The Natural Theatre in the UK has a ‘Street Theatre’ section that I thought was pretty cool:
We don’t perform ‘a show’ but rather people an area with immaculately turned-out, visually striking characters acting out a scenario. Often we are unannounced and at first might blend with the surroundings and passers-by. Gradually our eccentric behaviour becomes noticed and onlookers start pointing and laughing. Eventually the whole street comes to a standstill and the onlookers become willing participants.
It’s a bit like Improv Everywhere, though Improv tends to involve high numbers of volunteer amateurs while this Street Theatre are a few professional actors dressed up playing interesting (and often very weird or out-of-this-world) characters in an attempt at spontaneous guerilla drama. Check out some of their very creative scenes:
Striding in strict formation, these serious looking gentlemen stop in mid-step and freeze for up to five minutes. A crowd gathers to investigate. Suddenly, the freeze is broken with a blood-curdling primal scream. They then continue their progress, repeating the exercise. People love to follow them to watch the reaction of the next unsuspecting audience.
Pointy-headed aliens equipped with the wrong information about Earth, and naively puzzled by the reaction of Earthlings. A traffic-stopping scenario.
Strange, sad, monochrome people creating wistful tableaux as they move slowly and silently down the street. A haunting moment in a busy day.
If you’re in a Gandhi mood today, you may want to pay Joseph Delappe a visit, because he loves Gandhi. Or really admires him. Or something like that. Because for one, he built this incredible 17-feet Gandhi statue (looking somewhat like a video-game character back in the days of Playstation 1 or something – what with the low-polygon count). Not only did he build Gandhi, he’s made an Instructable out of it – so you can make your own Gandhi in your own backyard too!
The reason that he makes it is perhaps somewhat more interesting than the sculpture itself. Joseph has an avatar in the online virtual world Second Life called (guessed it?) MGandhi Chakrabarti:
In March of 2008 me and my Gandhi avatar walked throughout Second Life for 26 days to reenact his famous 1930′s Salt March – the forward steps of my avatar in SL were controlled by me walking in real life on a customized treadmill.
… After walking with Gandhi in Second Life for 240 miles I decided it would be interesting to extract my avatar from this online world and recreate him in monumental scale…the process of creating the 17′ tall cardboard Gandhi using a variety of readily accessible (mostly free!) software tools, cardboard and a hot glue gun. The production of this sculpture took a total of 4 weeks, 6 days a week, 9-11 hour days with the assistance of an intern for two-three days of each week.
Pulitzer Prize winner for editorial cartooning Clay Bennett is an editorial cartoonist on the Christian Science Monitor – some of his comics (I guess this would probably apply to most editorial/political cartooning) are quite astute, and I thought his drawing style was quite nice too – refined and well-colored. My favorites are above.
The Eco-Zoo is a rather interesting website with a very light-hearted touch to be more environmentally friendly. The topic isn’t what you’d term informative or authoritative, though what I really liked is the Flash execution: whimsical, detailed, delightful and unmistakably Japanese. See it for yourself!
Perhaps I should count myself deprived, or maybe just too young or something – when the NYTimes reported on artist Chris Burden constructing a 65-foot tower using stainless steel modular pieces, I was in awe. I’ve never seen or heard about these metal trusses before – and thought ‘Wow, these are like LEGO for grown-up engineers or something”.
It’s inspiring to see these basic building blocks stretched right to its limits:
“The fact that it is both a model and the height of a real building is bizarre,” she said. “It is simultaneously right and wrong from a traditional building perspective. And so it starts to play tricks on you.”
The pieces he used were stainless steel replicas of a toy commonly known as ‘Erector Set’s, which to my surprise was launched almost a hundred years ago back in 1913, and created history by being the very first toy to be advertised nationally.
Wish we’d see more (resurgence) of toys like these. Open-ended, as-challenging-as-your-imagination, and probably encourages kids (and adults!) to take interest, understand and marvel at engineering and construction ideas.
Joe, a talented (graphic artist perhaps?) guy started a a year-long project over at Toy-A-Day recently, where he’d design, construct and post a new paper toy from a basic template each day for one year.
Here are the collections from Day 1 to Day 18 – pretty cool huh? What’s more, some of them are available as down loadable PDFs for your own amusement and handicraft session. With their flat bottoms, they’re perfect for perching on top of your monitor to lift a spirit or two!
Even if the photo itself is probably carefully timed and staged, I couldn’t help but admire the vision of the original graffiti artist who plopped that UFO into that very spot – it certainly shows an eye for seeing and visualizing what isn’t immediately obvious – and with a great sense of humor too!
Erik Nordenankar had an interesting idea – to draw the biggest drawing in the world using nothing but a suitcase of GPS tracking device and the ever reliable DHL:
[On] the 17th of March 2008, I sent away a briefcase containing a GPS device with the express transportation company DHL. I gave them exact travel instructions, where to go and in what order. 55 days later the briefcase returned to Stockholm. The GPS automatically recorded the briefcases’s journey around the world. The information was downloaded to my computer and gave me my drawing. Due to the GPS drawing technique and the magnitude of the drawing, the self portrait had to be made in only one stroke. That giant stroke passed through 6 continents and 62 countries, thus becoming 110664km long.
And here’s the device he sent on voyage:
Can’t make it look more like a ticking briefcase bomb, can you?