On Sunday October 2, "Backlit" my installation of fossils images on light fixtures was halted.
It is true, I did not have a permit for my 1.5'x1.5' ladder (It is also true that my feet take up roughly 1 square foot of public space every day if I don't count my shoulders) and it is true, I placed removable decal images of fossils to one side of just one of the very large Uniqlo retail box stores (What heavenly light they give off and such brisk design). It is also true, that the Uniqlo rep, the police officers, and myself, were all on the same piece of public property. It is also true, I received $5 from a charmed person on the street who donated it to my art project on the Uni-qlow flashcube just before my incident w the officers, so one could say I too was retailing, (it bought me the warming calories in 1 slice of pizza bc by that time I was shivering w rain).
The police were not bad, they were just trying to respond to a fearful rep of the hegemonic Uniqlo Design Implementation of Increased Sales and Accounting (UDIISA). I was accused of defacing private property (on public land) and was obstructing the side walk w my 1.5 square foot ladder. When I questioned the officer for a distinction between my ladder and a car, he told me I could park my car on the street bc my car was private property, but I could not park my ladder. In a delightful repartee of wit the officer responded to my proposed solution – a scenario of a ladder on top of a private car. He said it would ok for me to put my ladder on top of my car, since my car would be legal on the public street since my car was private property and my ladder would be on top of said privately owned car and would no longer be an issue (NOTE: I purchased the ladder for $39.99 at home depot just last week, tho it is true, I most likely will return it this week, so it is also true, that it is questionable whether or not that ladder is MY private property). He also said it was not nice (my words) to deface private property. And I reminded him I was not defacing, as these were pretty removable stickers of fossils and asked him to note that there was no evidence of my having done anything at that time since the Uniqlo rep took all the fossils down in a matter of minutes — Sigh -- Just like a power plant gobbling fossils up in an instant! Such a new era of enlightenment!
The officer told me to bone up on civil disobedience by calling 311. (I have called 311 - they directed me to NYcourts.gov, which directed me to the public access law library reference desk. I still don't know what the rules are and what exactly I have done wrong. In fact, it remains unclear to me whether or not, Uniqlo was defacing the private property of my decals w their light box on public property, or if my decals were defacing their retail boxes. Frankly, I found it to be a lovely synergism as my activity brought lots of attention to the boxes, and the fossil-light was bringing attention the finite resource of fossils). Was I really a civil disobedient?
Regardless, use this image as a legend for identifying the more than 50 decals that were successfully placed on light fixtures and elevators all along 14th St. Soon I'll post a broadcastR journey soon if you are too impatient to make your own archeological transect across this east-west thruway of Manhattan. They are of varying size and location. Just look to the Light!