Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mysterious Bowling Pin Art Car & Milk Jug Igloo

Last month, I saw two mysterious objects that obviously gave pleasure to the makers and that, intentionally or not, brought people together. I walked out of the Berkeley Art Museum and found this little Fiat on the front patio. Three students were chuckling and taking pictures. I said, "This wasn't here when I came in!" To which a student told me that a man had pulled up, got out, and then left. "Such a cute little car. I'll bet he was sure it wouldn't get towed," the student added. The car started a pleasant group conversation among strangers.

The bowling pins were on structure that moved them in and out of holes in the side of the car. It slid them out and shook them violently. The pins retreated. The event repeated. Outside the museum turned out to be a perfect place to park this art car; I kept trying to find the brochure that went with it.

Here is another sculpture that took quite a bit of planning, has no connection to an art institution, and certainly didn't have an explanational brochure. I saw it on a preschool playground in Albany, California, and I imagine it is a great inspiration for group play.

It is a relief, sometimes, to find art in the street. Particularly humorous art that reminds us how curious and human we are.

I was thinking again about how art is getting to be more and more of a communal event. I had always thought of making books as a solitary activity unless it was done in a classroom situation. But as I revisited the work of Ediciones Vigía it occurred to me that maybe we should be devising more book projects that gathered people together to make editioned work like they do. Not just exchanges from afar, but a combined effort that works toward a common goal. Instead of stuffing envelopes for organizations with pre-printed flyers, we might make a bigger impact if we pooled our talents and sent out handmade brochures and bookworks.

Update: Found this site that explains the bowling pin car, as well as the website for the artist. The car is called "Big Bang Theory" and the artist is Eric Staller.

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