Lost in the City
Going out in today’s mail a series of 16 pieces of mail art titled Lost in the City. They include public transportation maps from buses, subways and streetcars. The material also includes San Francisco MUNI transfers and even a subway ticket from Stockholm that I’ve saved since college. It’s the time of the year when our cities are full of adventuresome tourists getting lost in the city.
Public Transportation, mixed media on canvas, 24”x24”
I’ve lived car free since the 1980’s. When I am feeling broke, it’s fun to estimate how much money I have saved over the years by not owning a car. I do drive and rent cars for road trips and also use the car sharing service zipcar. There are times I want to do suburban shopping errands as well as other times when a car makes life easier. Living in a compact city with decent public transportation makes it all possible. Out of both necessity and some genuine admiration, I love public transportation.
When I travel to different cities I always seek out the adventure of public transportation. There is something magical about emerging from a subway station in a strange city for the first time. I still can remember the moment I emerged onto a Barcelona street and beheld Gaudí’s la Sagrada Família. Many of my dreams play out on public transportation. I often dream about stations and trains over and over for months before I first see them. This has happened for me in places like Frankfurt and Washington, D.C.
This new piece is made up of public transportation maps from around the world. From my familiar MUNI and BART to DC’s Metro, to London’s Underground and many more. You also might spot a few bits of MUNI Fastpasses, transfers and BART tickets. I also have a DC Metro Ticket with President Obama on it. That one stayed on the refrigerator door. I couldn’t cut that one up.
Prints and other goodies based on Public Transportation are also available from Society 6.
April 13, 2011 – Crazy Chick
Every time you sit down on BART you can’t think about it. You don’t want to know what lurks in those upholstered seats. It would be best not to read the New York Times article about BART seats and bacteria (I told you not read it). Sometimes when you sit down on BART, you know that a crazy person was there before you. These are the times you find a little comic book left for you on the seat from Chick Publications.
Chick Publications are the car crashes of religious fundamentalism. You can’t help but look. They are truly vile. They are perfect examples of the sort of hate and bigotry that zealots do so well. And as awful as they are, just like McDonalds and Jerry Springer, I secretly like them. They are so gross and yet hilarious. It’s tricky to parody Chick, as they parody themselves. That said, in the 1990’s the San Francisco comedian and performer David Hawkins created a play based on Chick Publications. The play remains one of the all time best underground theatre pieces ever done in the City.
You never know where you’ll find one, so keep your eyes out. The funny thing is I never see Chick Publications left on MUNI. There is no lack of crazies on MUNI, I wonder if the folks at Chick have ceded the turf to Mormon Missionaries.