A project where non-art items in public places are given artist statements. I put them up, photograph them, and wait/hope for people to notice them. They’re mostly kinda dumb, but some of them are funny, and some of them actually make a point, somehow or other.

It’s something I’ve been doing, but I want you to do it to.

Why Declare it Art?

It’s been almost 100 years since Marcel Duchamp signed an ordinary urinal “R. Mutt,” called it Fountain, and submitted it to an art show. The idea that anything can be labeled art is most likely an even older idea than that, and it’s a concept that is no longer surprising or controversial (or even all that interesting, if you ask me).

So why Declare it Art then? In part it is a parody of the contemporary art scene. In a larger sense it’s poking fun at academia in general. Simple ideas are far too often masked in unnecessarily complex, ridiculous prose. It’s as if the more difficult the text is to digest, the more valid it is. In truth, it usually just alienates nearly everyone but those who are privileged enough to go to schools where reading (and writing) of such language is encouraged.

I mean, if you’re writing to convey a specific idea, wouldn’t it be in your best interest to explain it as clearly and succinctly as possible?

Another reason to Declare it Art, and definitely the most important: it’s kinda funny. When stumbling upon it on the streets, it’s the sort of thing that makes a city feel more alive.

Occasionally some of the statements really do manage to make a point. Sure, it’s not the most powerful medium for change, but it’s not always just florid bullshit and tangled prose (just most of the time).

Declare it Art is collaborative. Others are encouraged to write and mount their own statements (legally and all that stuff). Contact me to share your Art with the world.