Have you got similar stickers in your neighborhood?
As much as I appreciated the Banksy graffiti pieces that he sprayed in New Orleans after Hurricane Gustav in 2008, I have fonder memories of a stenciled pope on one wall and an angry cat on another. The Banksys were wittier, but the unmotivated, dada-like images enlivened otherwise mute public spaces. Why an angry cat? Is there a relationship between the location and the image? Who thought this was a good idea? I had a similar response to the person who glued posters of the lyrics to Big Star’s “13” on the side of a warehouse on Tchoupitoulas in 2010. Why that song? Why there? Why then?
For me, such acts represent people temporarily commandeering public spaces and repurposing them. The conversations that emerge about those spaces, the games we play in them, and the specific images that spark them are almost always worthwhile. Because Pokemon isn’t one of my pop culture things, Pokemon Go! doesn’t move me, but I like the idea of a game that maps pop ephemera on to the city you live in.
I’m not sure when somebody stuck Duck Duck Goose stickers to the stop signs on Laurel Street in my neighborhood, nor am I sure how many times I drove by them without realizing they were there. Stop signs do so much of their work by color and shape that it’s easy not to register the specifics of a stop sign’s face, including whether or not it has stickers on it and what those stickers say. My wife noticed them first, but now I obsess over them.
Is Laurel the only street with Duck Duck Goose stickers? Are there other outlaw art games being superimposed on your neighborhood?
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