Monday, August 01, 2005

Mural arts

Although I am certainly a fan of public art, I am not a fan of the Philadelphia Mural Arts program which has produced some of the most hideous and offensive art I have ever seen. Within the next few years, I will be working on some new ideas to help the horrendous Philadelphia Mural Arts program. Some of the concepts will not be eagerly accepted, but I'm standing by all of them.

My first mural suggestion is a flow chart of Philadelphia's drug industry, beginning with the raw material and then laying out each step until the final purchase for use. I will be creating cocaine and heroin charts, two big Philadelphia industries.

Raw Material
Refining and Production
Wholesale and Distribution

This is the very first draft of the mural
drug mural

of course the mural will have real dollar amounts at each point detailing who gets how much money at each juncture and where the product is coming from and going to. I have started to research how illegal drugs actually get to my block but am having a hard time finding the info I need, particularly how much money each person makes. If anyone can point me in the right direction for my research, I would be very grateful.

I would also like to have a series of murals that explain how our basic utilities work. I don't fully understand how electricity gets into my house or how I'm able to flip a switch and a gas flame on my stove pops up. Because I'm so in the dark about the work and the science that goes into the utilities I take for granted, I have a hard time really seeing how turning on a light is connected to, say, anthracite coal mining in upstate Pennsylvania or nuclear waste.

The murals will have brief explanations of how the utility gets to the final household use.

The murals will also have the real dollar pricing of creating the utility all the way through to the consumer. For example, Philadelphia gets some electricity from Eddystone coal plant, so the mural will have the coal miners wages, the amount it costs to run the Eddystone plant, the salary of Exelon's top CEO, how much the average electric bill is, etc.

Here's the list of murals I'll be working on.

Natural Gas
Oil and Gasoline

electric flow chart mural


Anonymous said...

hi zoe,
this is ever nalens, i took pictures of you for Julia's Darkness on the Edge of town art project. I like your mural ideas alot. There is a book from the 90s which I have not read but one that many people have told me is excellent about the government's role in the drug trade. It's called "Dark Alliance" by Gary Webb. You might get info from this about where the drugs begin their journey to your block.

have you ever proposed a photographic mural to the MAP? i've always wanted to coat a wall in cyanotype and make a big photogram or something.

thecoolestblog said...

Cool blog and cool message

Philip Jablon said...

Hey Zoe,
I think those are some great ideas for a mural. It would serve a much better funtion than a mere "pretty" picture. Maybe you could incorporate some cause and effect aspects of drug use too. Something that visibly maps out a phenomenon, so that folks will see it and identify with it.

Just a though

ZS said...

Thanks for the comments, friends.

Ever, I will definitely pick up that book on your recommendation.

Thank you, cool.

And, last, but never least, you are totally right, Phil. I would like to have a number of cause and effect tangents throughout the mural when it's done. Good looking out.

Also, thanks to Lara for suggesting a trash flow chart.

ZS said...

And thanks to Colin for his web suggestions!