Archive for December 7th, 2010

This person has something to say.

At the university where I work as gallery director, I’ve created what I call a public “talk-back” bulletin board, where Sharpie questions are posed on Kraft paper to passersby for their inventive responses and comments.  Questions have varied from “What’s worse, heat or humidity?” to one from a local high school student during summer session who suggested, “Which important figure in history would you call on a ‘drunk dial’ and why?”

Over time, you start to recognize handwriting in this sort of endeavor, and one day I came across a comment from a custodian in the building who had written, “Safety is an illusion, much like happiness.”  I don’t remember the “talk-back” question, but the comment itself stopped me cold and still does to this day.  Like a bit of a cliché, this custodian usually keeps very quiet and to himself.  If I ever approach him with a direct question or comment, though, his responses are quick and astute.  It kind of goes without saying that custodians like this guy and others in the unions where I work – in dining services and “facops” – do in fact tend to keep quiet and to themselves at a wealthy private liberal arts university in Smalltown, New York, USA.

Despite the magnificent odds, however, this guy had something to say.  Anonymously, to a certain degree, yes.  But he said it, and he said it in public.

Contemporary sticker art – some of it, at least – functions the same way.  People have something to say.

People.

This person.

This person has something to say.

Some of the time, people, this person, this person says, “Fuck you.”

[And hence begins my creative writing project on sticker art to be entitled, “Takin’ it to the Streets and Stickin’ it to the Man.”]

ctrl + alt + T

Firefox came out recently with a handy free add-on called ImTranslator that allows one to select text from any digital source, hit ctrl + alt + T, and receive an immediate translation.  Easy to install and easy to use.  If you like it, you can make an online donation to help cover costs, I assume.

Here is an example from antifastreetart’s About page:

Nachdem dies mit dem deutschen Faschismus vernichtet wurde, entstand im konservativ geprägten Nachkriegsdeutschland mit dem Beginn der 68er Bewegung ein neuer Anlauf, die Menschen vor allem durch politische Plakatkunst zu erreichen. Unter dem Motto „Kreativität gegen Kapitalismus!“ wurden so tausende Plakate unter die Bevölkerung gebracht….

that translates in a blink of an eye to this:

After this was destroyed with the German fascism, a new approach originated in the conservatively stamped post-war German land at the beginning of the 68th movement to reach the people above all by political poster art. Under the motto „ creativity against capitalism! “ thousands of posters were brought thus under the population….



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