Saturday, June 27, 2009

(Con)Text

Communication from a fence? Sure, why not? I enjoy making the world my oracle.

Remember the way the freeway signs gave advice to Steve Martin in the film LA Stories? Wisdom is everywhere if you look for it. (With all the vanity license plates and graffiti in Los Angeles, driving the freeway can be a little like throwing the I Ching!) My favorite message-in-the-environment was on a wall I used to pass by on Hollywood Blvd back in the 80s. Someone had spraypainted "Agnes Moorehead is God" in bright red across the cinder blocks. I always thought it made about as much sense as anything else.

But this? Someone went to a lot of trouble to craft this message with yellow string into the chain link fence surrounding the empty lot at Mission and Fremont. Seriously, the string was tied down well enough to withstand the Santa Ana winds. Does this artist jones for the Christmas trees found in this lot in December? Perhaps the Halloween pumpkins? Is this a message about the bad economy? Iran? Is it a jilted lover's veiled threat to an ex-sweetheart? Hipster code giving directions to a rave? (Maybe these two are involved...)

Actually, it's lyrics to a UK Alt-rock band Placebo's song of the same name. It's a cool song, but an odd choice to knit into a fence. Who knows, maybe the next day this string tagger woke up, thought about it and muttered with incredulity, "Where is my mind?"

13 comments:

dbdubya said...

This has been on the fence for a few days now. I have no idea what the author was thinking.

What does everyone think he wants? Perhaps he's a graffiti artist and couldn't find a wall to vandalize, so he had to settle for this fence.

Dixie Jane said...

I sure do wonder what it is that this person wanted badly enough to ask the world to protect him/her from getting it.

Judy Williams said...

Oh I think street art, as it were, is fabulous. The world is the artists' canvas!! I still remember "Agnes Moorehead is God." I really wanted to make a bumper sticker of it. Wasn't it near the original Capitol Records building? I know when we passed it years later, of course the verbiage was gone.

Something they do here is take those brightly colored plastic cups and shove them into the fence to spell things. You will see them outside of baseball diamonds, rooting on the home team.

wv: dractoo "Can't make it to the practice today, I have a bad case of the dractoo."

altadenahiker said...

The words are related to oreos, and desire thereof.

pasadenaadjacent said...

Makes perfect sense to me. As does Agnes Moorehead as god (I remember that too)

-K- said...

I think the phrase may have originated with the word artist Jenny Holzer. (Maybe I should have added a link but, hey, she's googlable.)

Trish said...

funny thing is, this used to be a mobil station...only thing funnier would have been to have a Suburban parked out front....feed me oil!

tho, considering this is SoPas, perhaps they are talking about the 710?

I do remember the Agnes sign...a few years ago..everyone has a message, some choose to put it where others can see it

Mister Earl said...

I'm just sittin' on a fence.
You might say I got no sense.
Tryin' to make up my mind
Really is too hard I find,
So I'm sittin' on a fence.

I have a friend who uses oreo as a verb, meaning to save the best for last, as when telling a story, or recounting the day's events.

My computer crashed, gang. I'm writing from the Apple store. Done with PCs.

Jean Spitzer said...

Oreo as verb--terrific. And it--protect me from what I want-- does make a perfect dieter mantra.

lifeinoleg said...

Makes one think there's an edgy underground community in someone's head that wants to shake up the establishment.

But then again, maybe it was all done to be put on Glimpses of South Pasadena. It won't be long now before people will go around doing interesting things to get their photos taken and published here.

Laurie said...

Hey everyone,

K, thanks for the HOlzer link. You have mentioned her before and I am so glad to know about her work.

Mister E, hope you have a great new computer! What did you get?

Oleg, that's a fun thought. Okay, South Pas ... whatcha got?

Thanks everyone. Until tomorrow...

Andrew said...

That's really awesome pics...Nice to see this..

This is pretty interesting...

Thanks for sharing..
___________________
Andrew
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Anonymous said...

Some of you get it and some of you don't...Political/Emotional/Philosophical/Social statement? One man's art is another's graffiti! How fascinating that a vacant dirt lot with an ugly wire fence could be the medium for any kind of message or public commentary. How interesting that one might see this as distasteful or inappropriate. A response in French was put up on the fence a week later. It stayed up for months. I have a photo of it if you want it!