Novad(s) drop “the Banner” on MoMA; mØma steals for permanent collection!

maybe you herd about “the Banner” drop at Museum of Modern Art [hereafter mØma] on Friday #j13?

“the Banner” in question was created by the Novad(s).  In the course of the evening’s events, representatives of mØma security STOLE “the Banner”!  According to a post-action memee, reps of the Novad(s) recounted the COERCIVE DONATION taking place under the guise of a claim that mØma would not destroy it and “may even hang it up some day.”

In response, the Novad(s) have provided the following letter.  Basic transcription below the jump.

[Part III]

HEY
mØma!
wHy
U STEAL
teh
BANNERz
??
??
:
The Value of
“the Banner”
and of
All
Artistic
Objects
(In Themselves)

for the Art Handlers Union
and for all People Exploited in the Service of Art

…NOTHING AT ALL of monetary value was created on Friday, January 13, 2012, when “the Banner” to which this title refers was dropped in YOUR Museum of Modern Art (hereafter, mØma) in New York City.  But there was something going on in which things occurred.  Let us see if we can understand a few of them.  But first, for some context:

“The Banner” in question was an art object which bore a set of text and images portraying something like the subject of the following:

<on red velvet>
<in whitish blue acrylic>
MOMA:
</in whitish blue acrylic> </on red velvet>
<on black felt> <in white acrylic>
When
</in white acrylic> <in gold acrylic>
Art [curvy, zig-zaggy stylized font]
</in gold acrylic> <in white acrylic>
Is
Just A
</in white acrylic> <in gold acrylic>
<w/ white chalk outline>
<FONT: stylized block-ish>
Luxury
</FONT: stylized block-ish>
</w/ white chalk outline> </in gold acrylic>
<in white acrylic>
“Art”
Is A
</in white acrylic>
<in red acrylic><FONT: block-ish> <b>
LIE
</b> </FONT: block-ish></in red acrylic>
</black felt>
<on orange silky fabric> <in dark blue acrylic>
SOTHEBY’S:
</in dark blue acrylic> </on orange silky fabric>
<black felt>
<in white acrylic>
HANG
(A)RT [circle A, duh!]
NOT [in a diagonal-wise line]
<in chalk> [X-eyed Hangman body strung from roof of the T] </in chalk>
<FONT: something serif>
WORKERS [in a similarly diagonal-wise line]
<in chalk>
[X-eyed Hangman bodies
hang from most edges
of WORKERS, and bodies
piled up under the S]
</in chalk>
</FONT: something serif>
</in white acrylic>
<on black felt> <on red velvet> <in chalk>
[X-eyed Hangman face] </in chalk> <FONT: bubble><b outline> END
YOUR
LOCKOUT
</b outline> </FONT: bubble>
</on red velvet>
</on black felt>
[red
velvet
t
a
s
s
e
l]
+
[a
n
c
i
e
n
t
k
e
y]

[You can find the above-described art object documented in various forms by following these links:

Photo album: “#OCCUPYWALLSTREET MoMA Action”

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3053492618949.166473.1312313911&type=3

YouTube video: #J13 #OCCUPYMUSEUMS #OCCUPYWALLSTREET – MoMA BANNER DROP @ DIEGO RIVERA”

http://youtu.be/xHjGlX-M21c]

“The Banner” was thrown over the glass of mØma‘s 5th floor atrium balcony, on the northwest side.  “The Banner” was unfurled at approximately 7:30 pm (or a few minutes after).  One Mic Check later (which enunciated each word of the sign), and one rousing chant of “All Day, All Week…”, and suddenly “the Banner” was being pulled up by mØma security guards, only about 1 min. after drop.  An account of the dialogue prior to its removal went in the following manner:

“Excuse me, ma’am, you can’t hang that here.”

“Oh really?  I’m sorry, I didn’t know that…”

And, with that, the banner’s holders — names of H and G (and in THAT order!) — were pulled into a down-going elevator and escorted out of the building.  The following is an approximation of their conversation over the course of their trip, based on eye-witness accounts.

LJ Hartman, Director of Security: Oh and we’ve been so nice to you all day…

H: Well, I just got here so I’m not going to say…

LJHDoS: You can’t take that with you.

H: But it’s ours.  Why can’t we keep it?

LJHDoS: Don’t worry, we’ll hold on to it…

G: ….well you have to promise not to destroy it.

LJHDoS: Oh of course not.  We really appreciate artists here at mØma.  This is “art.”  We may even hang it up some day…

[H & G lay the still-wet painted banner out to dry on the floor of a storage area; some minutes later, as they are being ushered toward the door LJ puts in some final words]

LJHDoS: Truth is…it’ll probably just end up hanging in my office.

Thus was “the Banner” coercively donated to the Museum of Modern Art of the City of New York.  And to what end no one yet does know!  What exactly has been accomplished here or therein?  Was there some further victory in receiving the mØma‘s blessings, to collect our piece for its collection of rich and varied treasures?  Despite the fact that “the Banner” had subversively entered and flown in the white hallowed atrium, having foiled the flustered security guards, and disrupted the steady flow of art-consuming tourists who were forced to have their steady gaze broken by an act of spontaneous creativity, the mØma might seem to have GOT OFF scot free.

[This space intentionally left blank.  Take of it what you wish.]

We think NOT.

The words of COERCIVE DONATION! should be heard from the tips of the skyscrapers, down to the gallows of every beast, in the sounds of every hall, and in the walls of every womb.

COERCIVE DONATION!  A process by which the elite have required us to acknowledge their supreme judgment and appreciation of what is OUR ART.

mØma‘s guilt in this act of COERCIVE DONATION!, as in their pocket absolution of Sotheby’s attempts to bust Art Handlers Union, must be repaid!

But NOT in monetary OR contractual obligations.

Rather:

in Respect.

(And perhaps, a donation in kind:

Self-Respect.)

Thus, we finally come to a thesis re: our subject here: i.e. value, viz. the value of “the Banner” and All Artistic Objects (In Themselves).  For 1, if you still think in terms of value of this object by monetary standards, then the answer is simple:

NOTHING AT ALL.

So it is in all objects of art or otherwise.

This thing and these things are both within our minds and without them.

….errr, weird?

They are a set and a set which includes itself!

hmm…errrr…. paradox?

This thing is a set of some thing which even excludes itself!

….aaaagGGHHHHHHHH, TRUTH!


“ART IS NOT BUSINESS!…Art is like white clouds in blue sky!  ART IS CHEAP!”

(Req’d reading: the WHY CHEAP ART? manifesto by Bread & Puppet Glover, Vermont. 1984) <http://www.aisling.net/bus/cheapart.htm>

[Thus,]

what is the value of the object in mØma‘s hands, the pile of rags now sitting somewhere below ground, locked somewhere within the hollow walls?

 

NOTHING AT ALL.

This is not a donation.  This is a message.

What?  Is it so hard to believe???  That object has already passed into the annals of history!  And now, the object’s sole existent purpose and its only relevant value is to resurrect or recall conceptions of what the thing already was!

And yet, do we not have that already?

The thought, the smoke, the motivation, the imagination, the thoughtful consideration, the sketches, the drafts, the hopeful gasps, the assumption, the ambition, the (im?)perfect contrition, the delay, the documentation, the people, the guards, the stress, the pass, the ascent, the sneak, the sight, the ORGASM!, & the speechlessness after, the slow come-down, the thoughts, the fury, the thoughts, the fury….the silence.  Do we not still have all of THAT?

NOTHING AT ALL.

Perhaps there may yet remain some textural flavors which belong to it which cannot be simply be recalled via the photograph, the oral history, the exciting story of how it was smuggled in and dropped from on high!

THUS, must it not be the case that this art MUST BE TOUCHED?  How can the mOma, the King of All “HANDS-OFF! the ‘public art'” institutions, ever claim to legitimately exhibit it?  How can they NOT but mar the value and flaunt their injustice by disrespecting the intention for this ephemeral act-cident of nature?

To paraphrase an apt proverb (often in use today),


FL*OCK the mØma!

They proclaim themselves to be the police, the guardians of our culture!

This is not a donation.

This is NOTHING AT ALL.

This is a curse.

FL*OCK the mØma for STEALING OUR BANNER.

FL*OCK the “GUARDIANS” of OUR CULTURE.

This thing is not worth ANY money (which seems to be the only thing that they can understand).

This is not a donation.

ONLY WE ARE OUR CULTURE;

SO LET US PROTECT IT;

FL*OCK mØma FOR STEALING OUR CULTURE;

WE CAN PROTECT OURSELVES.

FL*OCK the mØma.

WE CAN PROTECT OURSELVES.


Love,

The Novad(s)

P.S. You took this thing.  You took it for the wrong reasons.  It’s up to you to recognize what you did wrong.  We leave it up to you to decide how to right your wrongs.

P.P.S. But perhaps all of this — the denouncements, the demands, the overzealous rhetoric (which even we can recognize – we know we’re in a sadomasochistic relationship with the mØma…but HEY! they created a PERFECT SPACE for us to hang a loooooooongggg-assssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss banner!) — even this can serve as an invitation.  An invitation to recollection, mØma. We want to PLAY with ART!  To Revolution. We want PLAY with ART! To Self-respect. Come out and PLAY with US!!!

P.P.P.S. And also to you, dear reader, wherever you are: consider our capitalist culture of “art”.  Consider what this thing, ANY thing, is really worth.  Because we don’t find anything in it; nothing at all…If

1) you have come this far and,

2) you agree, send a copy of this letter to

 

LJ Hartman, Director of Security

11 West 53 Street,

New York, NY 10019-5497

lj_hartman@moma.org

 

to demand the release of this hostage

(b/c it’s yours TOO!)


 

— Appendices on The mØma Letter’s theoretical-praxis

 

Appendix 1. Part I – abridged introduction to the anarchives
Appendix 2. Part II – Dialogue re: the authenticity of the infamous
mØma folder

 


 

Appendix 1. Part I – abridged introduction to the anarchives

Where an “archive” might falter in this World of the Forgery, the anarchives THRIVE(s)!

Think of the already ancient thing: an object is somewhere placed in a folder.  Marked or unmarked, the object in the folder has now disappeared.  It is GONE.  The folder is physically empty.  This is so in the sense that the object so enfolded has become entirely obsolete.  All that the object now represents is an idea; and the archived object l’objet archivé? which is merely a memento for a memory of a place or thing or MOMENT (or more…) has itself passed into Eternity.  Into Nothingness; the Void.  Upon its entrance into some sort of canonical legacy, the object itself has become its own forgery!


Appendix 2. Part II – Dialogue re: the authenticity of the infamous mØma folder

[open the ancient FedEx envelope* containing the mØma banner drop documents and dump the contents out on to the table.  there are a few things contained therein: two pages with sketches of “the Banner”, one of many Join/Ignore the Teamsters flyers that were dropped into the lobby of the mØma atrium, “Floor Plan and Guide: English” mØma map (with optional future banner drop location(s)!!!!! (see floor 5)), three tickets to mØma’s “Target Free Friday Night” 1/13/2012, business card for LJ Hartman, Director of Security]

[Begin Dialogue!]

Do you see the blue cot bag with the rip in the lip?

Now tell me, do you see the REAL blue cot bag with the rip in the lip?  NOT the dummy bag, which looks exactly the same, but which doesn’t have the “rip in the lip”, but the REAL thing?

No, you don’t.

What difference would it make, if this object were that, or vice versa, from one moment to the next?  No matter whether it is in absolute or relative space and time, the object has become nothing of consequence for it has passed into history, and legend, and myth.

These words are not unrelated, not unconnected, and not ultimately connected in something very important!

…time&space have altered…IT IS now  A CONCEPT.

Thus is the physical passed into the ethereal, making it possible to be conceived and received by collective consciousness.

The physical world just sits out there ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, and it does not quite exist until we “archive” it.  But what if we archived it all…?  What if we were aware that All of It was, and Every Where It is at all times is already worthy of documentation?  What if the “archives” were every thing, every where, every when!

Then this would be the anarchives, par excellence!

And this, the world of the anarchives, is the world in which the forgery can exist without endangering the Truth.  For the truth iS whatever iS there!  Which is nothing at all!  None of this is Real.  Which is why it all iS the way it iS.

Remember this.

[*The thing to which we have alluded REALLY EXISTS.  Definitely believe me.  I’m not joking!]

Wall Street Poetry: A poem to my father

Sadly, ever since the 17th (when they locked down Wall Street because we were going to have too much fun), I have backed off from documenting some of our amazing spontaneous moments of art on Wall Street.  But I forgot to mention this one – hope you enjoy!

Occupy Wall Street: New York FUN Exchange! Get yer Schedule! Get yer Flyer!

well, i stayed up all night producing the New York FUN Exchange flyer… but I’m STILL SUPER AMPED FOR THIS SATURDAY!!!! So many cool things to do – how could people not get excited about this??  Find a PDF copy available for download here!

Check it.

Schedule is below:

Pre- & Post-Fun Exchange
Sept 16, 17, 18 Bike Bloc!
Meet 7 pm @ Tompkins Square Park!

= North Bowling Green
12-2:30 David Rovics sings Songs of Social Significance
12-2:30 Shred your Bank/Student Loan Statement
12-2:30 Face-painting / Flag-making
12-2:30 Street/Subway musicians
1:00 Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir

= South Bowling Green
12-1:00 Standup Lie Down (comedic therapy by )
12:30-1:15 FREE Street Yoga (brought to you by
12:30-1:00 Story Corner
1-3:00 Open Economics Forum – feat discussions by the Michael Abouzelof by Transnational Capitalist Class, the Glass-Steagall act and the American system of credit, Justin Wedes on Tax havens, Christopher Rude on Capitalist production and finance: the difference between interest-bearing and fictitious capital, David Graeber on Debt and Empire.
1:30-1:00 Story Corner: For the kiddies, for the adults. Picture books and adventure stories – Alê will read about Waddy and friends

= Head down to Wall Street and Broad (aka “The [arm] Pit”) to partake in your own spontaneous act of autonomous creativity!
Suggestions: Host an Open Mic!  Have a picnic!  Bring your own beach party!  Do some yoga!  Dress like a Bankster Prankster (you get to act like a punk ALL DAY)!  Unrelatedly, why not Waterballoon the Bankster Prankster (obviously)!

= Roving around (don’t get lost!)
Video interviews – Answer “Why will you occupy?”
Pillow Fight – Make sure you bring your own pillow…and watch out for that sneaking Panda Bear!
Choir gone Renegade: 12:00pm meet-up, warm-up; 12:10 start to sing National anthems, protest songs – look for them on Federal Hall Steps and caroling all around Wall Street area!
Photo-ops: Recreate Banksy’s “Flowertov Cocktail” What is Planking? Contribute your story to the “We Are the 99%” Project
“Make ___, Not War” [brought to you by CodePink]

2:30 PM March to the Assembly: Assemble at South Bowling Green and (hopefully!) reassemble at Chase Plaza for the General Assembly at 3:00 PM!

Why will you occupy Wall Street?

Dear friends,

In discussing the idea of occupying Wall Street, I have brought to light a surprising fact: many are the people interested in the “occupation,” many are also the reasons for why we should do so:

“I will occupy Wall Street to protest a corrupt financial system.”

“…to demand fairer elections.”

“…to manifest the voice and will of the people.”

“…to join with others in building a new world.”

I have been inspired by this diverse community of creative individuals who all feel a specific set of demands, a distinct sense of direction, and a unique source of purpose for participating in the events of September 17, 2011.  But we all want to work together.

These are not the only people who will be there; I do not want these, the people I know, to be the only ones who will be there.  I want you to be there, whoever you are, so the big question that I have been contemplating in my little locked room is,

“Why will YOU occupy Wall Street?”

So what is your message for Wall Street.  I look forward to reading them here and on Wall Street (we’ll film and post it here).  I look forward to hearing from you.

#iWILLoccupy

#occupywallstreet with YOGA

“Occupying” a space can mean more than just sleeping there.  It can mean inhabiting or performing something in an unexpected way; by doing so, we lay claim on the attention of that space.  We can change it.

The masses of tourists on Wall Street make it like a hallway to nowhere, an empty photographic zone.  So when a few people circled up to do yoga on Wall Street today, we made a difference: to the markets, to the security agents, to the people of New York – we humanized that space.  We distributed Bailout Bananas.  And we’ll do it again.

MORE FREE YOGA ON WALL STREET.

We won’t stop doing it until we’re perfectly healthy or we reach the end of forever!

Self-Reflection on 9/11

Wall Street is a location that has been utterly altered by the events of September 11. With all thru traffic closed, it turned Wall Street into a public space that appears to be unlike any other in the city: a pure public space, though one that is constantly in a state of crisis and under threat.  How do we memorialize September 11, 2001 there?  How can we represent the events of that day and their impact today, 10 years later?

In consideration of this, philosopher-poet Bold Jez will be reading and interpreting passages from an interview with the late French philosopher, Jacques Derrida, taken just a few weeks after the terror attacks on the World Trade Center.  After a brief reading, the floor will be open for a discussion of people’s reflections on the events of September 11th, 2001, via personal experiences, memories, and thoughts on the 10th anniversary.

Plan to meet at 1 pm 11:30 am at 23 Wall Street (the building on corner of Wall Street and Broad across from Federal Hall).  All the public will be invited to listen and participate.

“New York Fun Exchange” (aka “Occupy Wall Street”)

Maybe you’ve heard the rumors…September 17…occupy Wall Street…but what is it exactly?  Well, it depends on who you ask; but for some of us artists and cultural creators, it means aesthetically taking back one of the most important public spaces in New York City for the people of New York, for all Americans, and for the fun-loving citizens of the world.

How do we do that?  Well, take a marketplace that, in a post-9/11 world, has been reduced to a boring tourist zone where no one really feels welcome, and open it up to laughter and excitement by making beautiful music/poetry/performances there!  To top it all off, why not invite some real people as well?  (yes real people just like you!)

On September 17, 2011, we are calling for public artists of all varieties to join us – if you can make it or create it in a public space, then we want you there.  We have many activities including spoken word, drum circles, performance pieces, and participatory art planned so far, but all are welcome.

We’re calling it the New York FUN Exchange!  (I almost wish we could call it a “Why Can’t Wall Street (come out and) Play? Fair” but maybe I’m just obsessed with double entendres.) We shall let our glee resound from wall to wall to wall…of the Exchange!

If you would like to coordinate your your own creative adventure with us, please contact DeBored at debordwalk[at]gmail[dot]com with “New York Fun Exchange: Artist” in the subject line.  If you would like to volunteer to help us with our activities, please email DeBored at debordwalk[at]gmail[dot]com with “New York Fun Exchange: Volunteer” in the subject line.

All hands are welcome!  (Also, if you are just waiting around in your room surfing the internet waiting to hear what will actually go down on, maybe just think about coming to find out for yourself.)  Let’s get occupied on Wall Street on September 17!

Make sure you bring your fun-loving puppy too!