Ann Rapstoff writes: Office for Zebra Crossings, carried out its research during Remarkable Place at The Keep in Reading on 24th and 25th March. The work was the culmination of an ongoing dialogue exploring the remarkable in the unremarkable subject of Zebra crossings. Cally Trench and Phillip Lee have been my fellow zebra crossing collaborators, and without them the work would not have developed. Their generosity in opening up a three-way dialogue, with enthusiasm, spontaneity has been so important in the growth of the work. Working in collaboration with artists who take a delight in working with the public and who enjoy responding to unusual site-specific spaces through live responses has been a stimulating experience.
Collecting data for the Office for Zebra Crossings event, concerning the public's vision for the future development of this iconic black and white crossing, raised a number of interesting opinions. All in all people felt the black and white of the crossing should remain the same, but the future possibility of a change to pink and green crossings was not ruled out. New names for crossings included peanut crossing, magpie crossing and bear crossing as an alternative to the current crossings, Pelican, Puffin and Toucan.
My main interest in the research from the Office for Zebra Crossings concerned how and if the public believe eye contact with a driver has any significance in crossing at a Zebra crossing. In this part of the research, the public attending the Office for Zebra Crossings were asked to 'perform' the action carried out when they cross at a zebra. This offered an opportunity for the public to play out their actions, and take charge of the small space we inhabited. A number of these photographs (all by Ann Rapstoff) were exhibited at The Remarkable Shed party on Sunday 15th July 2012, and some are shown below.