic crossing to achieve the steps you want.
- Pack away your witches hats, take off those ridiculous vests and head home for the day. Job Well Done!
- Be sure to be wearing appropriate dancing shoes.
- Keep the key ring with the attached MP3 Remote in your pocket when you head out the door.
- As you approach the lights, pop your hand in your pocket and feel for the MP3 remote.
- As the Signal turns “Cross” (GREEN WALKING MAN) , push the play button on the remote to start the music.
- Follow the steps on the ground and amaze your friends with your skill.
- Hit the stop button on the remote in your pocket once you have completed crossing the street or when the signal turns stop (RED FLASHING MAN).
It’s that easy.
You may feel that this is a trivial exercise but it is important for us to experiment and try new things, at all stages of an objects life. These shared objects can evolve as ideas as they are exposed to more and more people. The creative process must continue throughout the lifespan of shared objects, hopefully someone will build on your creation and in turn you build on theirs. This cycle can go on and evolve the product around us.
Feel free to show your involvement with these objects and share them with others. Its good for you, and the community as a whole.