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!
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.
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.
For Improv Everywhere’s latest mission, over 2,000 people walked “invisible dogs” down the streets of Brooklyn on a Sunday afternoon. The leashes were on loan from the current owner of 51 Bergen Street, the factory space where the invisible dog toy was invented in the 1970s. Participants of all ages spread out from Red Hook to Brooklyn Heights, very seriously walking their very silly dogs.
The Yes Men strike again in this sequel to last November’s Fake New York Times. This time although the paper is a fake, the facts in the paper are real. The action is designed to draw attention to climate change as world leaders meet today at the UN.
Today is Park(ing) Day 2009. Groups around the world will turn parking spaces into temporary public parks.
San Francisco art collective REBAR first created “PARK(ing)” in 2005 to re-imagine the potential of the metered parking space. In 2006, in collaboration with TPL, REBAR founded “PARK(ing) Day”: a global exploration of the creative potential of streets.
Here’s a video from Park(ing) Day NYC 2006:
Last year I had a delightful time relaxing in a park on 6th Avenue and 24th Street. If you find a parking space park today in your town, let us know in the comments.
The Spanish group Left Hand Rotation decided to bring the spam problem to the real world. They made postcards with the SPAM logo and handed them out on the street and stuffed them in mailboxes around Madrid. Here’s a video:
The Putting Lot is the awesome new putt putt course built in an abandoned lot in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Their site explains:
Each hole is designed by a different team of artists and architects around themes of urban sustainability. Playing a round at the lot is an interactive experience, requiring golfers to step inside the artist’s visions and the ideas that have inspired them. Through the transformation of the lot, the construction of the holes, and a series of events held in the public area, we hope to provide a forum for discussing urban sustainability in a new context.
Ghost Hole, pictured above, is a hole created by artist Ben Roosevelt. Ben describes the hole:
To make my part of the course, the exact area of the vacant lot in Brooklyn where my hole would be built was photographed prior to any cleaning or building. Then the photographs were used to make an outdoor, high-traffic decal for the actual playing surface of the hole. A player could look down and see what was in the exact spot before building: trash, debris, rocks, etc.
There were supposed to be four armies: Madagascar Institute, the Toyshop Collective, the Greenpoint-based art collective WAMP, and “the bloodthirsty public, banded together in an Irregular Militia.” (Several civilians also posed as pacifists, meditating in the Lotus position even as they were pelted.) The teams were demarked by the color of their armbands (civies in yellow) and stationed in opposite corners, but as soon as the schnitzel hit the fan, all was chaos.
Noise makers and blow horns filled the air, as did a dizzying plethora of condiments. Suddenly I felt like I was in Saving Private Ryan. Men and women in plastic coveralls ran around spraying each other, or throwing chunks of hot dog, dough, pretty much anything edible. A woman wheeled an ice cream cart into the center of the staging area and pulled a hose out of it, spraying everyone around her. Another combatant hid her condiments in a baby carriage disguised as an elephant. Someone with a Super Soaker pumped vinegar into my eye.
From the rooftop of an adjacent 10-story building, people threw balloons full of god-knows-what onto the street below. At one point I looked up to see an operative rappelling off the side of the building. The figure stopped halfway down to drop a cluster of condiment bombs. All the while I ran around squeezing my wimpy squirt bottle of ketchup, feeding off the thrill of soiling total strangers while trying not to slip on a lava bed of spent ammo