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Tag Archives: A Thousand Paper Cranes

Ballet Society Paper Cranes Video

Hey All!

I put together a video about the work the Ballet Society of Colorado Springs was doing to raise awareness and donations for Japan. They were inspired by my thousand paper crane project that was in the news and decided they were going to do their own project as well. I’m thrilled that they were inspired. Take a look at this first run of my video.

 

 

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The Debate About Public Art

I’ve recently been involved in the makings of a fiasco. That’s right, I encouraged people to debate what is good and bad about public displays of art. I encouraged the debate about whether permission is necessary in promoting art, in encouraging good will, and in displaying installed art in locations that seem public but are actually privately regulated.

I created a piece of art that consisted of 20 chains strung along thread and fishing line and containing constructed Japanese paper cranes, QR codes, and strips of paper. I was inspired by the legend of a thousand paper cranes. An old Japanese legend said that anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes so pleases the gods, the folder is granted a wish. A thousand paper cranes can be given as good luck, and to me this gesture symbolized good will.
This effort was concerning donations to be given to the Red Cross to aid Japan. I wanted to help in some way. I wanted to encourage others to help. I wanted to spread good will and generosity. I wanted to give. My time. My energy. My money. So I did. There were a thousand paper cranes. There were paper boxes on which were printed Quick Response codes that directed smart phone users to the Red Cross informational site about donations made via text message. There were strips of paper containing instructions on how to text donations and regarding following the link on the barcode provided to obtain more information. I wanted people to know that they could feel secure about donating money, and if they didn’t they could look up this website I’d provided for more information. I chose this particular avenue of donations because texting to help through the Red Cross had been utilized during the Haiti disaster and would have some familiarity with people. I provided more information than may have been necessary so that people would feel comfortable with their donation, because I was aware of the fraud happening around some of these donations sites. I made a concerted effort to make this as benign as possible. As well as obvious…

In this regard I wonder what was security at the Denver Art Museum thinking when they took down the piece. I hung my piece here because I knew it would be seen by a large number and variety of people. I hung my project here because it appeared to be a public space that might encourage public art. I understand following policy in dealing with these things, but it seemed that the security at the Denver Art Museum acted without consulting anyone. The Denver Post covered this story in an article the following day. http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_17677592

Within this article a museum spokesperson is quoted as saying, “We sometimes get graffiti-bombed or have things added to our outdoor sculpture,” Pritchard said. “I have a feeling (security) didn’t realize it was an art installation or for the Red Cross.”

Now it was pretty obvious what the installation was and what it was promoting. It may have taken a moment to look at it to understand it, but it really was obvious. I am not passing judgment either way, but I do question what actually happened. Was no consideration given to what the installation was? Was it simply lumped into a category of anything that hasn’t been given permission to be there? I believe that it was, given that it fell under the umbrella of “policy”. I do take issue with the slanderous use of the word “policy”. Policy does not lord over us. It doesn’t necessitate a loss of consciousness or thought. It provides a guideline to fall back on, to reference. I take issue with blaming “policy” for anything. A guideline does not do anything on its on accord. And the Denver Art Museum agrees with me. They told me after meeting with them that they are now reworking their policies so that they have more thought and process behind them in this sort of situation. I made an impact on the Denver Art Museum in a profound way, and I’m proud of that.

I am not angry about the destruction of the project. It was not meant to be permanent. It was meant to provide inspiration and encourage action for only as long as the element it around saw fit. Further, I have contacted the art museum in an effort to make amends. I participated in their Untitled event this month in teaching others to create paper cranes, and in turn received help in reaching my goal of recreating the thousand crane project. I have also met with the museum in order to discuss my rehanging the project on their property. They turned down my offer to rehang the project as I had before. They have been supportive of helping me find another venue, and in working with me in other ways. I’m grateful for that. I’ve made an impact with the museum and that is a good thing.

I also made an impact on the community, and perhaps even around the country at some level. I was flattered by some of the comparisons made in the blog on the Westward site. QR Code press.com flattered me with praise for using QR codes creatively. I’m also mentioned in the following blogs: DesignMeTheWorldBlog, Barcoding Blog Incorporated, Urban Paint Brush, and many others.

I want to rebuild the paper crane project, and I’d like to display it in Denver again. My hope was to raise money and awareness for Japan, and I am still hoping to do that. I’m in the process of finding a new place, as well as pursuing possible sponsors. If you’d like to help make paper cranes, I’m also collecting those. Thanks for all the support. Enjoy the photos I took that morning before the project came down…

 

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