Mic Check! A Collective Work of Art

MIC CHECK! I find myself walking around repeating these words over and over… in my head of course… but I really want to stand up on top of the table I am sitting at in the coffee shop and scream MIC  CHECK! MIC CHECK!

Last Friday, October 11th, was the first day of Occupy Minneapolis. I attended with no agenda or expectations. I just wanted to get a feel for what is happening, survey the scene and talk to people.  When I arrived at the “People’s Plaza” there appeared to be about 500 or so people gathered. They were setting up food, medical, media and workshop areas, making signs and talking with one another. Soon after a “General Assembly” was called to order and we gathered close together to hear one of the organizers officially kick off the event. This was my first experience with a “Mic Check” and I was amazed. I can’t exactly explain why I thought it was so cool but what I felt was a unity of people working together in such a simple way. And it was powerful.

In a wonderful article I read this morning, Occupy Wall Street: A”Work of Art,” Eve Ensler describes the Mic Check.

Because the city has forbidden the use of microphones and sound systems, the group is using a human microphone. This system of communication is compelling and metaphoric. The group is forced to repeat the words of the speaker so the speaker is forced to talk slowly, with less words at once. The audience is asked to listen in a whole new way and to actually help transmit the message to others. Accuracy and transparency are the crucial elements. To make sure the human microphone is working properly the speaker calls out Mic Check and the crowd repeats Mic Check and by doing this it becomes clear if the voice of the speaker is being carried through the entire crowd. I think our media needs a general Mic Check.

Needless to say I found myself very curious about this collective tool. It is organic and creative. It builds upon the collective voice of a group of people. It is a paradigm shift in the way we listen and speak to each other.

Here is an example of a Mic Check that I was able to observe that day.

Ensler says, “Occupy Wall Street is a work of art, exploding onto a canvas in search of form, in search of an image, a vision.” I agree.


About makingchangeonepeaceatatime

My name is Danielle Taylor. I currently live in Central Minnesota and spend my summers in northern Wisconsin along the shore of Lake Superior. My deep belief in the interconnectedness of all life drives my passion for equality and justice. This blog will contain: doodles, photos, brainstorms, running thoughts, research process, reading reflections, movie reflections, video interviews, silly videos and many other seemingly random, yet actually interconnected thoughts and ideas.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Arts and Media-Based Peacebuilding, Occupy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mic Check! A Collective Work of Art

  1. made my way to your site from google and and am glad i found it, hope you keep up the good work

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s