In our work, we’re always looking a bit closer at what’s around us, and always trying to make sense of what we see. Of course, we won’t always have the answers, but we find a lot of value in at least asking the question. We hope you will as well.
This is not a door
When is a door not a door? When the sign on it clearly states “Do not Touch, Pull, or Use This Door. Thank You!” I came across this (not a) door during a recent fieldwork trip to New York City, where I found myself invariably studying every door I walked by because they all seemed to have great stories to tell. Sadly, this story is one of inability to fulfill one’s useful purpose. What is a door if it is not a portal to some other place; a threshold to cross? Now it is a wall, and a window. I wonder if it will be repaired or replaced or reframed as an aesthetic relic that will remain in its present location and state of dysfunction.
I wish I was flat
This television was hanging out on the sidewalk in the Mission, right here in San Francisco. I am curious who labeled this anthropomorphized electronic with feelings of inadequacy. It could have been added by a passerby; a reflective commentary on the choice by the TV’s previous owner to upgrade and abandon. In fact, a man passing me as I shot this picture told me “I love rich people, man! They throw away the greatest stuff. I got a vacuum cleaner last week that works perfect.” Or maybe the words were put there by the person who left that unsatisfying TV on the street. A “Dear John” letter from consumer to consumed: It’s not me, it’s you.
Irish fuel tanker
When visiting Dublin, I was prepared for (and delighted to experience) all Guinness, all the time. What I didn’t realize was the supporting infrastructure required to make that happen. They’ve got tanker trucks of the stuff rolling down the street to meet the demand.
Kony on the street
Just days after the Kony 2012 video went viral, hitting the national media, images of the dictator appeared as stencil art on the streets of Austin. From Facebook and YouTube, the story touched the activism (or some say slacktivism) nerve. But what meaning is implied or inferred when the medium changes? Stencil art is hip, ironic, anti-mainstream. The street art form has none of the outrage of the previous forms. Is the previously unknown Kony now accorded folk hero status?