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Zweig Small Kindness

Small Kindnesses: WEATHER PERMITTING, Janet Zweig

Title: Small Kindnesses: WEATHER PERMITTING 

Small Kindnesses: Weather Permitting is an interactive artwork located on seven stations of the Blue Line. There are one to four boxes on each station platform with video and/or audio components: 24 boxes in all, using nine different mechanical interface designs.

> Please turn the wheel #11, #12, #13, #14
> Thanks a million. #28, #29, #30, #31
> Ring the bell and see. #18, #19, #20
> Hit the bell! #1, #3
> Go-ahead-and-let-it-snow #22, #23, #24
> Open the curtains please #25, #27
> All the way around! #17
> Flip the switch #10
> Yank that handle. Thanks. #34

 Listen to the audio clips

 Watch the video clips

Public art at Nicollet Station.

Title: Go ahead and let it snow

Material: Stainless steel box, glass, audio components, speaker, turnkey, sno-globe and title plate.

Public art at Warehouse Nicollet Station. Image 2.

Title: Thanks a million

Material: Stainless steel box, glass, audio components, counter, speaker, push button and title plate.

Public art at Nicollet Station. Image 3.

Title: Ring the bell and see

Materials: Stainless steel box, glass, audio components, speaker, doorbell chimes, eyehole screen and title plate.

Public Art Nicollet Station. Image #4.

Title: All the way around

Material: Stainless steel box, glass, audio components, speaker, bell, plunger mechanism, steel ball, metal guides, spring and title plate.

Public Art Nicollet Station. Image 6.

Title: Open the curtains please

Material: Stainless steel box, glass, audio and video components, speaker, slider mechanism, screen, curtains and title plate.

Public Art Nicollet Station. Image #5.

Title: Hit the bell

Material: Stainless steel box, glass, audio components, speaker, bell, plunger mechanism, steel ball, metal guides, spring and title plate.

Title: Flip the switch Material: Stainless Steel box, glass, audio components, speaker, bell, plunger mechanism, steel ball, metal guides, spring and title plate.

Title: Flip the switch

Material: Stainless steel box, glass, audio components, speaker, bell, plunger mechanism, steel ball, metal guides, spring and title plate.

Title: Yank the handle Material: Stainless Steel box, glass, audio components, speaker, handle mechanism and title plate.

Title: Yank the handle

Material: Stainless steel box, glass, audio components, speaker, handle mechanism and title plate.

Title: Please turn the wheel Material: Stainless Steel box, glass, audio and video components, speaker, wheel mechanism, wiper, chain, cogs and title plate.

Title: Please turn the wheel

Material: Stainless steel box, glass, audio and video components, speaker, wheel mechanism, wiper, chain, cogs and title plate.

When this art piece was created, a competition was held for Minnesota filmmakers, videographers, singers, poets, storytellers, comics, etc., to provide content for the boxes. The theme of the short films and audio clips was to be “weather” or “courtesy,” the two clichés about Minnesota. One hundred Minnesotans were commissioned to create 190 short videos and audio clips (none longer than three minutes) providing station visitors with always varying content while waiting for the train.

Image from a film clip

Janet Zweig is a sculptor working primarily in the public realm. Her public works include installations and public spaces, often including computer-driven works using printers and language-generating programs. She has also produced several editioned artist’s books. 

Zweig receive her Bachelors of Art from Cornell University and her Masters of Fine Arts from The Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY. Zweig has received several fellowships and awards including the Rome Prize Fellowship in 1992, and residencies at PS1 Museum and the MacDowell Colony. She has received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Computer Arts in 1999, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Sculpture in 1994. ]She is currently a senior critic at the Rhode Island School of Design and a lecturer at  Brown University's Graduate Program in Public Humanities. Her works are in various public and private collections.

Pedestrian Drama from Janet Zweig on Vimeo.

Pedestrian Drama, 2011, Milwaukee, WI

Originally, there was an additional design for the Small Kindnesses: Weather Permitting interactive boxes by Janet Zweig. It was titled Pick up the phone! There were two boxes with this design. Obviously, you would pick up the phone and that would initiate an audio recording to play. These designs were based on old fashion phones with a similar ear piece and a piece you would speak into. Unfortunately, the ear piece and the cable were quickly abused and these boxes had to be removed.

Art based on design of old fashion phone

Art based on old fashion phone

Old Fashion phone

These boxes were based on an old candlestick phone like this one. There were no buttons or dials. When you wanted to make a call you would pick up the ear piece and start talking to an operator.