Fake trivia books planted in book stores.
Fake trivia books planted in book stores.
In 2012 I collaborated with with Coca Cola for an international ad campaign. We filmed in Buenos Aires, hanging swings around the city. The aim of the campaign is to showcase real people from around the world who perform “Random Acts of Kindness.” It was directed by Henry Alex Rubin, who directed the Oscar nominated (Best Documentary) Murderball, and was filmed over the course of about six months in as many countries.
My profile piece:
Here’s English language version of the commercial:
I collaborated with Coca Cola to create a one day event community throughout Latin America. Simultaneous events were hosted in cities in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Mexico. Billed as a day of bonding, food, music, swing materials and professional instruction were provided to the community so that they could hang swings in the parks and plazas. I hosted the event in Mexico City and spoke to the crowd, before joining in and installing swings.
After giving a newspaper stand a makeover and some wooden shelves it was installed on a San Francisco corner in order to test the viability of a free, non-curated, book exchange. Ideally, it remains cared for and in use, and like a community garden, fosters a sense of ownership and consideration, reminding the anonymous city dweller that they live in a community with neighbors.
The box has been going strong for four years now with no help from me. People in the community have repainted it after it was vandalized and have installed replacement shelving. It’s worse for wear, but remains surprisingly cared for, used and resilient.
I was asked to speak at the 2011 TEDx Brisbane on my swing project. [To learn more about TED Talks, go here] Having just returned five days prior from a month of hanging swings in Bolivia, I focused most of my seventeen minute talk on that recent adventure and then wrapped it up by showing five minutes of freshly cut Bolivia footage.
In Bolivia we hung swings at homes for families, in plazas, and most unexpectedly, in dilapidated old swing set frames– none of which had swings when we found them. The project was filmed for what will eventually be a documentary and was funded via Kickstarter. [with Drew Hartley & Stacy Keck]
Here’s a 15 min trial edit of our time there.
A pen, pre-stamped envelopes, blank Mother’s Day cards, and small, glossy pictures of flowers. That was the inventory of each kiosk that we made, which we then installed on the San Francisco streets– each one placed next to a USPS mail box. Reminders of the price (“Free!”) and to, “Wish your Mom a happy Mother’s Day,” were liberally strewn about each box. [With David Harmatz]
Following a very successful installation in Los Angeles, Andrew Hartley and I sought funding via Kickstarter to spend a month in Bolivia hanging swings and documenting the process. We reached our funding goal very quickly and the trip was a victory by any measure. Work on the documentary is ongoing.
The Los Angeles chapter of The Awesome Foundation awarded me a $1000 grant to bring my swing installation down to their city. Over one weekend we installed 50 swings across the city and filmed the process. For the foundation’s award party we assembled, on the rooftop, a swing set from beams which I’d constructed ahead of time in San Francisco. [with Andrew Hartley]
Tiny doors installed into the recesses and alleys, meant to arouse a sense of wonder and mystery and to heighten the awareness of passersby, so they might examine their surroundings a little more intently. The doors were made by me, my friends, and by artists around the country, including an entire sculpture class at Yale, courtesy of their professor and my friend, Scott Braun.
We spent one Saturday wandering San Francisco with a backpack of rope and wood planks, installing swings and goading passersby into trying them out. It was an immensely positive experience with tremendous feedback that has completely shaped my approach to interactive and public installations. [with Jarrett Klein and Bob Wall]
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