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Community Art Project
The primary goal of our project was to utilize random chance and a non-traditional medium to create a community art project in which only the original creators were aware of the purpose. It was our intention to remain as divorced from the actual process of creation as possible, and to give no information about what the purpose of the distributed coloring books might be. We thought that by choosing an “absurd” media like a comic coloring book and combining it with a provocative image we might incorporate chance as a medium of creation. The overriding question that we wanted to answer was, when faced with a blank slate and the chance to put words in other people’s mouths, what would people create?
Our work was influenced in no small way by Roy Lichtenstein’s work with comic art, and our chosen image resembles Lichtenstein’s “The Kiss” so closely that I was worried about plagiarism. We had hoped that, like Lichtenstein’s work, the captions filled in by the public at large would elevate the absurdist medium of comics and coalesce to make some sort of statement, be it social, personal, or political. In involving the public we drew inspiration from Allan Kaprow’s performance art, particularly his “happenings”. While our distribution of the comic books and subsequent posting to the web doesn’t exactly qualify as “performance art” we believe that it approaches something like a performance piece. We also made a conscious decision to involve the public in the creation of the work invoking Kaprow’s “happenings” into our vision and philosophy.
Artists: Brian Holbrook and Alan Ayers