Monday, December 12, 2022

 Signs of Change: Pop Up Arts

Tucson, AZ: Signs of change are everywhere. The proliferation of the digital town square, several billion voices roaring on soapboxes. Everyone wanting just a few seconds of your time. Occasionally interrupted by a work of art, a beautiful song, a smiling face. The digital sphere has become essential in engaging the world. Piercing the digital fog has become a radical act.

This fall a few of us got together to paint some simple signs that said “Vote”. We installed them throughout the city amidst the other political signs, with the intention of reminding everyone to participate.

So many people don’t vote, it takes too much time, they forget, they aren’t registered or had their right to vote rescinded. So we made the signs whimsical, colorful. It wasn’t a demand, rather joyfully encouraging people to do something that might make them feel better, maybe even give them agency.

When we went to take the signs down many were missing. We discussed the space in our cultural environment these signs had temporarily occupied. Did they change the landscape? Were they noticed? Did they have an impact? 

We did this as individuals, without any group or institutional support, a tiny voice in an ocean of roaring thunder.

A pop up dissident moment. A sign of change.

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