By Sonya James
Posting in Cities
When it comes to environmental protection, Jody Xiong thinks big and beautiful.
You do not have to chain yourself to a tree to fight for environmental protection. There are all kinds of ways to communicate to the public that the choices we make matter.
Tossing the takeout containers in the trash instead of the recycling matters. Washing your clothes in cold instead of hot water matters. Donating your air-conditioning to elderly folks who need it matters. Walking instead of driving matters. Okay, you get the point.
Instead of wagging a finger, Xiong laid out enormous white canvases with a bare tree across 132 crosswalks in 15 Chinese cities and let the pedestrians crossing tell the story.
As people walked across the intersections, the bare trees came to life.
It is hard to say whether the outdoor campaign - a visual reminder of the environmental benefits of walking versus driving - worked explicitly. But having an estimated 3,920,000 people participate in a visually striking, web-friendly campaign is impressive. Very impressive.
Have ideas for participatory campaigns in your neighbourhood?
Images: DDB China Group
Aug 28, 2012
Ok. I see the accidental foot art innovation. What was the message that the foot traffic picked up beside the paint on their feet? In the States the artist would have been sued for damages by local businesses and pedestrian for damage to shoes, clothing and store floors. Besides that and the fact this author was suckered into writing about this street art, how effective is this in communicating any real messages. Again, what was the message? "Walk on trees, it makes them greener."
Seriously, I would assume that the green was a techie rendition of green and not paint. Paint would be unmanageable on so many levels. The concept is awareness. I would assume that there is probably something like a small simple sign saying "Thanks for walking" or something to spread the idea. This was an expensive endeavor, and I bet they thought about a lot before it appeared. Street art can be powerful as it usually evokes some sort of enjoyment. I hope that you can discipline yourself to take a more neutral view before judging. Personally, I would love to see less generic trees, and more icons of local popular trees.
It's not about some artist's ego or sense of relevance. It's about the environment. I will change my ways immediately. I have little against "art" for the sake of art. But I do tire of the notion that it's always politically relevant.