Eduardo Moises Penalver & Sonia Kaytal Property Outlaws: How Squatters, Pirates, and Protesters Improve the Law of Ownership
Barbara Ehrenreich Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy
Lewis Hyde The Gift, Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
Geoffrey Miller Spent: Sex, Evolution, & Consumer Behavior
Sharon Zukin The Cultures of Cities
Miriam Greenberg Branding New York
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
PublicAdCampaign Presentation at Flux Factory's Hackposium This Saturday
This Saturday I will be giving a presentation on public media curation at the Flux Factory Hackposium. It should be a smashing good time for inquisitive minds. Please feel free to stop by and enjoy a snack while you learn the fine art of alternative public space usage.
Date: Saturday, July 2, 2011 Time: 4 pm – on
This day-long event explores the practical, philosophical, and playful applications of the term “hacking.” Presentations and workshops will cover topics such as circuit bending, culture jamming, dumpster diving, email encryption, and the repurposing of waste items into useful tools. The symposium is geared towards providing visitors with foundational information in order to become hackers themselves. Hackposiumis part of Flux Factory’s Summer School program and is curated by Jaime Iglehart via New Age Beverages, in collaboration with Pete Edwards of Casper Electronics.
Demos of hacked objects and freegan snacks start at 4pm. Talks and presentations start at 6 pm, and are followed by musical performances.
Mustache Man Arrested - Interview on Subway Art Blog
Mustache Man has been arrested for "defacing" subway advertisements reports NBC New York. Having been charged with felony criminal mischief and possession of graffiti materials, he faces some serious consequences for his light hearted approach to ad readjustment. In fact is seems the NYPD has spent over two months cataloging and doing some serious detective work to apprehend Joseph Waldo. I am sorry but NYC subway ads are synonymous with public back talk and the usual urban scrawl. To isolate an individual like this seems over the top, and a clear waste of city resources. The priorities in this city are completely backwards as the NYC DOB sign enforcement unit can't seem to get rid of an illegal outdoor advertiser after two years of legal battles, and yet a 26 year old kid writing the word "mustache" on ads is apprehended and most likely prosecuted within weeks.
"At it’s simplest level, it’s a quick joke meant to give commuters something to smile about while they’re waiting for the subway, coming off from a long day at work, or getting stabbed on the D train. And that’s certainly how it started. But for me it’s evolved into part of this broader movement of subverting advertisements. Especially in New York, where we’re bombarded with ads everywhere we go, it feels more and more like we’re part of a one-sided conversation. We’re getting these ridiculous images and dumb catchphrases shoved down our throats (“Good Afternoont!”), why shouldn’t we be able to talk back? So many ads are so laughably stupid that a cartoonish moustache just seems to fit. On another level, it’s a return to hand-written form in a technology driven age where we type so much that some of us have actually forgotten how to write cursive."
Because this project isn't an advertising takeover I feel compelled to explain why I did it. Allison and Garrison are friends and the organizers of this event. I went to the celebratory party last year after they first launched the project. I was blown away by how the community responded and how it brought people together.
My campaign against advertising is in part because I think advertising promotes a self centered way of being. This egocentric vision of the world is not only destructive to us as individuals but also as a group and is completely incongruous with a public space that breeds community and interaction. In a city where we pile on top of one another, push and pull at each other in the search for our group identity, these things can be very important. Given the Wellington Court project was so clearly about bringing people together I felt it appropriate to participate. I will continue my campaign on the street despite the fun idea that for the first time I will have sometime up for more than a week.
Thank you so much to Allison and Garrison Buxton for putting this project together and to the neighborhood that has been brave enough to let it happen.
Just got home from 7 hours of painting at AdHoc's Wellington Court Mural project. It was my first time painting outside of the studio and I must say I truly enjoyed it. Being my first time I opted for a covert spot down some alleyway which is why I don't have a straight on shot. Enjoy!
Rosh and Neko put up a collaborative piece at the Gran Via station in Madrid. It says ( clockwise): Existence - Concentration - Street art - Perseverance - Graffiti - Passion - Soul - Mind - Body - Love
I was recently interviewed for Very Nearly Almost issue#15. While I was excited about how the interview came out, I was even happier to be featured in a magazine along with some amazing artists whose work has changed street interaction and public curatorial expectations. A special thanks to RJ for conducting the interview and pushing for my inclusion in the mag. Buy a copy [Here]
Contest Promotions Wins Supreme Court Battle and Permits Are Being Issued
old Contest Promotions Signage attached to garage and showing movie posters.
It really is the wild west out there. Contest Promotions, operating under a bogus business model which purports that their illegal 1st party signage is actually legal 3rd party signage, recently sued the city of New York after being fined and asked to remove their illegal signs. They claimed that "the Department of Buildings' determination that Contest Promotions' sign model fails to qualify as permissible 'accessory use' is arbitrary, capricious and affected by errors of law."
Demanding that the city recognize their signage as 3rd party, or accessory use, they argue that the advertisements which adorn the sides of many buildings in NYC are a vital component of the mom and pop business model. Without such "promotional" material they have determined these mom and pop businesses, many of which are delis, would fall victim to the big box stores and be forced to close. In their arguments, the signage reminds passersby that specific products are available inside the establishment as is the expectation of all 3rd party signage. As evidence of this fact, they submitted a photo of an advertisement on the side of Roberto's Grocery which is for Tropicana orange juice. While Roberto's Grocery most likely sells OJ, the fact of the matter is that the advertisements often placed at these locations are for movies, concerts and music, all of which are not sold at deli's or the other myriad types of business to which these signs are affixed. Basically I am saying this argument is bullshit and tantamount to Contest Promotions lying to the city of NY outright.
It seems that A Supreme Court decision, rendered by Justice Rakower, requires DOB to approve permits for signs applied for in conformance with a “model” put forth by Contest Promotions. This decision is obviously under appeal, but in the meantime expect Contest Promotions to be out in droves, updating their signage and making things as "official" as possible while they have the green light. Obviously this is very upsetting to me as it proves once again that the city, and by extension its citizenry, is often held hostage by the whims of advertising companies hellbent on making huge profits off of the use of our public environment. It shows how difficult it is to fight this industry and a culture of commercialism, not to mention how our tax dollars are used to hold back the oncoming flood. I am truly dumbfounded by the system in this situation, expecting a city to be able to locate an illegal advertisement and or advertising company and simply have them removed. Instead, the city locates clearly illegal ads and in this case an entire company operating illegally, and then must jump through hoops for years in order to fight against the onslaught of lawyers put forth by these ill tempered business'.
Remember that this is the same company that once called themselves National Promotions of America, plastered our city and our construction sheds with illegal signage and generally created mayhem on the streets. When they were caught red handed, they dissolved NPA and re-opened as Contest Promotions on a new business model claiming that they were not advertising at all. For them to seriously claim that they are here to help the city makes me loose faith in reason and wonder if the world isn't spinning backwards. If helping Mom & Pops is so important, why do they pay only 50 dollars to rent the sides of these buildings, most likely paying landlords and not business owners in the end anyways. The whole thing reeks of abuse at the expense of our neighborhoods and collective psyche.
Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl introduced a motion to his colleagues June 1 that would create an ordinance to specifically identify murals as art instead of signs, as the city currently considers them. [More Here]
From Madrid To New York For Street Interactions: NEKO and Nuria Light Up The City
NEKO 23rd and 8th avenue
Some months ago I traveled to Madrid to meet the other organizers of the MaSAT project. We had for the past few months been speaking via email and as I stepped off the plane I got my first sight of my new friends. Tired from a long flight, we sat outdoors and ate indian food for our first meal, an odd introduction but somehow quite normal for a boy from NY. We quickly set into a long week of mapping, printing, and organizing the largest advertising takeover Madrid had ever seen. I stayed at one of their apartments and was guided through the city by eyes accustomed to watching the streets. We spoke of art, advertising and public space at length while we prepared our protest with delicate care.
I flew home exhausted, but with three new friends overseas and a promise that if they ever needed a place to stay in New York, they were more than welcome to stay with me. It was not long before plans were made and just last week, NEKO and Nuria arrived at JFK. Hungry, I took them for indian and their journey began as mine had, with a belly full of curry. For the next week I did my best to abstain from work and show them both the same hospitality that they showed me in their own country. A lot of time was spent on the streets, out late investigating the city, some of the results of which can be seen here.
Nuria Mora - From Williamsburg Bridge Courtesy of Luna Park