Wednesday, December 2, 2009

more Mark Tribe - Carpark

An aerial shot of what Tribe launched into action on the morning of August 31, 1994. Some of his slightly older work, but intruiging nonetheless!

A team of local artists, including Mark Tribe, were invited to launch this enormous project on the campus of Southwestern College in San Diego, California involving the everyday
use of cars and the numerous parking lots that surround the campus. Throughout a 6 or so hour period on a normal weekday morning, a dedicated team of 50 something volunteers and "professional" parking attendants stationed all around the various lots directing every single person that sought to park on campus into a specifically designated lot according to the color of their car. Organized into dark blue, blue, light metallic blue, silver & gray, black, beige, brown, metallic
rasberry, yellow, electric blue, white, aqua, green, and red, the campus soon became transformed, from the everyday mass of people in cars struggling to find the best space in the lot closest to their destination, to a working piece of installation art that created a more interesting, interactive, and thought provoking environment for the thousands of people involved. What a neat project to pull off!

I'm drawn to this piece first of all, because of its size and the obvious effort and organizational skills it took to create. Traffic has always been something I have been interested in, simply because it is something that I deal with on a daily basis, like most people, and it is something that is always changing, moving, causing, affecting, preventing, and creating. Especially in parking lots, driving a car and being in traffic can become something incredibly complicated. And for Mark Tribe to think of a way to completely break down the complexity of traffic patterns, and driving attitudes and personal decision making, into something as simple as the color of a car's paint job is kind of amazing in a way. And considering he did not even know how people would react upon entering campus that morning to park their cars, I think that Tribe made quite a bold statement about what it takes to completely change a system, a normalized way of going about doing such a routine action. Also, he suggests how it affects us and creates a spark for creativity, and even lightens the mood in what can be a really frustrating situation at times. Many people had really positive and excited reactions to the project. I know I would be excited to park my car with all of the other silver cars!

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