Friday, September 14, 2012

Artists Continue to be Creative

A call went out from the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) via ArtEngine a couple weeks ago whereby three artists were sought, each to create an art installation suitable for a park setting. The stated  themes were, Harper Hates Us, and/or We Are All Affected. These refer to the thousands of people who've lost their government jobs, 50% of StatsCan, alone, more than 19,000 civil service jobs in all. PSAC is the union representing many of these workers and has called for a National Day of Action which should result in a huge rally at Confederation Park in Ottawa. Cities across Canada will be holding similar rallies.

Fisheye effect.
I saw the request and immediately submitted my idea which was to create a pinata comprised of keyboards, partly because I am a keyboard artist and partly because the government rises and falls on the output of more than a million computers across the nation.

My original idea was to create a keyboard pinata  by cable-tieing six keyboards to form a loose box that would then be stuffed with pink slips, universal symbol of getting the sack. This would then be suspended and people would be invited to strike it in order to make the pink slips rain down. This may have worked only there is nowhere to suspend the pinata from at the park and having people flail about in a crowd might have been asking for problems.

I have ended up keeping the keyboard pinata, four keyboards affixed to a reinforced cardboard box with printed circuit acetates on the sides, and then went on to create hundreds of pink slips attached to ribbons which have then been glued to two inverted keyboards. This is a variation on the strike-and-break pinata. Some pinatas do have strings or ribbons attached, one of which will release the contents. But in this case, all cords have a pink slip attached, in keeping with the theme, We Are All Affected.

The addition of signs in red and black, overlaid with urethane that had glitter suspended in it completes the installation.

What is interesting about this project is that I am, apparently, the only artist who applied. The timeline was short, less than two weeks, but the PSAC people easy to work with and talk about wonderful exposure.
I am happy to be involved. 
Tassels are glued along the top edge which will look fabulous when the wind blows.
Before the glitter and tassels
The keyboard pinata atop its six-foot high perch.