UPDATE, 6/13/7: I got word that the ordinance, the one the City proposed, passed. No word on who showed up this morning though.
Yes, Art or Idiocy? was on hand to see what all the fuss was about at Paul Klein et. al's rally against the city’s proposed public art ordinance . There are some pictures in the Art or Idiocy? photostream on Filckr you can check out. It was a peaceful demonstration. There were people with signs and Amanda Browder from Bad at Sports was dressed as either a log or the John Hancock Building. A lot of the signs were understandable but confusing.
Manny Flores, my alderman, spoke. He is a good guy. Paul Klein spoke and so did Tony Fitzpatrick, Wesely Kimler was asked but declined. Edmar from Lumpen spoke and so did others. I couldn’t hear very well, I assume there is some ordinance about not having too loud of speakers at a public gathering.
There was a little boy handing out flyers that had information about the situation on one side and a list of all the aldermen and their contact info on the other. That was weird, although I prefer it to when people have kids hand out flyers about how bad abortion is. Mike Lash, who used to be involved in public art until he threw his phone at someone’s face, was there. The cops were there, but they sat on a bench at the far side of the plaza because no one was being disorderly. William Lieberman from Zolla Lieberman Gallery was there. The Bad at Sports people where their. Philip Von Zweck , of Von Zweck and the Driehaus award was there, with his skateboard. Dan Anhorn, who was with a sweet skateboard that may or may not have been his, and Caroline Picard from Green Lantern were there too. David Roth of Sharkforum was there too, whom I met for the first time. There were also a lot of wacky, burned out looking old bohemians, wearing berets and what not. The guy who is working on the world’s longest poem wasn’t there though. And I didn’t see any face painting.
There wasn’t a huge crowd and there wasn’t a lot energy. It seemed pretty calm and subdued. I'm still ambivalent about the whole thing.
Most people I talked to said they were there to see what was going on out of curiosity. Most agreed that whenever government, and particularly one like Chicago’s, takes steps to remove the public from its process, it’s bad for the city and its citizens. Others voiced another valid concern. Is this all an odd job interview for Paul Klein. He’s made no secret of wanting Lois Weinberg, the current political appointee’s position when she leaves. Was this a platform for him to display a backdrop of supporters, a constituency of sorts?
> Flickr Photostream