So, I just got a facebook post from Improv Everywhere saying: “Today marks the one year anniversary of our Tourist Lane mission.” Question: When can a prank have an anniversary? Answer: When it is no longer a prank. Quibbles with self-promotion aside, we are fans of tomfoolery in all its guises and posted the Tourist Lane Mission video in Our Perfect Day in NYC a while back; however, for those who can’t be bothered clicking through, there’s no harm in re-posting it here. Enjoy silliness on 5th Avenue. (Oh, and happy anniversary!)
It’s not every day that you get use the expression “revolution sweeps”, but as the dictators of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya fall victim to people power there’s never been a better moment to reflect on the power of the individual.
A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to see artist Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds installation at London’s Tate Modern gallery. The sight of 100 million ceramic sunflower seeds filling the enormous 1000 square metre Turbine Hall is amazing; knowing that each one was handmade and painted by a ceramics artisan China is frankly mind-boggling (see the Tate’s touching video about the process here). Ai Weiwei is best known in the West as one of the designers of the ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium for the Beijing Olympics (he later spoke out against the games) but in China he’s also known to the ever-watchful authorities as a political dissident.
First up, there was a problem with Ventilator. Ventilator is a standard ceiling fan with a roll of toilet paper sitting on top of each of the three prongs. As the fan turns, a length of fluttering toilet paper revolves gracefully overhead. (The piece was inspired by the artist’s experiences of staying in Indian hotel rooms where he would be handed a roll of toilet paper at check-in.) Problem was, there were only two rolls of toilet paper, not three. Curatorial staff were seen whispering in urgent undertones and exchanging concerned glances – what happened to the third roll? (An unexpected case of Dehli belly?)