All posts by Charlie Todd

Super Hero Changing Station

superhero

New York City has had a ton of phone booth art this fall. Lately it seems like you can’t go for a walk without seeing a great piece by an artist like Jordan Seiler. The above was done by Toronto’s Posterchild, who’s been hanging out in NYC quite a bit lately.

I love these unauthorized projects because they’re turning useless eyesores into art. There are certain city blocks in NY that have upwards of 10 public telephones. When is the last time anyone used a payphone? I understand their utility for those who can’t afford or happen to be without a cell phone, but really, do we need multiple phones on every corner? These structures are simply huts to cash in on advertising dollars, and they needlessly pollute the scenery of our streets.

Here’s a great NY Times article from 2007 that explains that pay phone advertising rakes in $62 million a year: As Billboards, Public Phones Always Work.

Also of note, you can see both Seiler and Posterchild, along with Jason Eppink and Specter, speak about their work on Friday, November 20 out in Astoria — details here.

New Improv Everywhere Musical: I Love Lunch


(View it larger on YouTube)
Song by Anthony King and Scott Brown (Gutenberg! The Musical!)



For their latest mission, seven undercover IE agents staged a spontaneous musical during lunch at the Trump Tower atrium. The mission was filmed for a segment on The Today Show and includes a cameo from Ann Curry. Their report: I Love Lunch! The Musical

Improv Everywhere’s Grocery Store Musical


(View it larger on YouTube)
Song by Anthony King and Scott Brown (Gutenberg! The Musical!)

For Improv Everywhere’s latest mission, six undercover actors burst into song in a grocery store in Queens. Three minutes and lots of silly choreography later, they returned to their roles as shoppers and stock boys. The mission was filmed with hidden robotic, lipstick, and wearable cameras. Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with their full report: Grocery Store Musical

Art in Odd Places 2009

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Heads up! If you’re in New York any time between now and October 31, take a stroll down 14th Street to find a treasure trove of public art projects. Art in Odd Places is back again this year with some really cool projects. Among the many things you’ll see are messages written in ash on the sidewalk, free money hiding nooks and crannies, twitter streams projected onto water fountains at night, and of course, a strange person in a knit bodysuit!

Turning Flyer Boxes into Planters

flyerplanter

We think this project by Toronto street artist Posterchild is pretty damn clever. He’s taken the empty flyer boxes littering the city streets and turned them into planters.

Posterchild explains:

I’ve always been amazed by the state of most flyerboxes. More often that not, they are empty. Some haven’t been filled in years. Yet, there they are: everywhere in the city- at every intersection. Taking up valuable sidewalk space. Some are supposed to offer free news and culture print publications that make revenue from ads, some are supposed to offer free junk-mail type publications, with the expectation that someone will stop and take one completely beyond me. A rare few are supposed to offer a free publication of a certain political or religious leaning- probably bankrolled by whatever church or group can finance the publication of that message. For whatever reason, a great many of them offer nothing but an empty box.

But that offers a great opportunity for some people!

Graffiti artists love them as a platform for their stickers and tags. People with trash but nowhere to put it love them as a makeshift receptacle for garbage.

I tried to think of better ways than “Garbage Can” to re-imagine the interior spaces of these flyerboxes- better ways to make use of the whole box- not just the exterior walls.

This is what I came up with. I think it’s pretty great, if I do say so myself. The boxes makes a perfect platform for planters- and with them you can guerrilla garden almost anywhere in the inhospitable concrete city! Best of all, it leaves the sides open for writers and artists.

…and with this “impending collapse of print media”? You may just see these appearing in old, abandoned Newspaper boxes.

See more photos: Flyerplanterboxes

You might also enjoy this similar project, also from Toronto, Poster Pocket Plants. Advertising posters are converted into planters.

posterplanter

Is Toronto the guerrilla gardening capital of the world?