Anti Social Social Stop is a musical, art installation that addresses the waiting experience in public locations. In particular, how monumentally unremarkable that waiting experience can be. It is a collaboration between me, Alex Ellison, and Hannah You Jin Lee. For Anti Social Social Stop we constructed a PVC xylophone and placed it a public bus stop paying attention its social environment before and after the installation.
Its inspiration stems from the hundreds of hours that we have spent waiting at bus stops, bart stations, laundromats, and, more generally, in public; its design and musical nature, stems from the great communicative power of music; and, its success speaks to people’s discontentment with the prevalent bus stop social experience.
We decided early on to choose a place where people naturally congregate, but not necessarily socially--a place where people were bored and perhaps impatient. We discussed a laundromat, the BART station, and a few bus stops. The more we observed these places, the more we liked the bus stop. Unlike laundromats and BART stations, bus stops are unstaffed. There are no employees at a bus stop to interfere with our installation and less of a feeling of regulation. We hoped that this would make it easier for people to embrace the unorthodoxy of an installation.
We explored three different bus stops, looking for one that was consistently busy throughout the day and had a mix of solo travelers, groups, and couples. Visibility was also an important factor. We needed to be able to observe from a distance without drawing attention to ourselves.
We decided the bus stop near Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue, just outside of the ASUC would be ideal. The overlooking ASUC offers a variety of locations to observe the spot from, it experiences decent foot traffic, and its proximity to Sproul Plaza makes it the perfect place for something weird.