Why not make a forest above the highway? That’s what the LA-based artist Stephen Glassman must have thought when he took the initiative for the Urban Air project. He wants to transform the space above the highway that’s normally used for advertising into a bamboo forest in the sky.
The plans are not being executed but are seem to be interesting enough for many people to support the plans on Kickstarter. Since the idea was presented, 52,000 dollar has been already pledged on the crowd-funding platform. To realize this piece of floating forest, Glassman needs 100,000 dollar by December 11th. This money will be used to create the installation and fill it with bamboo.
According to the video he made, the artist seems to take his project very seriously, although I would consider it to be more some kind of joke. For car drivers it will be an interesting experience, sure. But for the rest I can’t find any good reasons to propose a forest on a highly complicated spot like this one. Although I understand the point of changing advertising space into ‘nature’.
In the way it is set up the project shows some similarities with Justus Bruns’ Times Square Art Square, a project in which Bruns tries to buy all the advertisement space on Times Square in order change it into art. Also Bruns uses crowd-funding to turn his ambition into reality. A new type of art projects can be defined here, where the artist plays the role of a rebellious inspirator. Doing so he or she raises money to make an argument against our current economic system. The method (crowd-funding in this case) is an important part of the project itself, while the final result is completely absurd from an artistic and esthetic point of view — the whole idea is too ridiculous for most other forms of financing, except for crowd-funding. The process, however, is transparent and an important part of the art project itself. The artist in fact creates an inspiring process, and the medium is the message. Only seven days to go for the additional 48,000…