Page name: too deep for you [Exported view] [RSS]
2005-04-07 22:15:44
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Welcome to an actual meaningful wiki.
yea thats right.not some pointless wiki dedicated to bananas or something.
this is for members of elftown who are sick of inmature children who have nothing to meaningful to say.this is here for members to discuss their philisophies on art,society,human behavior,etc.
if you want to join message me.
1.[Ilivethelushlife]no autographs today.
2.[Sleeping Dictionary] Society is a b*tch. I wish i could live in a godamn tree house in the middle of the rain forest where no one can bug me.
3.[Little Red Riding Hoodrat]
5.[The Sylvan Sorcerer]
6.[ill be your number 1 with a bullet]
7.[I'll Make You Tremble]
8.[MacaroNI ANd ChLORIne]
11.[confused daisy]
12.[Blue Raspberries and Grape Juice]
High Art
By Rebecca Fox
Walking through New York City, heads bow when trekking up subway stairs, loud conversations get tuned out, and it’s easy to miss an encouraging sign.

This self-made distance from our surroundings is partly why Stanford Kay’s installation, “Life Signs,” makes a strange sort of sense in Union Square Park. Consisting of six neon green, diamond-shaped placards of steel, the installation sends up traffic sign directives by suggesting intimate actions instead. The silhouettes on Kay’s signs instruct bystanders more through gesture than action. In one, an adult stoops to adjust a child’s shoelace. In another, two apparent businessmen engage in what appears to be relaxed conversation; one is raising an arm in casual gesticulation while the other listens, hands in his pockets.

According to the New York City Parks Department, hundreds of temporary artworks have been exhibited in City parks since 1967. Their placement has depended largely upon the “safety and durability of the artwork” in addition to its “suitability to the site.”

So why Life Signs in Union Square? “Initially, I wanted to put [Life Signs] on the streets, but the Department of Transportation didn’t like that idea. So I went to the Parks Department and they diddles,” Kay says. Upon installing the work in Union Square, which, to Kay, is “very connected to the street,” the artist realized Life Signs could function well there.

For Henry Choi, Director of Public Affairs at the Union Square Building and Development District, Life Signs works in Union Square for the opposite reason. He likens the park to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, citing both as places where visitors can experience a “very distinct change of atmosphere in an instant.” Choi says, “You’re almost washed of the urban life that you had half a block before, and so when you’re in there, you quickly ascertain a different geographic perspective of where you are.”

As Choi sees it, being stripped of one’s urban identifiers is crucial to the onlooker’s absorption of Life Signs. “When you’re in that kind of oasis, it’s both funny and informative that a sign that’s made in the image of a traffic sign. You’re allowed to play with symbology or signage or semiotics and you understand it as maybe a goof or maybe a takeoff on your regular life,” he says. He believes in urban oases like St. Patrick’s or Union Square Park, “you can become a little more introspective about your own life,” an inward look fostered by “Life Signs.”

Not all introspection leads to clarity, and a lack of comprehension on the part of the viewer is something Kay has taken in stride upon mounting “Life Signs” in Union Square. “Less than half, but a good proportion of people wanted to know what the piece was about, what it was connected to- was there an event? They wanted an explanation,” says Kay. The rest were content to assign their own meaning to the work, which was Kay’s intent. “That was kind of interesting, to see who wants to take a leap of imagination and who wants to be told what they’re looking at,” he says.

Kay’s willingness to keep “Life Signs” open to viewers’ interpretation might have stemmed from his perception of the typical Union Square viewer. “I got the feeling there are a lot of design and photography kind of businesses around there,” Kay says, “so I felt it was kind of sophisticated on one hand, and a young crowd on one hand.”

Sophistication doesn’t really concern Choi so much as whether there is a crowd to absorb “Life Signs.” For him, the presence of public art is vital to enhancing the character of the Union Square neighborhood. “It doesn’t matter if you like it, dislike it- it’s art for the sake of creating ideas in the viewers’ minds,” says Choi. “That occurs, and I think that there’s a communications aspect. You see the artwork, you’re immediately taken somewhere else- you like it, you dislike it, you hate it, you love it. And then your next step is to actually tell someone else. Once you start doing that, you start increasing the interaction of urban living,” says Choi.

Upping the level of interaction is always a boon to neighborhood developers, but it assumes the mantle of hallowed tradition in the Union Square neighborhood. Part of the district’s lore and lure is its reputation for being a point of origin for political and civic expression. As Choi puts it, “If you live in the city, you understand that if there is some sort of voicing of people’s concerns, there’s a very good chance that an organizational point will be in Union Square.”

Layering public art upon Union Square’s historical and contemporary identity yields not only a more tempting neighborhood, from a business perspective, but perpetuates the sense that the park is part of a larger cultural institution. “That sort of public engagement that these previous epochs have infused the park with, I think that art or cultural installations are just a natural extension of,” says Choi.

Watching people conduct the banal activities of their daily lives, below “Life Signs’” depictions of similarly mundane activities, Union Square park still illustrates how connectedness can elevate the ordinary to inspirational. In that sense, Kay succeeded in his goal of getting “regular laypeople exposed to it, in their own environment.” Given the history of public expression that characterizes the Union Square environment, Kay’s greatest coup might have with the park users for whom “Life Signs” eventually receded from view, immersed as they were with their own worlds, causes, and unremarkable efforts at living.

-Rebecca Fox

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2005-02-19 [I'll Make You Tremble]: Ha. Boobs are SOO over-rated. SEriously, they are just sacks of fat. What is guys (straight guys) obsession with boobs?

2005-02-21 [MacaroNI ANd ChLORIne]: yeah I know it's kinda funny.

2005-02-21 [-Boi_B!tch-]: Guys are easily amused. They like the fact that boobs jiggle I guess ...

2005-02-21 [Little Red Riding Hoodrat]: men have a suck complex.

2005-02-22 [rinaweeena]: i hate no individual but men for what they were,are,a and will be

2005-02-22 [I'll Make You Tremble]: I hate women. Seriously. I feel bad for the men that deal with women, they have my upmost respect. But then again I thi k it should go both ways, because guys can be assholes, and women deal with that. So we just just respect each other for dealing with the other.

2005-02-23 [rinaweeena]: im not talking about that....i know women can be like really mean but at least we didnt do half the things that men did

2005-02-25 [I'll Make You Tremble]: Women suck so bad.

2005-02-25 [The Sylvan Sorcerer]: ok im not str8 and I will say that they add femininity to a woman...anyway women don't suck...its their attitude that does...most women are way too passive...I am all for the new age executive style woman who knows what she wants...its the typical "victim" that annoys really iritate me on the whole...the new age metrosexual guy is way better...yay for new age people I guess :P

2005-03-03 [-Boi_B!tch-]: I have realized that I developed a sub-conscience prejudice towards men, especially towards straight men. I am working on it tho, because you can't hold the actions of one or many people of the same group against someone you don't even know. But the ones that hold that stereo-type are deffinately not my piece of cake.

2005-03-03 [Ilivethelushlife]: i think chicks are cool.

2005-03-03 [MacaroNI ANd ChLORIne]: honestly I hang out with alot of guys....some girls just bitch too much and worry about EVERYTHING and start alot of drama...not saying all of them are like that but the majority are.

2005-03-03 [The Sylvan Sorcerer]: Same here boi bitch,weirdly enough I am a total feminist (for instance whenever Jennifer Garner kicks male butt in Alias or Electra I am totally on her I always prefer her female opponents over the male ones...I almost always root for women) :S Not all str8 guys are bad though...I get along with quite a for gay guys, no problem unless they are flamers...I cannot stand gay ppl who act like that...the attitude of many women also pisses me off...they are too passive, too bitchy to each other and / or too complacent...I'm not saying they should sacrifice their femininity (definitely not), but they need to be more dynamic...I know a girl in my class who is like u 1 armed

2005-03-03 [The Sylvan Sorcerer]: scissor...she finds most girls too two-faced....woman need to be more up front and dynamic...and nice to each I said I am all for the new age more feminine male and the more powerful new age female

2005-03-05 [rinaweeena]: i agree that they should be nicer to each other but how can we not be two faced if society forces us to be that way?if you show people what you really are they will use it against you at one point

2005-03-05 [The Sylvan Sorcerer]: Here I agree...women (and men often) are forced into stereotyped roles...exhibiting emotion and being truthful can mean you become a victim...since women are inherently more social its even more likely that they may cross each other...even men can be (and are) deceitful towards each other because of this...its a cut-throat world :/ ur right, if women are two faced towards each other its due to social pressures

2005-04-08 [Blue Raspberries and Grape Juice]: *nods* everyone is what society makes them!

2005-04-09 [The Sylvan Sorcerer]: to a certain degree ;)

2005-04-13 [elemental]: I detest the female race, we are manipulitive, demanding, backstabing liers who are just out for an end result. I don't like guys now either because they can never be honist with me and just see me as some pus and tit. I'm scared of all people because of this but I really do like people, I've just been backstabed and lied to enough to make me hate Both genders.

2005-04-15 [The Sylvan Sorcerer]: u are being absolute, but I can see where u r coming from...most of my good friends r girls...and some guys...tho women are easier to get along with for me...well gay guys as well...I respect women way too much tho to ever see them as anything bad

2005-07-06 [Little Red Riding Hoodrat]: serious conversations are never attractive people. they cause wrinkles.

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