Wednesday, May 18, 2016

let's play polo: a long overdue recap

I have two new projects that kind of fall under my umbrella of "social practice art" in that I'm trying to get other folks, in one of the two projects other artists specifically, to participate in some way. But before I launch those here, I wanted to, at long last, compile a quick recap of #letsplaypolo as it unfolded on October 10, 2015.

In short, participation was light, as these projects tend to be for me lately. But a handful of folks went along with it, and I'm much appreciative of they're being game to do so. Here are some pictures from the day.

Locally, we teamed up with another family - so there were 9 of us in total, all in matching yellow polo tops - at the Oakland Museum of California.

I saw one other person, not in our group, wearing a yellow polo, but didn't act quickly enough to capture it on camera. And of course I have no way of knowing if he was participating intentionally or if it was a coincidence.

I'm still deciding if I want something like this to be an annual thing. Check back soon for those other two projects I hinted at above!

Friday, September 25, 2015

let's play polo: let's go shopping!

So where does one purchase a yellow polo? Obviously if you already have one, you're all set! If you don't and/or if you're buying for a friend or family member(s) to accompany you on October 10th, here are some suggestions:
  1. Online: lots of options online if you do a simple search for something like "where to buy yellow polo shirt". I'm seeing some solid examples from Adidas, Land's End, Nike, Ralph Lauren, and department store options such as Land's End via JCPenney. You can also find a lot of these options on Amazon.
  2. To that end you can also actually go shopping. This isn't something I have a lot of time for, especially with two kids in tow at most times, but I hear it's still done. A mall with both department stores like Macy's or Sears and clothing retailers like H&M are probably your best bet. And there's always Target. The downside here is you may spend a fair amount of time searching for a specifically yellow polo shirt (vs. just buying one online). Anecdotally speaking, I was at UNIQLO recently and while they had polo shirts, I saw zero yellow ones.
  3. Make the rounds to your local thrift stores - consignment shops, Goodwill, etc. - to try to find something used.
  4. Vintage!
Image courtesy of FachyFlash on Etsy - link in suggestion #4, above.

I hope that helps. If you have suggestions, share them in the comments or on the event's Facebook page.

Friday, September 11, 2015

let's play polo: hijacking hashtags

One side-effect of this project that I'm really enjoying is using social media hashtags already used for something else. #letsplaypolo is used by people actually playing polo! Imagine that.

The more people participate, the more interesting this little side-effect will be. Join along on the event's Facebook page and share with your friends. I'm personally planning on "attending" (October 10th at any museum/gallery of your choice - take pictures!) with at least one other family so there will potentially be 9 of us in yellow polos. I can't wait.

PS - more on where to get your yellow polo in a near-future post! Stay tuned...

Monday, August 31, 2015

Let's play polo: you down with SPP?

I wanted to keep my introduction to this project as short and sweet as possible, but I have a few ideas I'd like to introduce or elaborate on here between now and October 10. Since grad school I've been interested in projects that occur at least in part under the umbrella of "social practice", particularly the participatory nature of many social practice art projects. More recently, I'm further intrigued by the intersection of these kinds of projects with ideas around "creative placemaking", which is a far broader term that applies to much more than the visual arts.
"Placemaking is a process, accessible to anyone, that allows peoples’ creativity to emerge. When it is open and inclusive, this process can be extraordinarily effective in making people feel attached to the places where they live. That, in turn, makes people more likely to get involved, and to build shared wealth in their communities."
On "social practice placemaking" (SPP) then, Cara Courage notes "the agency of such projects to galvanise people around arts and place." In this way, this project continues my exploration of the complex idea of place, coupled with a growing interest in community, both literally and figuratively.

You can help put the en masse into dressing up and going somewhere en masse! Join on the event's Facebook page and share your reasons and photos there, via email, and on social media using #letsplaypolo and/or #artmacro.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Let's play polo! A call for participation.

While visiting the Tate Modern in London in 2007, the visit took on a new dimension when I noticed that several of the other art-watchers were dressed exactly as my husband: jeans with a yellow polo shirt. It was as if, on that day, the uniform of a museum visitor was a yellow polo shirt. I quickly captured a few moments of this coincidence in photo. Suddenly, art spectators had become art participants. But then again, aren't they always? As this was happening, I wished I could do more than share the photos, but that I could share the experience of being in that space and feeling like we had become the art.

On October 10, 2015, I invite you to help me recreate this serendipitous event in a deliberate way but on a much grander scale by visiting a museum dressed in a yellow polo shirt, documenting your experience, and sharing it. Why? Let's disrupt the conservatism of museums with a playful "demand" for practices that challenge the boundary between art and spectator. Let's celebrate participatory, social art practice in the space where art is "at home." Personally, aside from being a fun excuse to visit a museum and support artists, I look forward to slightly embarrassing myself for my art!

At least, those are my reasons for doing this. Want to participate but for different reasons? I'd love to hear yours. Share them along with your photos, via email, on the event's Facebook page, and on social media using the hashtag #letsplaypolo and/or #artmacro.

Friday, September 10, 2010

introductions and yellow polos

I started this blog a couple of years ago and only remembered it recently because I came across a stack of calling cards I had printed with the image you see to your right on the front and the blog address on the back. I actually had to look up macro to refresh my memory as to what exactly my point was. I'm still not sure. I think it had something to do with recently receiving my MFA and feeling frustrated at the lack of teaching and exhibition opportunities and the general mystery of how to get from point A (terminal degree in studio art) to point B (cushy tenure-track teaching gig). I think, perhaps, I wanted to use this blog to get to the bottom of my love/hate relationship with the art world. And maybe have a good laugh in the process.

After two years of trying unsuccessfully to land any kind of teaching gig I officially (I declared it on Twitter, that's how) ended all efforts to woo the academic art community. I embraced my crafter identity and became a bit of an accidental entrepreneur (it's better than waiting tables, if you ask me). While I've been busy making stuff, I haven't really made any art, per se, for, oh, going on three years now. I thought maybe I was okay with that. Until recently. A growing urge to get back into the studio inspired a partial takeover of the garage and a good rifling through of several boxes of materials leftover from grad school art projects, including the cards that coordinate with this poorly planned blog project. At this point, I'm feeling pretty good about my "lifer" artist status. I'm in it for life, so I guess it's okay if I'm going through a bit of a dry spell. Right?

Anyway, ultimately I think I wanted to find the humor in all of these art world shenanigans, even as I find myself moving farther and farther away from the art world. The stuff we laugh at is usually unofficial, on the periphery, captured in the images taken at an art opening. So here goes.

Research for my thesis project took me to London, where I visited the Tate Modern one day and witnessed not one, but two other visitors dressed exactly as my husband.

And, who knows, there might have been more lads dressed like this but after the second image was captured I was promptly scolded for taking pictures. Could it be that contemporary art is ideally viewed while sporting a casual combo of denim and yellow polo?