The AWE Project

  • The Awe* Witnessing Experience project was born in my mind somewhere between 2010 and 2011. (* cf. Edmund Burke)
  • Like music, seeing is something that is almost universal and accessible to all. Yet, not everyone sees the beauty that surrounds us as we go about our daily lives, either because their eyes aren’t trained to spot those little things, or because they don’t have access to public art spaces, such as museums, galleries and exhibitions. Therefore, the main goal of this project is to share my most beautiful shots through non-conventional channels. As such, I aim to reach as many different people as possible, offering them opportunities to marvel, to be enchanted, to be overwhelmed and perhaps eventually to experience awe. I would love to collaborate with other artists or musicians.
  • According to recent research conducted at Stanford University (1), exposure to awe expands people’s perception of time, makes them behave more altruistically and less materialistically, and even gives them a momentary boost in life satisfaction. These benefits are important and especially so in today’s troubled times where many people are swamped by pessimism and financial difficulties, and trapped in the frenzy and stress of modern life.  Showing my work and allowing the widest possible audience to experience awe could therefore, have an immediate positive impact on viewers. This would represent my modest contribution to making their day a more enjoyable one.
  • The AWE project, as mentioned above, aims to reach out to as many people as possible and especially to those who aren’t digitally connected. Therefore, I aspire to show my work for free in a wide array of places, including both prestigious spaces like galleries and exhibitions in museums ;  and more unusual places, such as schools, farms, hospitals, elderly medical homes, train or subway stations, public parks, streets, abandoned buildings, airports, churches,… In these unusual spaces, my exhibitions would take the form of pop-up, ephemeral, power-point and/or wall paper set ups doomed to dissapear with time.
  • Finally, as pictures and images are almost universally accessible, within the context of the AWE project I also aim to use my photographs for educational purposes, – a fun way to help or sustain learning and memory. I intend to do so by publishing a collection of my best photos in a series of A6 format booklets. These multi-purpose books could be used by parents as quiet books for children or as storytelling and vocabulary books, which parents can use to connect with their children at bedtime. They could also be a fun way to help children learn foreign languages through description and naming. In addition, they could provide inspiration for creative writing or drawing or even be used as a medium to exercise memory with the elderly. In sum, with its awe eliciting images these books have a variety of applications ; however, all will ultimately serve the purposes of relaxing and being inspired.

(1) : http://faculty-gsb.stanford.edu/aaker/pages/documents/TimeandAwe2012_workingpaper.pdf

 

Copyright 2019 Myriam Reinhardt. All photos, thumbnails or texts remain the exclusive property of Myriam Reinhardt. They may not be reproduced, modified or used in any manner unless you have my express and written approval to do so. All Rights Reserved.