(A) Museum : Canonical Art
(B) Biennale : Artists
(C) Art school : Art Students
(D) Hot Dog Stand : Ideas
(E) Who gives : a sh*t?
Art is to…ah, nevermind. Analogies probably should stay in the deep recesses of the mind never to be dug up again but I couldn’t resist. Did you know that the revised GRE General Test will no longer have antonyms or analogies? Art and hot dogs? Yes. There’s a point.
Some things go, albeit strangely, together. For example, Art and hot dogs probably don’t spark the synapses in your brain at this moment. For the true art snob, the synapses are probably misfiring. Then again, anything is possible and some things aren’t as strange as you think. Rather, a diversified perspective. Okay, so, maybe bitter melon and hot chocolate wouldn’t exactly make a great pair but there’s something for everyone. Being a huge proponent of bridging people and cultures, it’s always a treat to highlight organizations that foster community and participatory art. One of the places in San Francisco that has been around for a good number of years is Frankenart Mart.
From their Itinerant Poetry Librarian to their Free Hot Dog Days (yes, Vegetarians and Vegans, there is something for us as well), Frankenart Mart plays on the idea that, like a hot dog cart, art can be served up in tasty doses enticing the public to make frequent stops (even for a few minutes) and notice what they may have never noticed before (about themselves or their environment and all through an art lens). It’s all in the noticing. The space is small BUT the concept is huge (and successful). Nestled in the Richmond District of San Francisco, it’s a neighborhood gem. Yet, the location is a part of its charm. Everything in the Mart, requires the visitor/participant to redefine art simultaneously participating in the creative process. Conceptually, it’s a testament to San Francisco’s fertile art ground, which reminds me, I need to pay the Mart a visit. Maybe, even make something because Me : Art : Ideas : Me : You : Art : Ideas : You (ad infinitum).
Writing letters, drawing, doodling, and even your handwriting can become art. The documentary 1000 Journals includes interviews with individuals who have received and/or given away blank journals. The creator of the project, Someguy (yes, this is the name he goes by) is based in San Francisco thus tugging a bit at my heart-strings since I call this great city home. The distribution and circulation of the journals has been ongoing since 2000 and it has expanded to 1001 Journals! The journals have gone all over the United States as well as 35 other countries (if I recall correctly). As the journals traverse the world, it’s fun thinking about where they’ve gone and all the types of individuals that have filled the pages.
I’m actually working on a project for Valentine’s day at the moment and hoping to get it done within the next few days. Of course, now that I’ve mentioned it, I have no choice but to finish it, which is a great thing. I’m pretty excited about it. In any case, my project, primarily, is based on tons of doodling (that would otherwise be in my journal). Seriously, like many people, letting go of my drawings and doodling has been made easier now since I’ve learned more about the 1000 Journals project. As I watched the documentary (which kept skipping due to a bad disk – does anyone use the word ‘disk’ anymore? I digress!), it occurred to me that many people wouldn’t consider themselves artists or creative but there’s something, intrinsically, that makes people want more in life. People want to be more than their job, more than the money they make, and to be more than what another person thinks they are. This wanting more involves the creative spark. Trust me, even mathematicians and scientists need to be creative when looking critically at problems. Likewise, artists must problem solve when they are creating art work.
One of the most wonderful aspects of the 1000 Journals project is the idea of impermanence. The act of letting go of what you have created can be difficult. Yet, knowing there are others that have created something from their unique experiences and perceptions of the world is pretty extraordinary. I highly recommend looking at the 1000 Journals project and maybe put in a request to receive and pass a journal onto another person. Whether you create something dark, happy, sardonic, scathing, highly rendered, classical, abstract and/or write in the journal, it would be exciting to see what other stories are out there in the world. 🙂