Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Improbable Monument Ideas

1. City, Wake-Up!: alarm clocks placed in locations of rape and assault, set to ring at the same time each day/night that the original crime took place; clock battery powered by foot-traffic; alarm only loud enough for people walking half a block away to hear

2. Public Pater Purifier: each day, chunks of ice break off the Polar Ice Caps, altering the salinity of the ocean water and its equilibrium. each day, a block of ice the size of the previous day's losses will be placed on top a sculpture. the sculpture then allows sunlight and surrounding environmental heat to melt the solid into liquid and dispensed into re-usable cups to provide drinking water for people walking on the street.

3. Human Robot: programmed to walk down each and every street and politely greet every person it meets

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Culture Jam

First, I made a postcard for the U.S. Army using a notorious photo from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Second, I used a basic template from the common "Beware of Dog" sign and changed the language. I would like to create more symbols to use for the template as well.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vintage Black Metal

Artist and filmmaker Bo Heimlich was featured at an art show sponsored by the Chrome Retail Store on March 26, 2010. All the money made from drinks went to Bikes to Rwanda. Heimlich's work is both frightening and satirical. He draws monster-type creatures on vintage photographs and found posters, as well as adding Kiss-esque black metal face paint to men and women to said photos. At first sight, Heimlich's eerie demon drawings sent a chill down my spine. After thinking about "why" I felt uneasy, I found an enormous amount of humor in his work.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Perched in front of the camera Theirry Guetta is constantly moving. Legs pumping and arms waving, he narrates the story of his rise to infamy in the art world as if no one would believe it. And perhaps we shouldn’t. “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is billed as “a Banksy film,” but Banksy, the notoriously reclusive street artist, appears in the film rarely, only with his face hooded and voice distorted. "Exit" is a film that looks like a documentary but feels like a con and a monumental joke.

Spanning over a decade and several continents, “Exit” tells of Mr. Guetta’s infiltration of the clandestine world of street artists, gunned by his cousin, the Parisian street artist Space Invader, and a psychotic obsession with video-cameras. Claiming to be a filmmaker, the diminutive Frenchman becomes an unlikely accomplice of a movement whose participants share a vandal’s fear of cameras. His continuous escapades cause thousands of hours of tape to accumulate and even land him a coveted introduction to Banksy. When the film stops chronicling popular street artists, it regains focus on the transformation of Mr. Guetta from a mere documenting witness into a street artist himself. Adopting the pseudonym Mr. Brainwash and prodded by Banksy, who acquired the thousand hours of tapes and filmmaking duties, Mr. Guetta stages an art show of what he is ecstatic to call his own work. The event, titled “Life Is Beautiful” garnered a cover story in LA Weekly thanks to statements from Shepard Fairy and even Banksy himself. The show displayed blatant knockoffs and cut-and-paste pop trash that’s fawned over by gullible bourgeois collectors. Interviews with giddy attendees give way to a snickering Banksy, who seems both gratified and slightly embarrassed by his role of puppeteer.

Whether acting as a genuine friend or constructing an elaborate con, Banksy has clearly found a new canvas for his subversive work. Shining light on the commodification of street art and the superficial behavior of many enthusiasts, Banksy mischievously pokes fun at the "next-big-thing" craze and the people who pursue it. Set to Richard Hawley’s underground pop anthem “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” Banksy's prankumentary reminded me of why I like both street art and culture jamming.

It democratizes art.

It can send subversive and political messages.

Everyone can do it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Monumental Silence

April 16th, 2010

The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Each year the event has grown, and now hundreds of thousands of students participate to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior. Beginning in 1996, the Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Come participate in an act of performance art at San Francisco State University. The performance will consist of small groups (2 or 3 people) standing in and around Cesar Chavez Student Center. The small groups will be steadfast in intimate positions (e.g. about to kiss, holding hands, or showing affection) for a short period of time.

Here are some shots of what Mary and I came up with...