four reasons why interactive art is good

Interactive arts -used here to describe the state of the arts rather than a particular form of art- can be defined differently based on perceptions and perspectives; however, regardless of their diverse analog, they share the same base of providing everyone with an equal opportunity of some unique interacting with others, as well as their built environments. The beauty of these interactions are the personal experiences and stories that individuals take from them. For the most part, these arts invite the attendants to take a step outside of their comfort zones to participate in a basic, yet effective, act of everyday lives from a different perspective. Psychologically speaking, we tend to repeat some of the same acts everyday because they are safe and comfortable; however, some of the interactive arts require mental and physical participation other than what we are used to. Some people take the challenge and are surprised by how a simple change made them more aware of their surroundings. These are some of the reasons why interactive arts are good for communities:

1- They build communication skills; interactive arts in public spaces allow people to connect with another via words, images, or however else they want to express their ideas. The unknown project below provides complete strangers an opportunity to exchange a few words if interested.

2- They provide an opportunity to share; whether you are sharing ideas, old clothes, or just smiles, these interactive arts allow you to give and get to your neighbor or a complete stranger. Candy Chang has been providing sharing opportunities for a few years now via interactive uses of public spaces. Her “Before I Die” wall and “Neighborland” are only two of her very many phenomenal contributions to encouraging public interaction within spaces. GiveBox, a German-native phenomena believes, “sharing is caring”. This belief has placed small closets and boxes throughout Europe to provide everyone an opportunity to give.

3- They just simply put a smile on your face; not everything has to be serious! It is perfectly fine, and mostly welcomed, for the arts to simply brighten your day. Katie Sokoler makes street art fun by providing thinking bubbles on the walls of streets! This exciting idea is one that would just simply put a smile on your face, yet it is a very smart way of interaction with the built environment. Imagine the conversations you could have with strangers on these!

4-They remind you that you need to take a second and look around; sometimes we are so busy and rushed into our days that we forget to take a look around and appreciate others and our surroundings. “Say Something Nice” is a brilliant idea by improv everywhere, providing the public with a custom wooden lectern with a megaphone holster to literally say something nice. This beautiful thought was welcomed by many in New York, where they said something nice (or embarrassing) about the day, their lives, their friends, and life in general. What better way to take a minute out of your day and enjoy something new?

These are only some of the few ways of encouraging interaction with the built environment, complete strangers, or your neighbors. Have you come across anything interactive lately?