Today, I am going to test my prototype at Elephant & Castle. I thought here should not too noisy and much more quiet than Oxford Circus, that’s may help the volume of these tracks much more louder and clearer, but I got one thing that’s really important, the police is always in here… Let’s see what happened.
Quick notes from the experience below. Today I was really luckily met wheel chair man again at Elephant & Castle station. It’s the third time I greeted him and he’s also recognised me already and greeted me as well. The reason why it’s a long time I haven’t seen him is he moved to another place, but he looked a little bit upset because he lost him whistle that he could not earn money through play instrument (That’s a good point because he likes sound and music, and may be interested in my installation.), and the lost whistle may impact with his income. So I started explaining my prototype to him and showed how it works. He looked really interested in, but , the police was coming and asked the homeless to leave. During the whole process of that, the prototype was working all the time with the ‘baby crying’ when these police stood in front it. That’s really funny and embarrassed. If you are curious where I was at that moment, I’ve to say, I laughed all the time out of scene. That’s really interesting because before I testing outside, I’ve already imagined the police will come and arrest me, luckily, a half was came true, that’s not too bad, but I must leave.
I came back after 15 minutes, and found another homeless, but he sat in front of station without any luggage(a little bit wired…). I told him that the ‘lunch bag’ may help him get more money and asked if he wanna try it. He doubted if he need pay for this testing. Although, I think it’s funny but I still confused about why he thought about that, because it was the first time homeless asked me whether the testing need a payment or not. It’s my fault maybe and I was so hurry this time. All of the experience before, demonstrate that before each testing, ‘make friends with homeless’ first is much more better than directly introduce your installation to them, which is roughly. With the sense of dubiousness, he agreed. I was so happy about that and made it work. After 2 minutes, one of the stuff of tube station, who is responsible for handing out newspaper to pedestrians, came and was so angry with me that shouting to me what I was doing is illegal. He thought the distance sensor(which is one of the most essential parts of my installation and with the function of detection if something is closed to it or not, if something does, the sensor’ll sent signal to Arduino asked trigger playing tracks, that’s the principle of playing tracks when people walking by), is a camera and bad for pedestrians or record something because it toward to them. I explained to the newspaper man that I just testing if it is able to help homeless, but he still doubted ‘if it’s nothing why not toward to yourself?’, even threatened me if I don’t stop it he’ll call police…(heheh police again….). I’ve to say I was not really care about what he said cause I did nothing! What I was emotional about the homeless still believe that may help him get money after argument and comfort me when I was wronged, but it’s low battery at that moment so it could not be continued.
I was thinking about why the newspaper man did that, and whether I bothered him. What can we do for homeless? Is the installation really help them? and one more thing is the core of this installation in order to attracting attention of pedestrians and promote they communicating with homeless, but I misled homeless paying more attention about using it earn money during the testing…That’s my fault. All right, eventually, I finished almost diary of the experience with homeless. That’s a really long period and I am really tired now. God bless me. By the way, here’s a video that I made showing how my prototype works, recording some feedback from homeless and the reflection from pedestrians : )