Usually when I use “meet” in a things worth post title, it’s because the post is an interview and I like to feel like I’m introducing the people who were nice enough to answer my questions. But this one’s about me and a crazy goal I have to get everyone, everywhere talking about art. That’s also the reason why the posts here have been so nonexistent for the past few weeks.
I’ve been documenting San Francisco’s public art since August in a project I call WanderArt — something that will eventually grow into an art map, detailing every public artwork, gallery, and business that features the work of local artists on their walls. Basically, it’s a location-oriented database of art in the public space, and it’ll track our changing opinions of it — something that’s now possible thanks to social technology that can lead people to every artwork outside at any given time.
There is a lot of public art in SF, and I’ve barely even started.
But I have to document all of it because this art is so important; it belongs to all of us and could brighten any one’s day at any given time if they just stopped and looked. Which is why you’ll only be able to comment or vote on works in the database if you’ve ‘checked-in’ to the work’s location. You have to be standing right in front of it, so that every comment you see is from someone who was actually there, creating a physical (but not creepy) connection between people who have shared the experience of considering the work before them.
The photos in each database entry will be shown in order according to the number of votes they have (yay democracy!), and to balance the scales, you’ll only be able to vote on these photos while you’re online, or not checked-in — because you can’t really judge how well the photos give you a sense of an artwork when it’s right there in front of you.
Basically, I just want people to see the art around them — the works they pass everyday, and I want them to be able to find more right around the corner if they ever felt the urge. Because it’s beautiful and it’s free to see.
Everything I’ve ever written, especially here on this blog, has gradually led me to this idea, and I could not be more determined to make it happen. I’m starting in San Francisco, and it’s turned out to be the perfect place because everything is just so freaking scenic all the time. Want to join? Email me to get started wandering in the Bay Area or start your town’s art documentation movement.
If you’re a fan of public or street art, please do any (or all!) of the following: