Art

All City Art

Semaphore Mobile recently developed a new application, All City Art, essentially a handheld mobile guide to global street art. Addictive and accessible, the application is ripe for graffiti enthusiasts and the average voyeur alike. Easily tag and upload street art spots you find and discover new ones you haven't seen yet. And, connect the dots. With splashes of urban visuals spanning the globe, the application encourages users to make connections and learn about artists via their biographies. Check out Banksy's early work in England and his transatlantic antics in New York. Or, trace Swoon's evolution on the lower east side.

The fact that my nephew first clued me into this application may account for part of its attraction----it makes art accessible and brings global voices into focus, pulling together trends, new ideas and international movements and styles.

All City Art

Semaphore Mobile recently developed a new application, All City Art, essentially a handheld mobile guide to global street art. Addictive and accessible, the application is ripe for graffiti enthusiasts and the average voyeur alike. Easily tag and upload street art spots you find and discover new ones you haven't seen yet. And, connect the dots. With splashes of urban visuals spanning the globe, the application encourages users to make connections and learn about artists via their biographies. Check out Banksy's early work in England and his transatlantic antics in New York. Or, trace Swoon's evolution on the lower east side.

The fact that my nephew first clued me into this application may account for part of its attraction----it makes art accessible and brings global voices into focus, pulling together trends, new ideas and international movements and styles.

A Museum Visit at the Airport

At the airport? Why not check out the latest exhibit? That's right, the San Francisco International Airport is the only airport in the U.S. with a museum program accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibits are scattered through various terminals and change several times a month. At the moment, travelers can see 18th-century porcelain from Meissen, Germany, architectural models of Shanghai's skyline, and precious jades from China, India and Russia. I think this model is particularly exciting because it brings people into museums that wouldnt normally encounter them and makes the art available and accessible to an international audience. As national public radio reports on the experience of Wei Cong, a visitor returning home to China "It's maybe my fifth or sixth time to the San Francisco airport," he says, "and each time, I see different exhibitions about Chinese culture. There is an Asian art museum in San Francisco, but I've never been there."

Moreover, it extends the lifeline of the airport by making it a multi-use space, therein making the space more dynamic and maximizing the public's experience at the airport 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Here's a great radio report from national public radio.

The art of taxation, Mexico

Here's an interesting tidbit to start your week with...In Mexico, visual artists can pay their taxes with art works. According to USA Today "That's the deal Mexico has offered to artists since 1957, quietly amassing a modern art collection that would make most museum curators swoon. As the 2009 tax deadline approaches, tax collectors are getting ready to receive a whole new crop of masterworks... There's a sliding scale: If you sell five artworks in a year, you must give the government one. Sell 21 pieces, the government gets six. A 10-member jury of artists ensures that no one tries to unload junk.

Under the program, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit now owns 4,248 paintings, sculptures, engravings and photographs by Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Leonora Carrington and other masters."

You can check out "Colecciones Pago en Especie" here to see the art works which have been used to pay taxes since the program began.

Peeking Urban Art with Adidas, Berlin

In the last year Adidas emerged as an unassuming protagonist for mobile-driven marketing.  By building applications and experiences that create new value for users, Adidas manages to promote its street wear and give it real street cred where credit's due. Whereas other companies and actors in the private sector are eager to talk about mobile marketing as the 'new wave' [sidenote: At a Mid-Atlantic Mobile Monday meeting in Philly last May, I heard this refrain uttered upward of 300 times], very few are really talking about creating new value, new experiences for users.

Adidas debuted its Urban Art Guide application in Berlin iphone application in early spring of 2009, curating and giving voice to the the city's street as a catalogue would chronicle paintings in an art gallery.  As art enthusiasts roam the cavernous city, the Art Guide delivers location-specific articles on a work by work basis.

While enhancing an existing connection essential to the vitality and authenticity of their brand,  Adidas gives city dwellers get a modified view of the art that veils their city and simultaneously earns a renewed place in the palm of their hand or the sole of their foot. They see it as a simple extension of the Adidas lifestyle:

adidas doesn't only play a central role in HipHop since its beginnings like Run DMC's smash hit "My adidas" shows. The brand itself has been inspired by this subculture early on. In 1985 the adicolor prompts its owners to see the shoe like a subway wagon and design it wildstyle, with bubble letters or throw ups. Customizing along the lines of Graffiti.   On the occasion of the adicolor relaunch in 2006 in Berlin adidas Originals did not only put up white poster boards for free painting. They also initiated the adicolor Studio where Urban Artists like Fafi, Toy2R, Todd McFarlane or Artoo could work and exhibit and design their own sneakers. With the Urban Art Guide adidas Originals continues its long tradition and supports one of the most agile and influential youth cultures worldwide.

Propelled by the success of the Berlin edition, Adidas plans to launch a second guide sometime next year.  It is the process of polling the public on the favored location of this guide.  Hamburg is currently leading the polls with a lion's share, tailed by Munich, Frankfurt, Zurich and Vienna.