the Art of #Occupy

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When Occupy Wall Street (OWS) sprang up in September 2011 with the occupation of New York City’s Zuccotti Park, its birth was announced with a particularly arresting and now iconic image – that of a ballerina on top of the Wall Street bull, which appeared in Adbusters, the Vancouver-based anti-consumerist magazine. The bull is just one of the many new symbols that has emerged out of Occupy graphic art, and it is joined by more traditional images (e.g. the raised fists in Fightback), plus appropriations and re-interpretations (e.g. the Guy Fawkes mask, and David Loewenstein’s underground ‘inverted’ fist ). 

          Posters by (from left) Alexandra Clotfelter, David Lowenstein and                                                                                Roger Peet
Creator: lots of people #Occupy Wall Street NYC General Assembly


                            ‘Fed Monster Mural’ in Los Angeles. Photo by Mikey Wally on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)
Occupy Wall Street poster art created by Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung

Occupy Literature

The People’s Library is a collective, public, open library coordinated by OWS. They posted an online poetry anthology (PDF) which contains written impressions by the movement’s supporters in no particular hierarchy or arrangement. Among the works in their most recent anthology is Lost Highway by author Masha Tupytsin. The author speaks about the movement in a more subtle and nuanced tone: two lovers in a world where it’s OK to express emotion without fear of judgement.

In sleep, in love, we dozed in and out of each other, in and out of the world, lanes criss-crossing, like characters in Lost Highway, except I wasn’t the dark playing off the light, or the the dark playing off the blonde (you). And for the last forty minutes, after the coast was clear, when all the bullies were finally gone, we cruised along the asphalt and held hands under the music. The astral road was stripped of cars, lit up and silver, like the path in the Redwood forests of E.T. or the moon over Elliott’s levitating bike, and it was just us, a punk-rock version of Adam and Eve, us against everything, us there first, or last, except I didn’t come from you or any garden.

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