The Empire State Building
or, The Experimental Everyman Empire Project
May 27th to June 2nd, 2010
At first I was just walking then I started taking pictures then it all fell apart when I shot some video, now I think I have the start of a whole film of the footage, the wheels of creation never stop! curse them.
orginial proposal below
The Empire State Building
or, The Experimental Everyman Empire Project
May 27th to June 2nd, 2010
Man With Empire State Building photo Marni Kotak, 5,29.2010
For the course of seven days, starting with my 38th birthday, I will spend the better part of the day, the majority of my waking life exploring the five boroughs of the city that has been my home for the last ten years, traveling only as a pedestrian or with public transport . The whole while I will be slightly burdened with the Empire State Building. Actually an oversized incomplete poorly-constructed scale paperboard model of the Empire State Building.
I need you and only you to:
1. get the word out ...
2. if you see me take a photo and upload it.
3. Make sure you label it
"The Man With the Empire State Building"
While walking the city, I will be taking photos and shooting video they can be seen here-> Updated Photos
Man with the Empire State Building,by My Dad, age 74, cell phone still, Brooklyn, NY. 2010
Bedford Ave. May 30th, 2010
If would like to contact me directly in regards to taking my picutre please do so.I am happy to meet you anywhere in the city to take the photo(s). Think Big, you want the Man with the Empire State Building to walk in the background of your film, come to your party, stop by your workplace for a visit, just ask, If it is in New York City, I am there.
And who am I? I am a person, just like you, a human being who has been living a life and...
I AM STILL HERE.
Which I did not do in the first place.
Hey you still here?
This project is a conceptual social experiment dealing with:
Oh Hey check this out!
That's right: Cool, Tom Sachs sez so....
For a long time I have suffered under the yoke of the endless creative potential of the city, anything and everything can be art, the endless piles of rubbish, thrown out household items, random pieces of garbage could be a unknown vintage fetish that equals cold hard cash, lost nostalgic treasures like that old 1976 Playboy, PawPaw left under that rusted old monkey wench, in the garage after he passed, it like everything else could be the seed of a new invention, or maybe just something useful I could use in my life. It never ends, the overwhelming flood of materials, being made, used, loved, damaged, replaced, thrown out. And it all gets recycled in darken corners of nowhere and nobody warehouses, tucked in cozy corners of Greenpoint and Long Island City, the lower intestine of the Capital of the World.
And the people, all going about there wonderful roles in this vast theater piece we call reality. Think of your life as a movie, could you have created better characters, than the actual people in your life? Who could have imaged your parents and how they meet and brought you into the world, Right, no one could have ever conceived of your life. Now, look at the city, every oddly dressed subway rider, every chance encounter with another person on the streets could yield a potential photograph and idea for a drawings, perhaps a masterpiece. Those random utterances you speak as I pass by, could spark whole universes of epic proportions.
I have actually seen God at the Union Square Station. He is doing the best he can to fit in wearing a three-piece suit covered in rainbow paisley patterned fabric with a matching pork pie hat and walking stick. He is about 56 years old, asian, pacific islander, or maybe siberia, with a long kung fu master beard reaching his belt buckle.
We are all drowning in a current of life, life that is creating another new life form: information. What are we? Apes that have been taken over by information, information that is creating more information.
The White Feather Octopus, a Living Document that you are reading as I write it.
It is all happening in real time. We all know that winning lottery numbers ghostly dance upon the signage of the city, right in the corner of your eye, awaiting your and only your special notice, here play these ones today 3497.
Let's go all crazy William Blake on this system, and see what happens!
Now I start taking matters into my own, going the other way the old Left Hand of Darkness, with this whole system, this spectrum of interaction and material exchange.
Alternative Image Generation System
I the artist will not be creating these artworks, you will be the ones choosing to create or not. I will simply be a Man With the Empire State Building going for a long walk everyday. If you chose to take part in my project I ask that you take a picture or shoot video of me if you see me on the street. Then once you have do so, please upload the images and/or video to an online image management site such as Flickr (avoid the e), or Social Networking sites you know the one, any blogs that you post to, and any and all internet based forms of expression. You know what I mean, the INTERNET, all that stuff, I want to see somebody put this on Second Life! I dare you, make sure it is awesome, before you send it to me.
I want to see these images. I want to see your images, The Man With the Empire State Building work of Art, with a capital A by little old you. Together we can generate a whole catalog of images and experiences. Can we effect culture at all? Are we powerless or powerful? does the Internet work, with old fashion Will to Power, Is this text an attempt at Alchemy? Yes.
Economical Method to Document the Project
If the experiment is successful then a myriad of photos and video with be created and uploaded to open online resources. You know how much time and energy artist waste documenting everything thing they do? And I do mean everything, it just never ends, ART, in all caps, is right there ready to jump out into the spot light.
Rooftop Jackson Pollack, 2010
All you have to do is be the artist, be the one who sees the world in a new and different way, more better still make us all remember something we had forgotten, can you do that chief? And doing art is not enough, you have to have a record of it all, you have to show your work, do the math, show every little aspect of that creative moment in your creative magical life.
Surveillance Feedback Test
We are being told that we are being watched everywhere now, that there are electronic eyes recording everything we do, really, and who is watching and archiving all this footage. I bet most of it get dumped or purged, or lost in the absurd storage of such materials.
All it takes is a few well placed cameras and a taser gun, to create a media event. Many people walking the streets of New York are caring digital cameras, and almost everyone has a camera telephone, that allow inexpensive digital photography and video creation for every person that wishes to take a hand at it.
In other words We are all being photographed and taking photos of others, taking videos of everything and everyone, all day, any day we leave our homes, and many times while we are still in our homes. If this is true then I should be able to get back a few images of myself walking around the city caring the Empire State Building. I like having my picture taken, but I want to see it, it makes me remember it better. Like the picture at the end of the roller coaster water slide.
I can not do this with out you. I need you who are reading this to do two things; help promote the project! Repost this information on your social networking sites. Second If you see me take my picture or video, The title and any tags for the photo/video should always be The Man with the Empire State Building, only works with that title are actual works of art by me and yourself for this project. All you have to do is pass on this page to anyone that might help the project, the media, press, Big Swifty and Associates, you know the score. Trust No One Claudius!
And if you are actually in New York and see me take a picture, say hi to me, show me your tattoo, buy me a beer. I plan on visiting people while I am doing this, maybe I'll visit you.
I plan to have no money or means to get money on my person during my walks. All I will have is keys to my apartment, maybe my phone.
And especially people
Who care about strangers
Who say they care about social injustice
Do you only
Care about the bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend?
I need a friend
come on sing it with me now...
Personal Health or
Will to Power
It is the start of Summer, time to take on stuff you have been blowing off, time to take the time. I find myself in a interesting place in my life, in full adulthood, looking back at my life so far, thinking am I any where different than where I was when I first moved here. Crappy Jobs, Overpriced rents, lack luster artistic opportunities, heartbreaks and hot fresh garbage. Basically wanting more of it all than I have gotten, you think you have beaten me New York, think again.
Newly laid off from a crappy job, after having a serious illness which greatly effected me in a deeply, dare I say spiritual manner. Last fall, I developed crippling sciatica, and was unable to walk or even stand up without horrible pain, over two months slowing rebuilding myself, working through the pain, developing person exercises, rethinking my entire body, mind, and soul, and as is often the case with spiritual matters, finding myself in even more deeply in debt than I have been in a while.
drawing done of how my body felt, 2009 felt tip and crayon on cardboard package.
I am still processing the experience, this project comes directly out of it. One thing is for sure, forcing myself to get up and go out and walk even though the pain was daunting, the humiliation of having to walk with a walking stick, suddenly I went from being a generic citizen walking down the street, to a disabled person with the appropriate prop, just encase you missed the limp and expressions of agony on the face. The Walking was what did it, and it is what keeps the pain at bay, going for long walks keeps me alive. But, it has turned me into my most feared enemy the Great White Shark, I can't stop going.
Here I am, once more wondering if I can find anything that I can do for income that will not be a living nightmare of mediocrity, or worst a stress filled emotional toxic rocky crag to have ones liver plucked out for eight hours a day. Also worried that I could slip back into the same behavior that helped lead to the sciatica, sitting at the drawing table and computer too much, and putting on to much weight. Since the sciatica, I have lost about 50 pounds. How did I do it? We can get to that later.
Knowing that if I can just focus my creative thinking, use my imagination in a different way, approach the world in a different way, I should be able to get different results. You have been there, yourself I am sure.
Wanting put my energy into my artwork, but feeling like all my past efforts have been for nothing. I know that is not true but it is there in the back of my head, when you're an hard working person and just don't get what you want out of your life, what do you do? You see others, people you thought little of getting the keys to the kingdom, and you're still a Dog in the Manger. Either adapt or die, right?, When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Bold Actions, RISKS, Play, in other words jump of the cliff again, it seems to have worked the last time, I mustard up the will to do something real.
This has resulted in The White Feathered Octopus, a Living Document that you are reading as I write it.
Once is a man's life, for one mortal moment, he must make a grab for immorality; if not, he has not lived.
- Sylvester Stallone
A David and Goliath Story
Everybody's a sucker for that, right?Expect maybe the Bullies, right, but they hate themselves too right?
This project is not part of anything else, not a tiny cog in a giant art exhibit in a culturally approved high mucky muck museum space, No city wide performance art showcase, No hip group of urban pranksters and hangers on are going to meet me at Union Square with their own Empire State Buildings, this is a tiny little action, one person, and a small stone being shot out of the sling right into the one-eyed skull of Reality itself.
Aren't you sick of all the contests, all the fly-by-night- alcohol companies, asking you to waste your valuable time, trying to create something for them to market their products, so they can sell it! Advertising has become an artform onto itself that is about itself, Hollywood loves to make movies about Hollywood.
All these talent shows, and reality nightmares, trying to get us all have our 15 minutes of Hell on Earth. I am not doing this, for to make any money of it, because that is the only why to make money off of anything. There is no one funding this experiment, no money can be generated from doing it, Prove me wrong. If I earn a dime from this, everything I think about how life operates will have to be re-addressed.
This is not a viral marketing event, this is one person seeing if they are create art in a different and hopefully meaningful way. This is not a contest, I am not going to give you anything, expect a subject to photograph and video. It is up to you to get your image out into the world and back to me. If you want proper credit make sure your name is on it. This is the action of a person that feels overwhelmed by the current state of the world, and wants to see if a little adventure can be created in my everyday life. Without anyone getting hurt, or being humiliated, can something different happen, something that changes the way we think about the time we spend in this world.
Can we make it more than that? It happens all the time, all it takes is the tiniest about of effort on your part, this is just one lone person, a person just like you, in the thick of things. Trying to live a life worth living, a life that matters, trying to be a good person, because it is good to be good. Trying see if he can make something happen, something simple, yet profound, for myself at least, and maybe you as well, who knows. As for David and Goliath, I would be the Goliath in that and the David is you not passing this page on and not taking my photo when you see me on the streets of New York City.
This cover has always been what I think of when I think of my life.
The City Provides
I have always preferred to travel the city by foot, to walk around the city for no other reason expect to explore the city. New York allows us all to become lost in the waves of humanity that crash against it every second of every moment forever.
In ten years of exploring the city on foot, I have discovered many things, amazing degraded items, thousands of books, toys, clothing, records, brand new winter coats on that day you realized you really needed a new coat! The city has dropped gifts right into my lap, because I was looking as I walk, taking in everything, everyone, look and thee shall find. Looking for What? Anything and everything, that is what I am looking for and now I want you to look for me.
One time! No fooling, I found a box with every record my the Beatles in it, in MINT, no, YES! Mint CONDITION! Sgt. Pepper, the White Album, even the parodies like the Rutles.
I sold them on eBay and made a nice piece of coin, my friend. Other times, I have been working on an art project and literally turned the corner and found the perfect solution to whatever it was that I needed.
Another time, I was thinking about creating a Fake Postal Box for an art exhibit I was invited to do something for. Nothing fancy, made out of cardboard, one that would look correct from across the street, the hook being, once you got up close you would realize it was fake. I thought about this for three or four weeks, trying to find the time to make the thing. When instead I found one a few blocks from my apartment. I actually found a fake postal box on the street. Here it is, displayed as a work of art by myself...
|Trashsure 32 Mercury at the Crossroads, 2108 r street nw, washington dc Abandoned July 1st, 2005|
Please understand I don't think there is anything supernatural about these occurrences. Quite the contrary, I think these "found objects" that shower down upon me every time I leave the house are something like a cloud brought down from the sky, a cloud of awareness of the constant state of material and interpersonal flux that is happening on any given city block.
Now! When I walk the city, I find interesting junk and then have to carry it home. As I walk sometimes 20 or 30 blocks with an awkward piece of antique, I often wonder what other people notice of me. It is not an uncommon event to see me walking with a dozen Worlds Book Encyclopedia from 1967, and a random discarded child's action figure in both arms. I have furnished my home exclusivity with furniture I found on the street.
|Man with a Package Taped to His Back. Photo Dave D'Ostilio, 2010|
Having become more and more aware of myself and a Personage, a character if you will, that performs a task in other people's life stories. A background character, a non-player character in your life, The Man Who is Carrying Something, in recent cases, I have taken to taping items onto my back in order to have my hands free, yes oh the life of the poet.
In this case The Man With the Empire State. The prop in question, a particular item that, itself was found by me on the street this very night as I write this. As I was walking home there where three drunkards coming out onto the street and catching me, and my new oversized incomplete poorly-constructed scale paperboard model of the Empire State Building, between there drunkenness and a overloaded bike rack. The biggest and drunkest of the three took this moment to pull a Leon Russell, and begin to fall straight into the unknowing backs of his co-drunks, which would have dominoed straight into myself and my rather fragile cargo. One of the drunk stopped the lot of them and exclaimed "Whoa, Dudes, we don't want to bump into The Man With the Empire State Building!". We all bust into laughter, I keep walking, then Mr. Russell called out.
Hey Man what are you doing with the Empire State Building?
After clearing the path, I moved on to home. All those three had wanted to do was genteelly awaken the poor souls that live above the bar with there nicoteenager smoke filled ratings, and then go home to pass out in front of video game console, or cry themselves to see with a bowl full of baker chocolate and nacho seasoned chips. Instead they had a moment outside of everyday expectation, I gave them something, I gave them a transformed moment.
I would like your to help document these events.
And what was I doing with the Empire State Building? I could take it home the model fix it up make it a oversized completed well built scale paperboard model. Heck I could tweak it out all the steamy mythos out there throw in a few airships, maybe a tiny ho scale Doc Savage fighting a Aztec warrior on the edge of the mooring mast. Maybe King Kong's Dead Body laying as bedrock under the model.
Is the project a disaster in the making, or is it the only way to keep from having one?
So how do I circumvent this disaster which might be my life, with your help. Or what makes more sense is that the disaster has already happen, now after ten years Sisyphus begins this task anew.
There could be an exhibit of the photos and videos, they would be considered collaborative works of art between myself and the artist, who is YOU, the person reading this, who can take the best photograph of me with this Empire State Building paper model, who can take the worst, who wants to take a crack at 250 pounds of come-an-get-it, while he is carrying an absurd piece of poignantly sentimental rubbish, and transforming it into something unexpected.