1st Prize: The possibility of a new world order

"This call for ideas is not about perpetuating protests; it is about empowering them."

Storefront for Art and Architecture is making a call for submissions for projects and strategies that offer a new, creative and productive way of spatial occupation for public demonstrations and actions in cities throughout the world. Gathering expertise from the various acts of civil occupation throughout the world during the last months, we ask architects, artists and citizens at large to offer their ideas for enabling acts of communication and action between the civil society and the structures of economic and political power.”

Want to talk to the G20?

Hey G20! from Geoff Barnes on Vimeo.

On September 24-25, 2009 the G-20 Summit will take place in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, where G-20 leaders, representing 80% of the world’s trade and two-thirds of the world population, will determine policies affecting our economic and financial futures.

To foster engagement despite the insularity of these talks, Osman Khan, an artist, and Elliance, are collaborating to develop heyG20 as a forum that will allow concerned citizen’s of the world to voice their thoughts and opinions to the Leaders of the G20 Summit. The project is an interactive installation that will take place during the G-20 Summit in the windows of Elliance’s offices located directly across the river from the Pittsburgh Convention Center.

Interested participants may tweet their message to @heyG20 (http://twitter.com/heyG20), whereby your messages will be transformed to a multicolored morse code light show, illuminating not only the night sky but also the concerns of the world’s citizens.

So tweet away…

via Hey G20

Johannes Gees, hellomrpresident, 2002.

Johannes Gees, hellomrpresident, 2002.

Hey G20 does not appear to have quite the visual punch of Johannes Gees’ remarkable hellomrpresident projection onto the mountains outside Davos during the exclusive World Economic Forum in 2002, but it will be interesting to see how/whether the ubiquity of social media like Twitter bump up participation in and the impact of the project.

See also These projects are smokin’! for an earlier post about Germaine Koh’s Prayers and Ali Momeni and Robin Mandel’s Smoke and Hot Air, both of which translate messages – in these cases, datamined rather than Tweeted – into Morse code.

“The Method of Projection”

Krzysztof Wodiczko, (Projection on South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, London), 1985

Krzysztof Wodiczko, (Projection on South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, London), 1985

Krzysztof Wodiczko is one of the primary inspirations for any public projection art. This is some of what he said about his famed intervention in South Africa, which lasted a mere 2 hours – for almost 25 years now.

“We must stop this ideological ritual,’ interrupt this journey-in-fiction, arrest the somnambulistic movement, restore public focus, a concentration of the building and its architecture. What is implicit about the building must be exposed as explicit; the myth must be visually concretized and unmasked. The absent-mided, hypnotic relation with architecture must be challenged by a conscious and critic public discourse taking place in front of the building.

“Public visualization of this myth can unmask the myth, recognize it ‘physically,’ force it to the surface, and hold it visible, so that the people on the street can observe and celebrate its final formal capitulation.

“This must happen at the very place of myth, on the site of its production, on its body–the building.”

More via the International Center of Photgraphy’s Fans in a Flashbulb.

And the winner is . . .

Every year the Museums and the Web conference awards “Best of the Web” in various categories. This year, in the Innovative or Experimental Site category, the winner was My Yard Our Message.

My Yard Our Message was part of Northern Lights’ UnConvention collaboration.

The jury said about the project:

  • Awesome … brilliant job
  • leveraging a local event with national implications
  • the quality of the final slogan boards were as good if not
  • better than a corporate ad agency
  • the content worked during election season but also stands up beautifully now, post-election, both in terms of interest and also as a historical snapshot of the thinking of the time

Yard signs are as ubiquitous and familiar to the American political landscape as baby-kissing and stump speeches, combining catchy images and pithy campaign slogans to increase visibility for vying candidates and their parties’ messages. In honor of this election season, My Yard Our Message turns this tradition of political ephemera on its ear with a unique national competition: we’re putting the message and the creative design for these political yard signs in the hands of artists and then—in true democratic fashion—you, the people, will vote among the entries to determine a selection of fifty winners, whose designs will be made available to order as full-sized political yard-signs after August 1.

More details about the project and the process of putting it together are here.

My Yard Our Message, a project conceived by Scott Sayre, is produced by the Walker Art Center and mnartists.org in collaboration with The UnConvention.

The UnConvention is a non-partisan collaboration of local and national cultural organizations and citizens, initiated by Northern Lights, exploring the creative intersection of participatory media and participatory democracy. It exists as a counterpoint to the highly scripted and predetermined nature of the contemporary presidential nomination process and conventions.

The t-shirt as public art

Dispatch: Cloth, print and the political

Exhibition: February 20th – March 27th, 2009

In conjunction with the Southern Graphics Council Conference, threewalls is hosting an exhibition of political prints on cloth and we’re looking for your DIY election T-shirts!

The T-shirt, arguably considered an American invention, insofar as it is worn as one’s primary garment, and not an undershirt, became a substrate for advertising and political support in the 1950s. Since then it has played an invaluable role in the promotion of politics, sub-culture, music, leisure activities, businesses, sports team, personal slogans and more. The T-shirt is the walking, talking billboard – and probably still the most effective and inexpensive way to get a message out!

Perhaps in concert, printmaking and DIY are experiencing a significant revival. As an inexpensive medium for mass-producing a message or artwork, the hand-pulled print is making a major re-appearance as the most distinct way to promote bands, indie-movies, craft fairs, art events, book releases and rallies. The silk-screened T-shirt shares this appeal. As the election year heated up, the number of small-run T-shirts, printed by individual crafters and print collectives or one-offs by artists, designers or hobbiests ballooned. Nothing could be more American about the T-shirt as a vehicle for rhetoric: casual, commercial and accessible.

Dispatch is an exhibition of grass-roots political efforts, the millennial DIY ethic, micro-capitalism and the intersection between the commercial and craft in print media. As a document of the hundreds of T-shirts that were designed and printed by individuals (for their own use or to sell at craft fairs or raise money for campaigns), Dispatch makes visible, en masse, both the artistry and sheer multitude of designs that were made in support of the 2008 presidential and associated campaigns.

Chicago, both the root of the president-elect Obama’s campaign and a city with a strong grass-roots ethic in both the arts and politics, is a natural host to this exhibition. Dispatch draws on this, celebrating both the artistry and efforts of these makers, while drawing attention to how artwork and micro-industry became both an important form of participation in the millennial political process as well as a highlighting how the 2008 presidential campaign both appealed to and drew on millennial DIY culture.

As a companion to the exhibition and archive of the work, a catalog of the work featured at the gallery, with profiles and stories on a selection of artists about their prints, why they made them, where they wore them and how their garments may have made an impact on their community will be available.

Please submit designs made to support your candidate for office or made as political commentary during the primaries or the general election about the candidates, the election or the policies being discussed. Jpegs should be sent by January 15th, 2009 to Shannon Stratton at shannon@three-walls.org with your contact information and a short description of your T-shirt: where it was made, how many you made, how often you wore it, if you gave away or sold any of the shirts.

threewalls is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to contemporary art practice and discourse. Through the residency program(s), SOLO project and quarterly publication Paper and Carriage, threewalls aims to provide opportunities for experimentation, chance, critical dialogue and context for artists, curators and writers who are at pivotal points in their careers.

Shannon Stratton
Director and Chief Curator of Programs
119 N Peoria 2D
Chicago, IL