1% Time Is Up
I drew this last night while Eric performed percussion with Seth Tobocman at Occupy Wall Street:
It’s on the back of a pizza box, which are the unofficial/official canvas of Occupy Wall Street, as many people have created signs and artworks on the backs of pizza boxes, after the donated pizza has been consumed of course. This depicts Santa Muerte telling the forces of corporate and capitalist greed their time is up. I’ll be the first to admit that once again I’m being heavily influenced by the spirit of Mexican printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada; hey, I even wrote it on the bottom of the box!
Occupy Wall Street is very much a movement in flux, and I have to admit every time we return I feel a little more optimistic about it. Early on, as anyone reading this blog knows, I shared in critiques and dismay at the homogenousness of the crowd (rendered funny by their outraged protests anytime someone pointed out they were a rather homogenous lot.) Last night when we arrived it was immediately apparent, even before looking around us, that the energy in the air was very different. It was better, less laid back, more charged and electric. Sharp. In the sleeping encampment I noticed more variety; it wasn’t all fresh faced kids. There were people who looked like they could really use a community, even a makeshift one, offering them a safe place to sleep and a meal at the central kitchen, and I was glad that this offered it to them. The crowd was certainly more diverse, both multiculturally and in age (I know there has been some contention with older activists feeling dismissed or even mocked by younger people, though fortunately from what I could see both Seth and others such as Aron Kay, the Yippie Pie Man of days gone by were well received. Aron was quite comfortably moving through the crowd and being greeted wherever he went.)
In New York City the crowd has been forbidden to use sound amplification of any sort, so the protesters have devised a “people’s microphone”, which consists of a speaker breaking up what they want to say into increments which are then repeated aloud by the crowd, so everyone can hear what is being said. Seth used this technique at the beginning, though once the accompanying sounds and images began people seemed content to just observe the show, or read what was being said in the comics on the screen (actually a large sheet with slits in it to allow for wind resistance.) To avoid overpowering the words, Eric left his usual drums and metal pieces at home in favor of a hand drum and spring drum. Andy played saxophone. The sound ended up blending well, fortunately.
I’ve seen the show enough times in the past to be content sitting to the side drawing. Met a cool street artist named Elijah who liked it and a guy who went by Sage, who also said it was great but asked if I could do a more “positive” poster (he don’t know me vewwy well, do he?) Around the parameters of the park, a small parade of immigrant activists marched holding signs expressing solidarity with the cause and chanting “iSi se puede!” over and over. All in all, a night well spent.