Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shifting frames...

The violinist Joshua Bell normally plays to packed houses of patrons who pay hundreds of dollars to see him perform. In 2007, Washington post colonist Gene Weingarten asked bell to play in the metro subway station in Washington DC , to see how people would respond to him in a different context. He was dressed casually while he played a magnificent piece of music on his Stradivarius violin. Weingarten placed a hidden camera in the station to watch the response of those who pass by. Among the 1.097 people who saw bell that day, only 7 stopped to listen, despite the fact that he was playing the same music he plays on stage. For his forty-five minute performance, Bell earned only $32.17 in tips, including 20$ from someone who recognized him . When he performed in this unconventional context, and the audience was not seated in an auditorium, despite the beauty of his music, listeners barely notices his existence. In the new frames, passerby didn’t see bell in the same light that they saw him when illuminated on stage.