Monday, September 20, 2010

Public Art and Parking

Signs and Dunes

While Tom Garvey and Greg Cook take on public art in their respective corners, talk radio hosts are making hay of this article by Jen Thomas on the Wicked Local Cambridge blog:

Starting this week, the city of Cambridge has been handing out redesigned parking ticket envelopes that feature a revamped method of receiving a parking citation. Part of a public works project called “Crossing Non-Signalized Locations,” the envelopes adorned with yoga poses are an attempt to bring out the poetry in parking enforcement.

“The idea is to take something out of an interaction that has some sort of tension to it and give those kinds of communication an alternative quality to them,” said Lillian Hsu, the director of public art at the Cambridge Arts Council.


In addition to the envelopes, the installation includes three other components, all meant to bring warmth and wonder to the world of parking regulations.

“I found the parking officials here to be very extremely smart, grounded and really interesting. And it’s those qualities that were missing from the world of parking enforcement in which they worked,” Peltz (the artist) said.

As part of this project, six new street signs were installed around the city. The signs, written and designed to appear like a regulation street sign, are meant mostly for pedestrians and play off the poetry Peltz found in his reading of the city’s parking code.

“The idea is that people stumble upon them and wonder about them and find them puzzling,” Hsu said.

For example, in response to an existing sign on Inman Street that reads, “If you’re reading this sign, You’re biking the wrong way,” a new sign continues the poem with the phrase “If you’re reading this sign, You’re reading this sign.”

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