People Blind

Portland Building, Portland, OR.

A human-viewing station in a government building lobby. People Blind was developed for the Portland Building Lobby Gallery and was installed there from February to April, 2015. It now resides at the Skyline Tavern’s “Field of Opportunity” in Portland, Oregon.

Portland Building project description:  Visitors are invited to observe and consider their fellow humans from multiple physical and intellectual perspectives, subjectively and objectively. The installation is designed to elicit questions and ideas about humans as a culture, as a species, as individuals, and also draws on the theory of “prospect and refuge,” a theory that people have instinctual preferences for places that have a clear view of the surroundings and that allow for concealment and escape.

The People Blind is like a bird blind that would be used as cover for wildlife observers. Behind the blind there is refuge and prospect—visitors feel hidden and protected, yet can look through ‘blind spots’ to observe human nature, even as those in the lobby can look in on them. From the lobby perspective there is also a sense of prospect and refuge as passers-by are hidden in the anonymity of busyness and are caught up in the prospects of the day.

The installation combines aspects of our social and physical natures and considers how environments can make us feel safe and comfortable. The blind gives us windows to observe ourselves as megafauna, as connected to nature and each other.

This installation was paired with a weekly program series called Human-Nature Field Notes that included writing, sketching, and discussion oriented events.

Weekly Program Leaders: David Oates, Sandy Sampson, MIke Marxen, Matt How

Fabrication assistance: Sukita Crimmel, Jason Roberts, , Scott Sutton, Elisabeth Tschalaer, Hunter Williams

People Blind Website