Noticing door knobs

“I photographed every door or drawer knob, handle, or latch I touched from the time I awoke on Thursday, June 3rd, until I went to bed on Friday, June 4th, 1999.”

Allen Bukoff

Fluxus Research: Opening and Closing Doors and Drawers

Fluxus is an approach to art (dull people insist it was a historical art movement that is now over) that focuses on artistic process (typically experimental play) rather than art products.

I read about this project on Hacker News, which goes to show how far its influence travels (incidentally, there’s a very of-the-moment discussion in this comments thread about how great the old web was, how difficult it is to find it, and the enshittification of today’s web).

Bukoff goes into great detail on his experience of this process, of what he learned about door knobs, and his experience of using them:

Although I “knew” that opening doors and drawers is a pretty automatic activity, I became veryaware of this during the project. Forcing myself to pay attention to opening and closing doors and drawers made the activity seem a little odd, awkward, and “new.” It was easy to believe that I was exploring a basic unexamined aspect of my life (or re-exploring it since childhood)

Redistributed awareness or expanded awareness? Although I increased the attention normally devoted to this basic, automatic activity, it is not clear to me whether I simply redistributed my awareness (i.e., trading-off giving extra attention to door knobs for giving less attention to something else) or whether I actually expanded my overall immediate conscious awareness.

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