Our Bodies Are Like the Land, but Can Public Space Be Like Us?

Dandelion  by Beyon Wren Moor. Photo by Luna Park.

Dandelion by Beyon Wren Moor. Photo by Luna Park.

Time sure flies when you're making mischief... We've got less than 10 installations left this year. Soon, we'll wrap up this iteration of Art in Ad Places and try to figure out what comes in 2018. But first, we have Dandelion by Beyon Wren Moor.

She told us, "My name is beyon wren moor (she/they), i'm a two-spirit Cree and Ukrainian artist and land defender from northern manitoba currently living on occupied Pocumtuck territory. My art and my life are dedicated to the fight for indigenous sovereignty and to the land. this piece is about queer love and queer earth and was created as part of a fundraiser for my friend, a two-spirit, Nahua person named Xóchítl Pāpalōtl Ramírez's medical recovery fund. 'sometimes we are empty because our presence fills the earth and that too is a blessing,' is something they said once. the phrase filled my spirit with this imagery. I like to imagine all of the different ways that our bodies are like the land."

As populations concentrate more and more in cities, and away from traditional conceptions of the land, how do we maintain that relationship that ties us to land, but also to other people? One way is through opportunities to participate in and change public space. It may not be quite like being connected to the earth, but feeling connected to the spaces we travel through is a good first step. Unfortunately, those opportunities are increasingly few and far between. Public space is often privately controlled and, as a result, unlike the people who exist in it. It can take acts of mischief to regain those chances for engagement.

The artist Evan Roth used to assign his students to carry a permanent ink marker, the kind graffiti writer use, with them at all times. Not because he wanted them to necessary start tagging everything in sight, but because there was power that came with the possibility of tagging everything in sight. It's a good exercise. If you don't feel like getting the gear to do your own ad takeovers, at least pick up a marker, carry it around with you for a few days, and see how it makes you feel about public space. Maybe you'll feel a bit more connected to the spaces you inhabit and the people you inhabit them with.

Dandelion  by Beyon Wren Moor. Photo by Luna Park.

Dandelion by Beyon Wren Moor. Photo by Luna Park.