Art In Odd Places – A Friendly Art Experience By Brian A. Bernhard

Posted by on Oct 26, 2009 in BLIGHT PRODUCTIONS NEWS


(This writing has no structure, it was meant to be an “Automatic Writing” exercise. Don’t get too frustrated reading it.)

Knowing that the event would be coming to an end very soon, and that I needed to experience this NYC happening first hand, so that I would be able to reflect on it in a wacky blog posting. So when I got an email invitation from Xuan, to meet her, Nancy and Senem, Sunday at Noon, I jumped on it, knowing that I may not be motivated to do it any other way, because the “L” train has not been running on the weekends for the past month or so, and the only way to get into Manhattan was by Shuttle bus adding an extra 30 – 40 minutes of travel time to my adventure in each direction. Although, cryptically, Xuan’s message told me to meet them at the “Union Square” subway station entrance, I quickly realized there are about 20 “entrances” for that particular station, so to make things simple, and knowing that we would begin the walk at the east side of the island. I requested that the ladies meet me at the 1 st. avenue stop on the “L” line. I arrived at 12:30, and about 15 minutes later the ladies arrived. Our first mission was to head over to Avenue “C” at the far east side of 14th st. to begin our Journey. As we began walking toward the beginning we walked smack dab into our first “Odd” piece of art, it was a slow moving group of oddly mixed buildings, boats, and mammals with human legs that called themselves, “A Northwest Passage”. I took some pictures and a little video of this slow moving westward train of artists:


Previously, I had downloaded the PDF map into my phone, that should of allowed is to be able to find the art a bit more easily. This seemed not to be the case, although, I very much enjoyed to scavenger hunt aspect to the day. At the corner of 14th and “C”, we could not seem to find anything, even though; there were markers on the map. We noticed that there was an odd broken structure that looked like it might of once been a street lamp, it was painted golden, we decided as a collective, that if it has been painted gold, well then it must be art.

We laughed at the ridicules idea, and moved on. As we continued our journey, we noticed a series of “odd” words stenciled on the ground. None of us could figure out what it meant, but clearly this artist was the most prolific on 14th st, as you can tell from all the pics, even though, I am sure we missed a few.

I was not actually sure what we were looking for, as art could be anything, so I began to take pictures of anything I saw that could be art.

As we journeyed deeper into the island we came across some performers that were, “Waiting for RFK”, here are some pics and a video, from just before they went to grab a bite at McDonalds.

Soon after we left our new hard hat-wearing friends, some of my collective expedition group began to feel the pains of hunger so a pizza stop was in order. As we were enjoying out lovely slices of crab pizza, the lovely Susan Surandon and what looked like her son, stopped in for a slice. After the blushing ladies in my group got the giddies out of their systems, we continued our endurance test, celebrity free.

Continuing the trek, we came across a group of ladies handing out Google Map pins printed on mylar balloons. They said the idea was to track people, but these balloons did not have any GPS to my knowledge. And I am pretty sure mylar balloons are not recyclable.

As we crosses the midpoint of our sojourn, we came across a lovely billboard…er…I mean lady, wearing her “Conceptual Camouflage”, a lovely dress designed to look like 14th street. Here are some pics and videos:

Crossing over 9th ave, we saw a strange photo shoot, that could only be described as “odd” so I snapped a few pics.

Once we hit the end of our tour, we started to head back, only to notice some more golden street objects! So I guess we came full circle.

In conclusion, I very much enjoyed the concept and ideas of the AIOP event. I especially enjoyed walking up to strangers, and saying, “Oh my, you are art in a very odd place.”

I am not exactly sure how this work relates to mine, with the exception that it is outside, everything I experienced was very subtle, and I am not sure, but I think that my work is anything but subtle.


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