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!
This Levi’s ad has been making rounds about the internetz. I think people are as much appreciative of the artful nature of this ad as they are confused about how to respond to commercials that pose themselves as art.
In a note from pronoblem on the Fluxus Fluxlist, a passage from David Foster Wallace was quoted from “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”:
“… advertisement that pretends to be art is, at absolute best, like somebody who smiles warmly at you only because he wants something from you. This is dishonest, but what’s sinister is the cumulative effect that such dishonesty has on us: since it offers a perfect facsimile or simulacrum of goodwill without goodwill’s real spirit, it messes with our heads and eventually starts upping our defenses even in cases of genuine smiles and real art and true goodwill. It makes us feel confused and lonely and impotent and angry and scared. It causes despair.”
I hear that. For my own part, the combination of “revolutionary” type scenes with model hipster crap makes me want to die. Even if we sympathetically presume that Levi’s supports popular struggles going on in the world, they are using it to sell MORE FUCKING JEANS. So thanx fer yer support, corporate friends!
p.s. And yet, is it hypocritical for me to like Andy Warhol? What are the valuable distinctions between these two figures: Levi’s and Andy Warhol? The art world and big money have been overlapping for decades…perhaps what makes this most recent attempt disturbing is the co-opting of poetry to sell a commodity. Poetry can hardly sell itself most of the time, which maybe explains why it feels wrong for it to be used in service of a commercial.
Who are these vandals? Who are these menaces? Who are these outcasts, who have marred the beauty of the beautiful sidewalk by our beautiful fountain in our beautiful park?
Well…let me tell you…
We are the 99%. We are the remainder in your equation, the one that calculates the markets based only on an optimal outcome — and only optimal to some, the few who control 35% of this country’s wealth. The few who attack socially-responsible economics as radical-commie-socialism. The few who attackparticipatory democratic politics as lefty-anarchist-utopianism. The few of you who as you gather more and more wealth to you, you become fewer and fewer and undermine the source of justified power.
And while you become fewer, we become stronger. We become more, we become many, we become a movement that is stronger than you can imagine. And when we come together on Wall Street that day, then there shall be a time for us, the 99%, the crowd, the polis, the People, to truly identify ourselves. For despite the world’s ever-rushing onwards into oblivion, WE shall make TIME for ourselves.
But there is only enough time before a strength reserved, a strength deferred becomes a strength that is broken and withered.
Will YOU, fellow members of the 99%, answer this call? Why will YOU #occupyWallStreet? And WHERE? As we believe that Wall Street is ALL streets, where will YOU choose to be on September 17?
Posted in poetry
Tagged art, democracy, economics, income inequality, occupy, occupy wall street, photography, poetry, politics, september 17, sidewalk, sidewalk chalk, take the square, wall street
Date: 8/22/2011, ~11 am. Location: Wall Street, New York, NY
Performer: Bold Jez
I want you to turn to that alarm clock next to your head and BREAK the snooze! Now look at your Hands! These are Your Hands. I want you to recognize that these are Your Hands, which have been oh so gradually alienated from your own bodies. These are the Hands that move the Market. And these are like those hands that have taken our streets and claimed them for their private property.
WALL STREET IS ALL STREETS.
ALL STREETS ARE WALL STREET.
And whose streets are ALL STREETS? OUR STREETS.
So whose street is WALL STREET? Our street.
We are here RIGHT NOW. It’s time to kill the Protestor inside your head who says, I’m tired – the one who says: …we have done enough…i’m tired…I’m ready to take off my shoes… But the SHOES don’t come off before the GLOVES!
you don’t want to be sleeping when the rEvolution comes.
you don’t want to be looking for your Hands when the rEvolution comes.
you don’t want to find out that you can’t see them because you’re sleeping, because you’re in happee dreamee land.
We’re here to humanize the market. We’re here to overpopulate this system. We’re here to falsify their currency.
So many of us have learned too much from this life, learned to fear our own dreams. The truth is, this is all just a dream. We are dreaming it together.
TELL WALL STREET!
Posted in poetry
Tagged art, capitalism, dreams, hands, market, occupy, occupy wall street, performance art, poetry, revolution, wall street