Archive for September, 2011
Last Saturday, women contained within police orange netting were pepper sprayed. The women were entirely contained, did not present a danger to anyone, were not violent and were pepper sprayed. This can not be ignored – PROTEST TODAY AT 5:30PM ONE POLICE PLAZA
Bill de Blasio believes that the government can decide what is viable free speech and what is not. de Blasio feels that he knows what messages may be censored and which may be allowed to remain in the public space. A couple years ago de Blasio demanded the removal of anti-abortion billboard and stated the following “There should never be a law prohibiting this sort of sign, Mr. de Blasio said, ‘but to have a serious debate, to have people express their outrage, and then to have a private owner of the advertising space decide that it was ultimately not appropriate, that to me is a functioning democracy.'” Read the NYTimes article.
Today the UN Assembly gathers in NYC and I comfortably sit in my office at 68th and Lexington after dodging through stand still traffic while police vehicles weaved through… all for a series of limos with international flags. If you’ve got a limo, get a flag… traffic will part for you. In preparation for the UN members’ visit Two Peoples One Future paid for posters throughout the subway system presenting Israelis and Palestinians beneath these words: “Be on our side — we are on the side of peace and justice.” Local politicians protested and now the posters are down. Just as who paid for the advertisements is public knowledge, the names of the people who demanded that freedom of speech be censored should be public knowledge. Read NYTimes article.
I’m the one artist without a cart in the exhibition Mobility, however the curators elected to include my “Undocumented Drones” as part of the show. The exhibition looks great, upon entering the gallery, I wished that one of my carts was available for the show, unfortunately they are either disassembled or in another part of the world. The exhibition opens Friday, September 9th and runs through October 17th, hopefully my bots will survive. The images below are a preview, the paint bucket in the first photo is not art.
From left to right: Undocumented Drones, Blender by Hidemi Takagi and Pimp My Piragua by Miguel Luciano
From left to right: SOS Mobile Classroom by Tattfoo Tan and Máximo González’s Changarrito
Consume Love by Atom Cianfarani
Close up of an Undocumented Drone – a series of modified hobby robots that have been enhanced with an additional microcontroller, screen and radio module. Each robot presents a rotoscoped animation until it receives a twitter message with the tag “DREAMers”. Upon receiving the tweet, the animation freezes, the motors are activated and the message or tweet is displayed.
The Undocumented Drones represent a near slave class within the United States that exists for cheap labor and does not have a voice – the undocumented laborers contributing to this country and primarily concerned with providing for the children and family. The twitter tag “DREAMers” alludes to the children of undocumented immigrants, brought to this country at a young age who have grown up in the United States, but may not have a right to higher education or employment. The DREAM Act was introduced a decade ago to create a pathway toward citizenship for undocumented youth. The DREAM Act has never been passed, however many of the young adults who would benefit from it have exposed themselves as undocumented and become activists; they are the DREAMers. Each bot juxtaposes the silent day laborer with the activist offspring.