Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eat your art out

Release the Kraken I CAN DO THAT press… release! Read it here. The image used is Anti by participating artist Brandon Kirkman:

Image courtesy of Brandon Kirkman.

At the show, a special guest / art critic will be making an appearance. He may or may not yell at you. Until then, you can follow his blog on the hip and not-dated-at-all platform that is LiveJournal.

Ummmm so my postcard project Flickr album has been up for less than a week, yet it has, as of this typing, over 1,200 views already. Just… I mean… what. Seriously and simply: thank you. For sharing it and spreading the word, for your enthusiasm, for your excitement. I’m flooredthe response has been downright overwhelming. People have been emailing me, telling me that they want to start the same project in their own cities, that they feel inspired to take action and realize their own dreams. And many of you are urging me to turn it into a book. And you know what? I will!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On ubiquitous banana men, palm readers, and maps

If you live in Chicago, you have seen the banana dude.

This one ironically not in Chicago but Brooklyn.
Image courtesy of Left Handed Wave, 2011.

For I CAN DO THAT, the prolific young street artist known as Left Handed Wave will provide a large-scale black-and-white banana man for show-goers to fill in / add to / go nuts with. After the collaborative effort is complete, he'll paste it up on the street. It will be grand. Check out this video of LHW in action:

(More videos here and here.)

Sadly, I’m allergic to bananas. And kiwis. And fabric softener. But rest assured that I’ll never be allergic to awesome art.

Thank you to another I CAN DO THAT artist, Mister Vibe, for giving me a palm reading. Apparently I’m a “Fire Hand.” Note that I’m also a Leo and was born in the Year of the Fire Rabbit. So that’s three fire signs. And I’m an only child. Basically, I was predestined to be a troublemaker / be obnoxious.

Speaking of which… gather ‘round and allow me to tell you about an old, still-untitled personal project I did a few years ago when I was in New York: From Fall 2008 through Spring 2009, I obsessively created hundreds of pre-stamped, self-addressed postcards, omitting my name. Written on each postcard was the prompt, “Tell me one thing you dream of doing before you die. Use this card as your canvas,” as well as a code on the bottom corner. I then left these postcards in public spaces all over Manhattan, using the codes to record where I placed each one. When the postcards returned to me, I was able to tell where each had been found, and I gradually pieced together a map of the city from all these people’s dreams.

It was an exploration in breaking down barriers between the private and the public (by its nature, letter-writing is an intimate act—although with postcards, anyone who intercepts your card can read what you wrote—and here were these people sharing their deepest fears and hopes with me, a nameless, faceless stranger, perhaps emboldened by the safety net of anonymity, or motivated by that very human desire to connect, to know that someone, anyone, knows about you), between artist and audience (I may have been the originator of the project, but was I the artist or were these people the artists, or both?), and between geographical boundaries (did the dreams of Upper Eastsiders differ that greatly from those in Alphabet City? on Wall Street? would the fine upstanding citizens there even pay attention to a handmade postcard taped up onto a street light? etc. etc.).

I’ve mentioned this project before, but learning about the new “Before I Die” installation in Pilsen is what prompted me to finally scan the postcards and try to share them online. For now, you can view them (uploaded in no particular order) here on Flickr (some replies NSFW).

Lastly, happy vernal equinox! Although it’s been much more like summer here in the Chi. If I were a beach kind of person, I’d totally be at the beach right now. (#vampireproblems / we skipped leather jacket weather / no but seriously when will I be able to wear my blazers and leather jacket)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Chosen Ones // T-Minus 1 Month

The artists for I CAN DO THAT have been selected! They hail from across the country and around the world, and there’s plenty of local talent as well. Congratulations to Alyssa Trainor, Angela Hearld, Avisheh Mohsenin, Brandon Kirkman, Brooks Golden, Caitlin Bergh, Carisa Mitchell, Chris Barrett, Chris Busse, Clarisse Perrette, David del Bosque, Dead Squirrel, DRIP-EX, Dubi Kaufmann, Emmanuel L. White Eagle, Fernanda Quaglia, Gabor E. Nagy, Gabriel Garcia-Fraire, Glendalys Medina, Gracie Cannell, Imaginathan, Janet Mamon, Jared Haberman, Kathleen Enright, Kev Anderson, Kyra Termini, Lee Eun Young, Left Handed Wave, Mister Vibe, Nancy Bechtol, Nikolas Burkhart, Noel DeGaetano, Pancho Panoptes, Patricia Biesen, Peggy Shearn, Peter Dzubay, Predrag Djordjevic, Rachel Dennis, Robin Jiro Margerin, Scot West, Sioban Lombardi, Zachary Trebellas …and you.

Previews of the art to come!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

wolf in Lam's clothing

The artwork submission window for I CAN DO THAT is now closed! (Of course, almost half the total submissions came in the last couple days. Ahh, human nature. But at least no one did what I would’ve done in similar situations / in college, which would entail searching for and finding a corrupt file on my computer on Sunday night, renaming said file, and then attaching that file to an email, to which the poor professor it addressed would respond saying s/he can’t open the document and I’d email back after some time all “golly I wonder why Prof well see if this one works” and then attach the real completed assignment and still manage to get an A okay I do not condone this behavior nor will I ever fall for it.) (Sorry, professors.)

To everyone who applied: Thank you! You’ll be hearing back from me by the end of the week. To everyone else: Many of the submissions are brilliant. I am beyond excited for this show.

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