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Write On This // Public Space Intervention

"What Is Beautiful Here?"
"What is beautiful here?" - Day 5 (CR)

/Title of Work/ "Write On This"
/Medium/ Posters - Public Space Intervention
/Dimensions/ variable (2' x 3' posters in public locations in New York City)
/Date/ May 2004

Posters Index: Complete pictures of the posters' transformation

Utne Magazine's July/August 2004 issue features an article about May's Psy.Geo.Conflux in New York. The "Write On This" project is mentioned. Read it online.

"Write On This" is a public space intervention, in which I seek to interact with strangers through the medium of a poster. It is an opportunity and an attempt to reach people for whom interaction with "art" is most likely a rare occurrence. I want to use public space for a meditative, reflective purpose rather than a marketing/consumerist purpose.

A series of nine questions are posted in heavily postered public areas in Lower Manhattan (in particular those places covered with advertising for products, music, and films.) Each of these posters has a single question printed on it in large black type, and each has a black marker on a string hung with it.

The posters are an invitation to passersby to interact with their public space, as well as an experiment to see if passersby will actually respond to such an invitation.

The Poster Questions:
(Click for pictures.)

1. What is beautiful here?
2. Where do you want to be right now?
3. Do you feel safe here?
4. What do you think of the people in this place?
5. Why do you come here?
6. What reminds you of home?
7. What place scares you?
8. What would you change about this place?
9. Where were you the last time you smiled at a stranger?

"Why do you come here?"
"Why do you come here?" - Day 5 (CR)
"What do you think of the people in this place?"
"What do you think of the people in this place?" - Day 5 (CR)

The questions on these posters relate to "place" as a general idea, to the poster's specific location, and to a place's effect on people. Taken together, the questions make up a set ruminations and meditations on place, an effort to engage people to see where they are and consider their location at that moment (rather than continuing to use public space as merely a thoroughfare on the way to some other place.)

Each day for five days, pictures were taken of the posters' transformation over time. The pictures were posted at Participanet Inc Gallery, in New York, as part of Psy.Geo.Conflux 2004. Maps were available in the gallery for those who wished to visit the posters in person. On the last day of the Conflux, I led a group walk to each poster, and recorded my final documentation.

Photo Credits: CR - Christina Ray; JW - Joshua Weiner; DJH - D. Jean Hester

Exhibition History:

May 13 - May 16, 2004 - Group Show - Psy.Geo.Conflux 2004 @ Participant Inc. Gallery, New York City, NY

Articles & Reviews:

"A New Way of Walking: Artist Explorers Called Psychogeographers Are Changing the Way We Experience the City", Joseph Hart, Utne Magazine, July/August 2004 Issue