“Welcome…Bon Jour”

This summer I was awarded a grant to install a temporary installation here in Seattle. My installation, entitled “Welcome…Bon Jour” was constructed from 1” blue painters tape and ¼” white electrical tape. The tape was laid into a pattern that spanned the length of two and a half blocks on a handrail that started at First and Marion and led to the ferry dock at Alaskan and Marion. Installation took eight hours with 10 volunteers. It became a piece dedicated to ferry passengers as a greeting and farewell to their day. To see a video of the entire installation click here: http://youtu.be/QWoCuYkh3VU

As with any project that has multiple people working on it I was able to take the position of project manager. This meant that as I was installing in one area I would need to check on my volunteers periodically to make sure there were no problems and help them adjust their process when necessary. Because of the various skill levels of the volunteers involved in the project sometimes conversations of the same idea needed to be expressed in different ways until I found a successful way of getting my point across. This also led to slight variations in the design. For some artists this may have been a problem but I found it to be part of the art and the process as well as a learning experience with communication.

During installation we had several people stop and ask us what we were doing and everyone who was informed was happy to hear about the project. Some folks even thanked me from their cars about how much they liked it. A few times pedestrians asked in a suspicious and slightly aggressive tone as if I was doing something wrong but when I explained to them what was happening they seemed to be fine with it and continued on their way.

During de-installation a few people were sad to see it go. One man who sells “Real Change” at First and Marion said that he heard people remark positively about it all the time while another shouted from his car that he was sad to see it go.

After de-installation I was left with a giant tape-ball that is slightly smaller but weighs more than a basketball. The object has a wonderful feel to it.

Overall I was very happy with the results of the project, the assistance of my volunteers and Marcia Iwasaki at the Office of Arts and Culture. I feel that the project went smoothly and was fun to be part of. Thanks so much to Gina Coffman, Michelle Boshart, Kelly Owens, Ben Reagan, Mackenzie Ryan Durst, Liz Rudisill, Romi Epstein, Farley Harding and Steph Cone.

 

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