On RISD’s campus there’s one very special patch of grass called The Beach. In many ways it acts as a stage, where students go to perform and show off their style to those walking by. As a part of my investigation into what makes people post to social media I took pictures of everyone sitting on the beach and printed them out as life-size cardboard cutouts. I installed the cardboard people on the beach the next day and waiting across the street patiently as Providence woke up for the day and stumbled across this odd site.
As I observed the beach for hours I saw lots of funny things happen as a result of my cardboard people. A drawing class came outside to draw and the model sat amongst the cutouts as students drew. A family sat down to take family photos with the cutout of a stranger. Selfies were taken as I hoped, but the most interesting result was how people coming to sit on the beach on their own would gravitate towards where the cutout people were. I guess there is comfort even in the company of a cardboard person.