Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sleeping in a Furniture Store

On Wednesday we had our first mission! A group of about 20 of us went into a local furniture store and fell asleep on the beds and couches. The ladies who ran the shop freaked out and slapped the beds trying to wake everyone up. They called both the cops and the store owners, but by the end they were laughing hysterically to each other. We got it on tape with hidden camera and hope to edit the video together sometime soon.

Here's the store:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Freeze a Success!

A group of about 20 of us had lots of fun executing our Freeze mission on Friday. We walked down two of the main streets in Petrozavodsk, freezing along the way. Today we start working on new ideas for things we can do this week.

Should be fun!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mission One

This afternoon we're going out on our first mission. Kendal and I will lead the group of locals on a "Freeze" mission. We're going to do a "Walking Freeze" which is a riff on the idea from my Frozen Grand Central mission in New York. I will lead the group as we walk in a lose pack, seeming like we don't know each other. Whenever I stop, everyone behind me will freeze in place until I move again. We'll do this several times down the main street in Petrozavodsk, heading past the universities. I'm excited to see how people will react!

If You Stand In Just The Right Spot....

A statue of a former Governor eccoing the pose done by the Peter the Great statue (see below).

Me With Street Artist Renald...

Should I be showing his face???

Checking Out The City

Nastya at the Wishing Tree..

Peter the Great

Charlie and I pose with the strongest man in Russia - a blacksmith with a firm handshake. Almost broke a couple of bones in my hand.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Meeting the Players

We met our hosts for the next 10 days in an incredible multipurpose, multiuse space with plenty of video equipment. We were warned that some of the artists/participants are a bit shy so it will take a while for them to warm up to us. I gave a presentation which covered public art in general and Charlie presented some of his projects. All was well recieved. In the next couple days we will walk around the city with the participants to get a feel for the area and scout possible locations for interventions.

Fast Food In Petrozavodsk

Charlie read about this "quick and friendly" Mexican Restaurant in his Lonley Planet guide. It was Mexican-ish but it wasn't quick, nor friendly.

Before arriving here I heard rumors of a McDonald's like fast food restaurant. Sure enough- there it was. And the catch phrase: "I'm Liking It"

Getting to Petrozavodsk

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Street Art in Petrozavodsk

A Russian street artist Renald from Petrozavodsk, Russia turns random phone booths into sharks.

Where is Petrozavodsk?

Two weeks ago I had never heard of Petrozavodsk and I learned how to pronounce it last week. Charlie and I were supposed to visit Vladikavkaz to conduct public art workshops and in the process create projects but that all changed when the conflict between Russia and Georgia broke out over South Osetia. Vladikavkaz is not too for from there so we all agreed that it would be best to go somewhere else. Naturally, when I don't know a place, I Google it. And this is what I found out about Petrozavodsk (which means Peter - Factory)...

Petrozavodsk (Russian: Петрозаво́дск; Karelian/Finnish: Petroskoi or Äänislinna) is the capital of the Republic of Karelia, Russia, with a population of 266,160 (2002 Census). It stretches along the western shore of the Lake Onega for some 27 kilometers. The city is served by Besovets Airport. Municipally, it is incorporated as Petrozavodsk Urban Okrug (Петрозаводский городской округ).