Friday, November 04, 2011

What have we come to see here?
What has attracted us, we tourists and onlookers?
A spectacle?
Guerrilla theater on a global stage?

Liberated Zuccotti Park has become more like a street fair.
This "WE OCCUPY" sign is a painting on canvas. I asked if it was for sale and was told No. But one of the men holding it gave me his card and said he has similar paintings that he is selling.

Other items on display were more clearly merchandise. I bought a button and a refrigerator magnet with the Alternative Economy symbol from this couple, but I was really paying them to take their picture. They said they commute some distance. A few weeks ago they might have been selling I Heart NY shirts or 9/11 souvenirs in front of the World Trade Center. Maybe its not official OWS merch, but its an independent business that is as legitimate as anything I've ever done to make a living.

There are also more experimental approaches toward an evolution of a new economy beyond capitalism. Time's Up, the "NYC Direct Action Environmental Organization," rode in with bicycle-powered generators after OWS generators were confiscated by the City.
A store that seems inspired by the San Francisco Diggers. OWS is very much a grandchild of the Diggers, and could be understood as having set up up a free frame of reference that anyone can step through (read Ringolevio by Emmett Grogan, if you haven't already).

The original American counter culture is the indigenous culture of Turtle Island, represented here by the American Indian Movement, which was started in 1968 (Read In The Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen, if you haven't already). I asked this gentleman if I could take pictures. I like this slice of bread with OWS written on it. This is where I took a picture of the mandalic AIM logo that was the starting point of a piece I'm making.

If the piece I'm making turns out I want to give it away.

Do you want it?


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