Last week I’ve been doing more editing on the overall PhD proposal. This lead to the conclusion to decouple the introduction and work with Andrew on the refined version of the one pager.
I’ve commenced pilot fieldwork in Canberra on Friday and Saturday.
Found that I need to further revise my matrix reflecting some of the actual play activities:
One of the most compelling findings, is that of those people that displayed play behaviour the majority were listening/ consuming music.
This reflects some of Debord work “The Society of the Spectacle”:
‘Stars of consumption, through outwardly representing different personality types, actually show each of these types enjoying an equal access to the whole realm of consumption and deriving exactly the same satisfaction therefrom. Stars of decision, meanwhile, must possess the full range of accepted human qualities; all official differences between them are thus canceled out by the official similarity which is an inescapable implication of their supposed excellence in every space.’ p. 39
‘Thus false conflicts of ancient vintage tend be resuscitated- regionalisms or racisms whose job it now is to invest vulgar rankings in the hierarchies of consumption with a magical ontological superiority. Hence too the never- ending succession of paltry contests- from competitive sports to elections- that are utterly incapable of arousing any truly playful feeling. Wherever the consumption of abundance has established itself, there is one spectacular antagonism, which is always at the forefront of the range of illusory roles: the antagonism between youth and adulthood.’ p.40
Reflection on the fieldwork pilot in Canberra
Pilot observation took place on a Saturday from 7.00 am to 3.30 pm (due to camera failure and weather change the observation concluded).
- most people walk alone and listen to music (7 am -9 am)
- The shared spaces have predominantly a movement function. People only stop and engage with each other on edges.
- socially marginalised people start to populate the space (8.30 am onwards)
- Cafes and shops open (8-9 am)
- people use intersections for crossing only/ play happens either at the edge of or on a footpath
- pillow sculpture focal point for playful behaviour
- people usually sit on benches near pillow
- people flow mostly through the middle of Garema
- music player sets up near pillow (1 pm and stays there for the afternoon)
- people sit on cubes
- window shoppers stay under the awnings near the edges
- two children play with sloped pavement surface around the trees (not too much with the coloured pavers) –> starting to use loose element from tree droppings to play with
Play behaviour assessment:
53 people – playing around
9 people – playing up on words
7 people- playing a part
6 people – playing for time
5 people – playing tricks
Critical remark: This assessment was purely based on my own interpretation of the situation. I found it uneasy to capture all activities. Therefore I questions somewhat the reliability of this part of the observation, unless one interviews the people right after the observation. Although I believe that most people are not even aware that they actually display play behaviour.
Majority of people are alone. However, the proportion of people that are not alone, most of them are allocated to the group size of 2 people, followed by 4 people (mostly families), three people and rarely 5 or more.
Preferred play setting