Sunday, September 27, 2009

we experience ourselves

What's in your pocket? Screws and fastenings? A lottery ticket? A scrap of felt?

All of these insignificant objects reveal something about a person. They carry some history and become stories in themselves, says Rachel Ellison. She calls her study of pockets "pocketology."Ellison, a 24-year-old art student, has used pocketology to connect strangers and express the autobiographical in what's known as relational art. In a hyper-connected digital world, these person-to-person links create a moment's intimacy.

Ellison organized a Pocketology Picnic at Christie Pits on a recent Sunday. It was a rainy afternoon and only a dozen people joined her but they willingly emptied their pockets.

Raoul, who is from El Salvador, produced a packet of Marlboro cigarettes.

"Marlboro are the only ones I smoke," he told her. "I started smoking when I was 18 years old. I was in Guatemala for two months waiting for some papers ... I was sitting in a park and there were a lot of people and didn't know what to do because I didn't know anybody. So I decided to go to the store and buy cigarettes. I bought Marlboro Reds. Since then, when I feel stressed, I smoke a cigarette and try to feel better." Sociology | Pocketology 101

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