On the Stairs of A Museum

Made by Anna Tan

Created: November 6th, 2014


1. When you arrive in the space. Think about the words that come to mind when you take in the scene in front of you? Why do they come to mind?

Grey, cold, disorganized. “Grey” because my visual space is filled with predominantly grey; the sky is grey, the building right in front of me is grey, the road is grey. “Cold” because the trees I saw had barely any leaves left. There are fallen leaves on the ground. “Grey” might also have triggered the word “cold.” “Disorganized” because I saw a lot of objects in my visual field, and in a glance they didn’t have a pattern. There are lines with different curvatures going in different directions that created a sense of messiness in my view.

2. What are the objects you see directly in front of you? Name each of them in your mind.

Directly in front of me were a brownish-grey building with three big windows (Pittsburgh School District), two tall trees with barely any leaves, yellowish green grass, a few poles with signs cross the road, a few cars, the road, and the walkway.

3. Imagine there are lines drawn between all objects or things in the space? How are they connected? Are they organized?

The more I looked at the space, the more I saw organized patterns, in contrast with what I saw initially. There are many parallel lines in the visual space, from the lines on the walkway that running from my left to my right, to the outline of the road, to the outline of the fences of the building across. The trees seemed out of place because of how many disruptive lines they’ve created among the organized parallel lines.

4. Close your eyes for a minute and open them again. Where do your eyes go to? Why do you think they land in this location?

My eyes went to one of the trees in front of the building where the tree started branching. They went for that location because of how different the trees are compared to everything else that has a more well-defined, rigid shape. My eyes moved towards the part of the tree trunk where branches began to form because I was subconsciously interested in finding out where all that disruption began.

5. Close your eyes for a minute and open them again. What are the colors that you see best or appeal to you most? Why is that?

Green and yellow appealed to me the most when I opened my eyes. These colors jumped out because everything else is fairly grey. They gave off a happier feeling than all the other colors. The red color at the very left of my visual field was more interesting, however, as I started to look around. There were a lot of trees with red leaves, and the red color really stood out.

6. Look around. Is there anything you can’t see or can’t see well?

There is a sculpture that looks like a rhinoceros near the left end of the building in front of me. It is very colorful, but I could not make out most colors or patterns from the distance. I actually never noticed the sculpture before, given how visually stimulating it is.

7. Look around. What are the textures that you see? How do they feel to you?

The texture I remembered the most was the road. There were cracks and little bumps everywhere without much consistency. There were areas that were darker than others, and sometimes the boundaries between the lighter areas and the darker areas were abrupt. The texture felt gritty and rough, perhaps rougher than it physically was.

8. Let your mind wander. Where does it go? What do you think about and how is that related to the space around you?

I thought about what the space would look like when it starts snowing. I imagined the road and the walkway would have salt all over it. There would probably be no more leaves on any of the trees. Everything would be covered in white, and there would probably be a lot fewer cars and pedestrians on the road.

9. What did you notice by the end of the experience that you didn’t notice initially? Why?

I noticed how most of the human-made things in my visual field have a rather organized, rigid form, with lines that either run vertically or horizontally. Initially, I felt the visual field was messy because there were so many things in it, but at the end I felt like the messiness mostly came from the two big trees.