Thursday, December 19, 2013

Last Call for Christmas

Thank you all for your contributions this holiday season. Our holiday total is listed on the thermometer to the left. As contributors of $100 or more receive a free print of their choosing, I wanted to review print options and do a last call before Christmas. With just short days remaining, we still have time to get it off to you before Christmas – and get it shipped!
 
 NYC

Take a look at the slideshows here. To order, simply choose your donation method, tax deductible (Fractured Atlas),  or standard (PayPal), then email me with your print title and mailing information. 


 
Monochromes

Gallery

Do keep in mind that we operate as a non-profit and all proceeds go to keeping the project going:)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Everyone Hearts NY a Little Differently

Anon family (Spain) 08.26.13
Everyone sees New York a little differently. Some from afar, some from deep down in the bowels of the beast and others from other places. But all from some point of awe or amazement or sometimes confusion. It's just that way. It's so New York. 

As usual, any contribution of $100 (add $10 for shipping and handling) entitles you to a signed, numbered print of your choosing on museum quality, acid-free paper from the New York Gallery below. 

To order, simply choose your donation method, tax deductible (Fractured Atlas),  or standard (PayPal), then email me with your print title and mailing information. 
 


Always know that your contributions help us through the cooler months and keep the community experience of #iThinkOutsideMyBox alive. Thank you.



Monday, December 2, 2013

Missed Black Friday? No Worries:)


Bryony  04.04.13

As you can see, there's still plenty of black art available on Cyber Monday – or yellow, blue or red – many shades of red actually. Today we feature #iThinkOutsideMyBox's Monochrome series (below). And these are some of my favourites. As usual, any contribution of $100 (add $10 for shipping and handling) entitles you to a signed, numbered print of your choosing on museum quality, acid-free paper. 

To order, simply choose your donation method, tax deductible (Fractured Atlas),  or standard (PayPal), then email me with your print title and mailing information. 



 Your contributions help keep #iThinkOutsideMyBox alive. Thank you.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Week of Thanks and Giving

#iTOMB November 2013. Photo: Siddharth Choksi
In this week of thanks and giving we thank Mary and Karen and Kathleen for their kind donations and do encourage all to order an #iThinkOutsideMyBox print for the holidays. With cold weather here, your online support will see us through the winter.  Thank you all for giving. Also, please see our Press Release below and forward to interested parties you may know.





Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Contribute $100 - Choose Your Free Print

Romi 09.30.12
From now,  until forever, take a print of your choosing from our gallery series (below) for contributions to #iThinkOutsideMyBox of $100 or more - or choose any print from the site for contributions over $100 (please include $10 for shipping and handling).

Each print will come original size, 3"X3" on archival acid-free paper - hand trimmed to eliminate background textures - then shadow mounted and signed with artist notes and dates. Ready to frame.

To order, simply choose your donation method, tax deductible (Fractured Atlas),  or standard (PayPal), then email me with your print title and mailing information. Voi La! Your contributions are always greatly appreciated and we're happy to send a print to commemorate your help. Thank you all:)


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

#iTOMB: Love > $, but $ > *#^!

They say it is better to give than to receive, but anyone with their head screwed on reasonably straight might question that. Of course you'd rather get things. Good things. And on that front I feel proud of what the #iThinkOutsideMyBox project has been able to give emotionally - to New York, to America, to the world - and yes, to me personally so that we all get something out of the exercise - if maybe only, just a moment of peace

Thanks to Thiag (Brazil) 11.23.12
In the last year the #iThinkOutsideMyBox project has gone from a one-man activist vehicle to a global community art mandate supporting freedom of expression, an American First Amendment right, but more probably a worldwide human right. And our effort has not gone unnoticed. Recently we've been recognized by the Smithsonian's Cooper/Hewitt National Museum of Design, for socially responsible design, The National Gallery of Art, as photographic subject matter and Fractured Atlas for artistic and social merit. And as our profile has grown, so have our needs.

Skyrocketing from 500 individual paintings in the fall of 2012 to over 7000 today, we are inundated by public art and unable to process in a Bloombergian way. Translation? If we had Michael Bloomberg's money and artistic support that would be nice - but we don't. So we rely on your help, from paintbrush to wallet - to help support the world's largest collection of publicly painted art - made in NYC.

HOW TO DONATE

Donate now!

Fractured Atlas is our Fiscal Sponsor. They make your donation to #iThinkOutsideMyBox tax deductible. Example: Let's say you wanted to donate your old iPhone4 ($200) to us (which we really need)? You would receive a tax deduction of $200, and that could be a real number depending on your tax rate. (Email me if you can donate a phone) And monetary donations are deductible as well. Just click the Fractured Atlas logo above or on the left sidebar of the site and your $ contribution is tax deductible.



PayPal is the next best way to donate. It's not tax-deductible for you, but it's still good karma in our bank and appreciated the same as tax-dodger money:) PayPal donations help us buy paint, food and transport with our PayPal debit card so we see the benefits immediately, whereas, Fractured Atlas takes up to 90 days for us to see. Click above to donate through PayPal.

SO, HOW MUCH DO WE NEED? 



Short term, $1000. That will get us to the end of the year. And it's a number we need to see before launching a full KickStarter campaign. This number needs to be a ray of support that we can leverage to launch a push for year-long support from a larger community - the artistic grant community (We are currently applying to the National Endowment for the Arts, MacArthur, Soros, Guggenheim and other programmes). But currently, our expenses are now at a grand, aside from our operating income. They include, replacement iPhone ($200), computer upgrades ($300), Internet and phone access monthly ($100), storage ($60 monthly) Metro monthly ($125) and so on - so we need your help to fill these needs. 

THANK YOU

Please know that your donation goes to support a greater public need, the need for all people to freely express themselves in a public forum - something we didn't see until the response to the project became overwhelming. I thank you all deeply for your continuing support and hope to advance the #iThinkOutsideMyBox initiative in the years to come :)


DEC: Photo- Steve Rosen 09.13.13











Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets:)

#iTOMB Photo: Steve Pyke - Lola Rae 03.16.2011
Meet Lola Rae. Because whatever Lola wants, Lola gets. She and her dad, Steve Pyke, came by a few weeks ago and she did a painting while Steve and I chatted. Steve's an accomplished photographer and has shot celebrities, politicians and a world of life with his 2 1/4 camera for the New Yorker and other clients worldwide. Click here for his site.

On Steve and Lola's first visit Steve left a package of photographs, which luckily, had his name and address on them. By end of day, having not been picked up, I decided to deliver them to their house on Hudson Street. Arriving and ringing the bell, Steve was surprised. He hadn't even realised he was missing his photographs - but might have later:)

Since then Steve and Lola have been back twice, with Lola always taking the lead and dragging daddy to the painting studio in the park. And in the last year, she's not our only return painter. There are many, and many who come back to find their work in the smallest Chelsea gallery in New York.

Thank you Lola and Steve. You gotta love what I do when you have patrons like this:)

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You can find my professional credentials here on LinkedIn. To show your support for our efforts with #iTOMB, you can write the High Line here, addressed to the Curator, Chief Operating Officer, Executive Director or Founders.


Friday, October 11, 2013

#iTOMB: Moving Forward - Now Tax Deductible

Our fiscal sponsor
Today we were honored by the Fractured Atlas board of directors for accepting us for fiscal sponsorship. This means that the #iThinkOutsideMyBox project is on to a new phase in becoming a registered 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Aside from being who we have been for the last year, it's our first major step. This means that now all contributions to our effort, if made online, are now tax deductible.

And donations of property are also deductible, like iPhones, computer equipment and even vehicles (I'd personally like a vintage Aston Martin) - although we are greatly in need of an updated iPhone (4/4s/5). Please email and ask me for details.

#iThinkOutsideMyBox is an open mind project promoting freedom of expression, creative problem solving and socially responsible design. We operate through the #iTOMB public painting project. sm@rt cart production and associated corporate/school/foundation programs that facilitate creativity. That means, we have fun, we get stuff done (GSD) and try to make a positive difference.

With the winter months approaching, your donation means more than ever so please consider whatever is appropriate for you. $5, $10, $25, $50 or larger, we haven't seen a dollar that didn't help - and now, those dollars are tax deductible (and we get 93 cents for every one:) 

Thank you all as we move forward in this pretty amazing journey:)





Sunday, October 6, 2013

What's the Difference Between a Public Program and a Commercial Promotion?


That looks like The Public!
On the High Line this week, we had a perfect example. At 22nd street you had the I Think Outside My Box project, a public program, as we have been for over one year,  and at the 16th St. overpass you had Amazon and a massive Kindle promotion that overpowered the natural beauty of the park like a giant alien ship had just missed it's convention landing at the Javit's Center.

And as you might imagine, Amazon was wildly well funded, commercially slick and esthetically overpowering. - it even plowed over the musicians, crammed into their government mandated spot, who could have been part of the mood of the park and the promotion - but were sadly not.

Yet, we (#iTOMB) , in our own simple public way, were not funded at all, decidedly non-commercial and fit into the groove of the park seamlessly. And people reacted appropriately. The Amazon scene was like a suburban shopping mall and we were, well, we.

Wow! Is that Jeff Bezos' daughter? No, just one of us:)
The essential difference between Amazon's commercial promotion, executed admittedly by the High Line for the donation money, and our public program of first amendment expression project, not executed for profit, but for the public good was in the public reaction. A marked difference.

Whilst Amazon offered free coffee and a test drive of their product, we offered none of the above, yet encouraged everyone to engage, involve and express themselves, in paint - without selling them anything - or maybe just selling them, themselves:)

After only a few minutes of people painting a woman walked up to me and handed me $20.  "Thank you", she said, "For the experiences you are creating". 

In her middle age, and having watched from the benches nearby, she continued, "I don't have children, but I have watched what you do, and I am inspired by the experiences you create." "Don't you see the experiences you are creating?". she asked me. I blushed a bit. Maybe I don't.


But I can guarantee you, and the High Line the same, that Amazon was not in the business of creating experiences. They were in the business of selling Kindles. And the High Line was not in the business of creating experiences either. They were in the business of fundraising. And that's where promotion and public programs collide - but they don't have to.

The Amazon promotion was like a giant alien craft had just landed in a placid city park. It clashed with its surroundings by placing space age-like "viewing pods" for reading instead of using the natural beauty of trees and even birds (we have birds at 22nd St.) to invigorate one's experience and only gave away free coffee (from another commercial sponsor) as a comeuppance for their occupation of an otherwise beautiful public space. I recalled all the people I saw reading in Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris a few years ago and wished for a recreation of that experience, or something similarly park-like.

At the High Line park, they have an entire department dedicated to Public Programs, Education and Community Engagement and the Amazon promotion was conspicuously labeled at as a "Public Event". But what it really was, was a simple promotion - made to get you to buy something. Not to aid the public at all.  And that sort of sucks - because with proper direction, both Amazon and the High Line could have helped each other and created an experience that was not just commercial, but emotionally engaging.

But they didn't.

The I Think Outside My Box Project is not a commercial enterprise at all. In fact, it's a perfectly rotten business model. But it makes people happy. It creates and enables simple life experiences. And that's a huge difference from all the advertising work I've done in the past - but the two need not be mutually exclusive. To begin to fit corporate goals into social ideals, the first thing to be done is to throw out metrics like ROI (Return on Investment) and focus more on GNH (Gross National Happiness). Because when people love your brand - and in this case, both Amazon and the High Line as brands - money will be no object. People will be happy to pay for pleasurable experiences much more than for hard plastic products.

Lanny Harrison collage (Gallatin/NYU Faculty Art Show)

Later in my day, a woman came up to me and remarked how horrible the Amazon thing had been. "Blatant commercialisation of an otherwise placid public space" , she said. And then she painted for us. (above featured work sent by email later with comment "I love what you are doing").

A good friend of mine thinks I'm crazy.

"What? Are you trying to get the establishment to buy into your whacko socialist artistic idea and actually endorse you, along with all those commercial boys?", she asked.

"Yeah", I responded.

Aside from his vanity purchase of The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos is not in the business of public service.


You can find my professional credentials here on LinkedIn. To show your support for our efforts with #iTOMB, you can write the High Line here, addressed to the Curator, Chief Operating Officer or Founders.



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Introducing the sm@rt cart - a better urban utility vehicle!



The sm@rt cart is an urban utility vehicle made from repurposed materials. Designed in Harlem, New York City, the sm@rt handles shopping, laundry and utility tasks much more efficiently and sturdily than standard carts. Using completely repurposed materials - shopping cart baskets married to baby stroller frames - the sm@rt carries hundreds of pounds effortlessly and fits store aisles, elevators and subways with ease.


video


Originally designed to carry the iThinkOutsideMyBox project and manufactured in Harlem, USA, the sm@rt also helps by not only repurposing discarded materials and providing work to those who need it, but by providing a superior service vehicle to you - creating a win/win for all.

sm@rt carts are all custom made and can be configured to any requirements.

Example: If you are a photographer needing a custom carrying solution for street work, work panels, drawers, Mac video viewing portal, etc, we can manufacture to your specs. For street sales, service (plumbing, electrical, etc.) sm@art carts travel in streets, subways, trains and trucks with ease.

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#iThinkOutsideMyBox operates as a non-profit providing a creative think tank, public arts programmes and supporting the under-employed through sm@rt carts. Your donations keep us doing well. Thank you:)

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Let us know how we can design a solution for your future:) See our Etsy shop for all designs.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

#iTOMB: The Magic Of...

video


And that's how it goes. For all the people who have never seen our setup, or who don't know that all their thinking outside their relative boxes comes from, well, a box. Here's how it works.

The entire structure you see in the end is a result of the dimensions in which my panels come pre-cut, then cut again and the size in which they need to fit for travel. "Form follows function", as Mies van der Rohe said.

There's a lot of magic in this box.


#iTOMB Photo: Steven Rosen 09.14.13





Tuesday, September 17, 2013

#iTOMB - "It's so New York"

#iTOMB Jan (Australia) 09.06.13

As comments go, we hear a lot. And a lot the same, or similar. For the life of the I Think Outside My Box project, the most common is, "Thank you. Thank you for doing what you are doing" - as if I have uncovered some insatiable thirst for people to simply unhinge, take a break, be free, say what they want - and leave in peace. And just by painting. In a beautiful park. Who knew?

Frankly, this blows me away. Are we such a repressed society that we are now not accustomed to expressing ourselves, either through speech or art or song or - uh, maybe sex? - that a small bit of painting becomes respite in such their cruel world?

One day I found a $100 bill tucked in an obscure place in the exhibit with the note, "Thank you" written on it. Even when I'm not paying attention, or just generally managing the crowd, people slip me tens and twenties and say the same - they thank me.

And for what? I'm nothing in their lives. I'm just some guy on the street (ok, an elevated street)  - and no, I'm not getting rich off this. In too many financial ways, I am poorer for it.

But I can't deny the reality that, in the execution of this community endeavor, I never have a bad day.

Never. And never does it seem, that anyone else does either. And if I were looking for financial reward, I'm smart enough to know that getting your paintbox out and hitting the streets, probably isn't the formula that's going to shoot me over the top of the New York socio/cultural/career,  make-an-f-load-of-money scene anyway. But that isn't the point. So what is?

"Thank you. Thank you for doing what you are doing"

"It's so New York"


"What a great idea"


"How Charles and Rae Eames"


"Did anybody ever tell you, you look like David Bowie?"


"Wow, I needed that - that's the most peace I've had all week"


"I've never seen anything like this in the world"



That's the point. It's so New York.




Wednesday, September 4, 2013

#iTOMB: Redefining the Concept of Public Art

#iTOMB Maribell 04.08.13
I have been working in the venue of public art for two years now in New York - first as a painter of protest signs  at Occupy Wall Street, nearly two years ago, but more currently as the creator/curator and chief protagonist of the I Think Outside My Box (#iTOMB) project  on The High Line in New York - and different from the idea that the government will take our tax money and decide what kind of art "the public" will get, we simply get the public to make art, and then serve it up to - you guessed it - the public.

How simple is that? How American is that?

So it seems the delineation between public art, art that our government says you should experience - and art that we, the public make is a real line of demarcation. A visitor last week to #iTOMB remarked, "Wow, a new definition of public art!", upon seeing the art created by a random populace. And even I didn't see it as that in the beginning - but that it has become. Because, to my knowledge, no government or publicly supported entity really encourages you to communicate freely with no strings attached. But we do.

At #iTOMB, we are simply in the non-profit business of facilitating the citizens at large to make art, to exercise their First Amendment rights - to express whatever they like - without censorship. Just like America was envisioned by our founding fathers - without the hundreds of millions of dollars our administrators set aside for supposed public art projects. 

So what should "Public Art" be? The best iteration I've seen in New York recently would have been "The Gates" in Central Park, created by Christo and Jeanne Claude - an installation that actually required the public to interact to make it work. And it worked - albeit for too short a time. So in my best-of-what-could-be definition of public art, I would like public art to be interactive - to not just provide a viewing experience or something that can be easily sponged up by the iPhone/iPad paparazzi, but to be an involvement that requires a response - a two way communication. And I have been told that we and The Gates are similar. One woman called us "The Little Gates"

Nice.

But the other day another woman railed that she didn't like The High Line at all - for not serving neighborhood needs and turning her home into a tourist attraction. "I thought this was going to be a neighborhood park". she said. "But it's turned into a tourist trap and that pisses me off", she said "I liked it better the old way - now all they care about is fundraising".

And although I don't agree with her, I can see her idea. Now things are being spit-shined to such a degree (and escalating real estate values) that it's losing it's New York-ness - its neighborhood feel.

So how do you bring that back - or keep what was good, depending on your POV. How do you foster community involvement amidst an urban renaissance?

In a recent conversation on community creative encouragement I said, "You can dictate things, you can plan things, or you can nurture things", the question is, how comfortable can you be with understanding that sometimes people don't do what you legislate or organise - but what they do do, naturally, is actually a communication on the affirmative in response to being encouraged. Can you be flexible enough to allow that? Can you encourage and celebrate happy accidents - through the trials it takes to create them?

Leo Burnett, founder of one of the world's most successful advertising agencies, The Leo Burnett Company (Marlboro Man, Tony the Tiger, Keebler Elves, Jolly Green Giant, Pillsbury Dough Boy, etc.) said two things that still ring true for me. "You cannot sell a man something he does not wish to buy." and, "Any idiot can change an idea, but it takes a real genius to keep his hands off a good one."

So it seems that everyone in the business of dealing with public art needs to have an even throttle on what to let go, and what to let grow - and in the case of the High Line, a park that grew up upon an old bit of governmental infrastructure, that seems simple. But simple it's not. Before, you had nature as the boss - now you have  humans. And humans are much less predictable than nature.

Colin Huggins, Piano and Orchestra - Washington Square Park 08.16.13

Last Sunday night I had the pleasure of hearing Colin Huggins at grand piano backed by a ten piece orchestra in Washington Square Park at 10pm. And no, this wasn't planned by a conservancy, nor given any millions by the city to promote the arts. This was public art, created by artists and managed by artists for an adoring crowd - and it was lovely - a true representation of public art and what we strive to grow at #iTOMB as well.

If you have enjoyed your public art experience at #iTOMB, please send a note to the High Line and let them know. We'll just Keep Calm and Carry On:)


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The World's Largest Collection of Handpainted Works (#iTOMB) Now Lives on The High Line

When you have 500, that's a lot. And a thousand is a lot more. But now, with our first anniversary approaching in September, the iThinkOutsideMyBox project is nearing 5000 individual painted works - and 90 some-odd % of those have been made on The High Line in New York City, an old elevated railway, converted to a city park and, in a little corner - a pop-up public painting studio:)

 #iTOMB Painted by a visitor identified only as "U" 08.12.13

And still, we don't have a day where people don't tell me how much they loved the experience, or found relaxation, or a moment alone, or a larger peace - or always something good. It's a fairly amazing project. But am I amazed by the numbers? I don't think so - because I don't think that quantity matters here. What seems to matter to virtually everyone who participates, is some aspect of quality. Quality of life I believe. And that's an awfully hard metric to quantify. So we don't try to.

But if you have visited the #iTOMB project and would like to pass on a nice word (or not:-) or encourage a public exhibition of the work we've collected, please do send The High Line an email, or maybe a good old fashioned snail-mail:) here > Friends of the High Line, 529 West 20th Street, Suite 8W, New York, NY 10011 - Ph: (212) 206-9922  Fax: (212) 206-9118 Email : info@thehighline.org 




Friday, August 2, 2013

As Performers Continue to be Arrested, #iTOMB Keeps Calm and Carries On:)

Soviet Union c. 1975: A violinist was arrested in the subway last week for, you didn't guess it,  playing a violin. And yes, those of us old enough to remember what we were told about that evil Soviet empire at the time might find that odd, but that was then, and this is now - in America, nonetheless.

How's that New World Order workin' out for us?

But Matthew Christian, the violinist and staunch advocate of Buskers Rights,  is not alone. All over the city, musicians, performers and artists are being summonsed, arrested and harassed for their exercise of their, and your, First Amendment rights. And if you don't think that really matters to you, read on.


#iTOMB Tim Purdue Skateboard (PathOfLife) 07.26.13
Last Friday on the High Line, my regular spot for over one year, I painted this skateboard for a really nice guy named Tim, whilst under the watchful eye of Captain Rowan of the NYC Park Enforcement Police (PEP) for roughly two hours. And yes, for free - which was my offer to Tim from the start.

But the law in NYC parks regarding artists and performers, over the past few months, has changed - very different from the law on streets or in the subways.

It is  now illegal to take any money in CP, Union Square, The High Line or Battery Park (unless in an already taken designated spot) for any expressive endeavor - in a  public space, a space that we all own - in this capitalist country, a country that revolted against British rule over double taxation (and wearing truly silly red uniforms:).

Performers, and facilitators like myself, in NYC parks above, are now, not allowed to accept money for exercising their First Amendment rights - even if people enjoy it :-?

#iTOMB Girls At Work 07.26.13
So with my brush in hand, I listened to Captain Rowan explain all the ways in which he could bust (harass) me, even for promoting art and expression for free - and it was clear that if I didn't leave, he would simply make up a reason to bust me. And with my previous unlawful arrest experience in this trade, I packed up, and went home. Reluctantly.

And it wasn't your first amendment rights being violated, was it? Only another's. But you could just wait until the NSA is using your last cellphone message against you in your trial for speaking your mind, couldn't you?

Please support your local artist and do sign the petition supporting artist's rights here.

To support #iTOMB outside the parks, we have just launched the #iThinkOutsideMyBox product store online. Here you can find designs that help support the cause: To make sure you can say whatever you want, even when big brother says you can't:) Our first item is Tim's skateboard design, entitled: PathOfLife.

Keep Calm and Carry On:)

#iTOMB Anon 07.27.13








Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"I Think Outside My Box" Goes Corporate - In a Good Way:-)


As a silhouette on screen I speak to an inconvenient truth.

The continued matriculation of the I Think Outside My Box (iTOMB) project finds me at as much of a surprise as those who see and experience it for the first time - and I am caused to reflect on its humble beginnings as just a cardboard box in a pile of cardboard at Occupy Wall street and think about how it has grown from a pretty good 'one line joke' activist vehicle (a man sitting in a box that says "I Think Outside My Box") to a full blown creative platform for thousands upon thousands of people to freely express themselves through just cardboard, acrylic paint and simple brushes.

On Tuesday, 12 June, I was proud to host the concept in Midtown Manhattan at what is arguably, "the largest worldwide advertising agency by global footprint",according to Adbrands.net, and the subject of my talk was about "Starting from scratch". 

"What if you had to throw away, all the corporate crowns of creativity in the advertising business (the awards, the bonus', the corner office, etc.), and begin again? What would you do?", I was asked.

And my answer has already played out. I'd think outside my box. But on this particular day, my audience was a group of top agency creatives who's perch at the top of an industry could be in jeopardy if they don't rethink themselves and their approach to their businesses quite seriously. And who better to enlighten them, than a man who's been in their position before - and in some cases, in a better position than they.

For those who don't know, I didn't begin my creative career in a box. I began it as a sign painter and journalist as I worked my way through college in both trades finally graduating with a degree in Corporate Communications (concentration: Graphic Design) and a minor in Journalism. And then moving on to become a VP at a top 3 global agency and founder of the first 100% foreign invested agency in Korea.

But on this day, I needed to be just a man, a man stripped of most of what my audience might have considered valuable and brought to his bare credentials - the claim that he was indeed "creative".

To do this, I decided that the worst way would have been to walk into a room and talk about it. Because that's boring and these people wouldn't care. No, for this we needed a device, a suspension of disbelief, a bit of threatre - some mystery, a MacGuffin, if you will - decidedly not a trick, but a way to hold interest that would allow me to get through a seemingly complex story in an unencumbered and convincing way - wanting them to know in the end, who the real man behind the story was.

So thus came the silhouette. A backlit figure, actually behind a screen (with the projector behind me), that could speak with his audience in realtime, whilst controlling a Powerpoint presentation that carried all the visuals to illustrate the live narration and provide a foil I could interact with throughout the presentation. Example: As a live silhouette, I could actually point to pictures of on the screen or even look at myself on the screen, or other images, so bringing one's standard PPT alive in a way that even I hadn't seen before. And since there was no rehearsal, the toys I had provided myself by creation of the live silhouette on live screen, were only made apparent as I worked through the show.

And trust me, it was great fun. Great, great fun. By bringing iTOMB alive in this way I caused the participants to imagine, not only the career and frame of mind that caused me to conceive it, but what it might be like to participate, interactvely as painters, creators and protaganists in whatever the next chapter of iTOMB might be.

In summary, the Global Creative Director who had brought me in said this: "David, thank you - You touched us all and made us think. You made us think! And in the end isn't that what we are supposed to do." 

And so we did. We thought. And I am now caused to think about what propelled me to create the box, a box in which I would need to think my way out of - and the answer lies as such:

You don't go from being a Vice President at the largest advertising agency in the United States, as I was, to protesting at Occupy Wall Street because you screwed the whole situation up yourself - but when it comes to sorting oneself out of that situation, there is no one better than you to do the critical thinking, put pedal to metal (or brush to cardboard as I did), and make the solution so, so much bigger than the canvas one was given.

This I hope, is what we did, with a little smoke and mirrors, last Tuesday for a company and staff that needs, in many ways, to start from scratch. I did it with truth, and a simple, compelling execution of such. Where they go now, is simply up to them. 

I've been told my personal branding is spot on:-)

My best to those who welcomed me into their professional home for the afternoon:-) For more on corporate applications of iTOMB, please contact me.

Monday, June 3, 2013

It's All Good

#iTOMB Caroline 04.27.13

It's all good. With the government still threatening to close down performers around the city, we carry on - with real support from all and a true belief that America, the country many migrate to for true freedom, will remain that way.

#iTOMB continues to prosper, and in a way, so much so, that I cannot keep up with the uploads of new work to this site. Sorry all, I'm about a month behind, but your work will be posted - ughh, later or sooner.

Funny sidebar: A man named Will (his real name) performs Shakespeare monologues on the High Line, many times near me at 22nd St.- and the people love him. He's friendly, fabulous and talented - a real working actor with a valuable contemporary twist on the workings of the Bard of Avon.

In solidarity we have become good friends in our love of art in the parks of New York City. But recently, our government has caused us all to reflect on what a world we might live in when it's no longer legal for Shakespeare to be performed in a city park in America.

"Shakespeare Arrested In Park" - the headline could read?

That's just not American.

Thank you all for your love and support. We carry on with your spirit of love, friendship and the indomitable American way:)


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Hokahey!" - Performing Artists Now Under Attack in NYC Parks

"Hokahey!" - It's what Crazy Horse's warriors screamed when running into battle and it back-translates roughly in English to be "It's a Good Day to Die" - and was meant to say that they were not afraid of the battle, or dieing in it.

And so will cry the New York City performing artists tomorrow when the city declares war on performers and artists being financially rewarded for their lawful expressions of art in America. The law is simple as such: You cannot perform for money in New York City Parks unless you are an organ grinder with a monkey (defined as "mobile" with only your feet touching the ground) - but should the monkey touch the ground, or you both stay in the same place for more than 15 minutes, you're pretty much screwed.
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In the video above, Manhattan Parks Commissioner, Bill Castro, lies horribly in describing the new law on performers (I know, I was there) to an entire room of concerned citizens about the effects of a new law governing performers in NYC Parks. The truth is, if you do anything artistic and take money, you WILL be busted, either by a $250-1000 summons, or by arrest. Period. Read the law, listen to Bill and then realize that what is real is the written law and not any at all what he says. This will make  Joe Mangrum, the sand-painter in Union Square illegal. This will make Collin Huggins, the guy with the baby grand in Washington Square illegal. It will also make iThink Outside My Box (#iTOMB) illegal - which essentially makes citizen input and expression illegal - if you give me money. So I have a solution.

#iTOMB was founded at Occupy Wall Street in the fall of 2011. Here's us in the Wall Street Journal, and a comment from a reviewer at the site.

#iTOMB and David Everitt-Carlson - Photo by Bryan Derballa for the Wall Street Journal 10,07.11
"This photo captures a number of the responses I've had. The guy really is thinking outside his box, and that's the power he wields: not pepper spray, but wit, intelligence, ideas, and language. Ideas, combined with courage, intelligence, and character are power." 

Your government is currently enacting laws to first curtail me from helping you express yourself and in response curtail you - from speaking and expressing freely. "Just shut up", they say. Please do one of the following to preserve your First Amendment rights.

1) Sign the Petition to Mayor Bloomberg and New York City Parks Commissioner, Veronica M. White to repeal the ban on performers in New York City Parks.


2) Contact New York City Parks Commissioner, Veronica M. White, and tell her that you support performers in our parks. This will make your voice heard to those who are serving you.

3) Tweet or Instagram with your #iTOMB photo, "I like #iTOMB @HighLineNYC". This will let park admin know that #iTOMB is much more a community service than a business. News about our 501(c)3 non-profit application, soon.

4) Contribute to the iTOMB legal defence fund, here. 

"Hokahey!" - It'time to take your rights back from those who police you.

Andrew Purchin of 1000 Artists.com has said that that "The Making of Art is True Democracy". Let's prove him right and reject this fascist repression of citizen rights.

In the following 1961 film by Dan Drasin, "Beatniks, roving troubadours and their followers" were beaten by police in Washington Square Park over their right to sing folk music. Time to repeat history, NYC? The folk singers won this one:-)

Monday, May 6, 2013

8 May: D-Day for Performing Artists in NYC Parks - Join us!

Pursuant to my previous post regarding a ban on performers in New York City Parks, on May 8th, this Wednesday, PEP Officers (Parks Dept police) will be giving out a FAQ sheet describing in detail the rights (or lack thereof) of all performers in all NYC Parks. Last Wednesday at a community meeting, the Parks Department had assured performers there will not be any enforcement actions taken against them. Depending on what it says on this new FAQ synopsis of the revised park rules, "performers will have either officially won their rights or begun a new struggle to regain them", according to Robert Lederman, president of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artist Response To Illegal State Tactics)

I plan on attending the direct action planned on Wednesday by bringing #iTOMB and joining Joe Mangrum, the sand painter at Union Square, Collin Huggins, the pianist at Washington Square and my performer friends from the High Line along with hundreds of other New York City artists as we stand for our and your first amendment rights. And you can help as well. See the three actions below and choose one or all to stand for the right to speak and gather freely in our often billed as free country.

1) Sign the Petition to Mayor Bloomberg and New York City Parks Commissioner, Veronica M. White to repeal the ban on performers in New York City Parks.


2) Contact New York City Parks Commissioner, Veronica M. White, and tell her that you support performers in our parks. This will make your voice heard to those who are serving you.

3) Tweet or Instagram with your #iTOMB photo, "I like #iTOMB @HighLineNYC". This will let park admin know that #iTOMB is much more a community service than a business. News about our 501(c)3 non-profit application, soon.


#iTOMB Azza II 04.09.13

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

#iTOMB: Supporting Your First Amendment Rights - Join Us

You have the right to speak freely, but that right must be defended:)

And so the battle wages on - as if expressing oneself should be a battle:(

In 2011, according to the New York Times, the city "cracked down" on vendors of art and performers in city parks by issuing sommonses to performers for accepting donations for whatever their art might have been - singing, dancing, playing an instrument or reciting Shakespeare. An Orwellian nightmare? The Fascist's boot? No, this is America, and not just any America. This is America in New York City - a city that prides itself in its production and consumption of all things artistic - Broadway, Carnegie Hall, The Met (both of them), MoMA and more.

But those vaunted institutions and their presentations have been pre-approved by the powers that be and certified not to be the Naked Cowboy - but so long as he stays in Times Square and doesn't gallup up to Central Park, even the Naked Cowboy is legal NYC entertainment - and entitled to his dollar. It's only those performers in the parks that are the problem - maybe because the city can't pick and choose the performances they get and doesn't get a percentage of their bucket - a King's ransom for sure.

Ronald L. Kuby, a civil rights attorney involved in the 2011 proceedings, described the practice of fining minstrels and the like as such: "This is a heavy-handed solution to a nonexistent problem,”, he said.

And so we have the right to speak freely it seems, just so long as we are not being compensated for our thoughts. And therein lies the rub. If our thoughts are so interesting as to elicit a buck from a passerby, the city would like a cut. They'll approve and even pay for all sorts of artistic Tom-foolery, like turning the Columbus statue into a trailer home velvet Elvis, if it brings in a buck. But all those pesky park buskers - "do they bring us a buck?", the city asks. Probably more than any Bloomocrat (kind of like a Belieber) could know. Without street performers New York wouldn't be the cultural Petrie dish that millions of tourists come to experience every year.

In 2011 the edict was for performers to stay away from statues, benches  and monuments in city parks. "Why" is another question. Fast forward to today and the most recent amendment to the park rules tells performers to just stay away - period - from city parks in their entirety.

The New York World reports: "Since 2010, the city has steered art, book and other “expressive matter” vendors in parks to specific locations: along the curb, away from park furniture like benches and at least 50 feet away from a monument. In Union Square, Battery Park, the High Line and parts of Central Park, they may work only in designated vending areas.

Now singers, rappers, jugglers, dancers and contortionists — even human statues — will have to join them, if they perform in exchange for a fee or a donation." 

But there are only so many 'designated' spots available, marked by a plastic medallion in the pavement -  and those are already taken. And so without additional designated areas, the message to performers is simply this: "Go away. Or we will put you in jail".

And artist Robert Lederman knows. He's been arrested nearly 50 times since the 90s for promoting his art, yet has never been convicted. Conversely, he's counter sued for false arrest and become a cultural icon and cottage industry for artists rights.

“They did affidavits and testified orally in my case claiming that because of the ruling they had no choice but to take entertainment and street performers out of the park rules, and now they are putting them back in. They are going to get sued about this by every performer.”, he said about the current amendment that in effect, bars all street performers from city parks.


#iTOMB's contribution to our city's public art malaise. Stephanie 03.28.13

But with our work on #iTOMB, I'm confused. Can I really be fined or jailed  in America for providing people the tools to express themselves in a public space? I'd better consult with Ai Wei Wei about what it's like to do a few weeks in a government re-education camp.

Our performance is executed by everyone and everyone loves it in a space that everyone payed for. What's wrong with the picture this all paints? Time, the Parks Department, the cops, artists, the public and the courts will tell. But for now there are just a couple of things that we can do to bring our plight to a higher light:

1) Contact New York City Parks Commissioner, Veronica M. White, and tell her that you support performers in our parks. This will make your voice heard to those who are serving you.

2) Tweet or Instagram with your iTOMB photo, "I like #iTOMB @HighLineNYC". This will let park admin know that iTOMB is much more a community service than a business. News about our 501(c)3 non-profit application, soon.


I'm working on a game plan and petition for all performers and preparing for the very likely eventuality that I will be cited and possibly arrested for helping the masses think, but in the meantime, I'm advocating one or two of the above.

On a more personal note, I am including below, a copy of Todd Rundgren's career retrospective concert with the Metropole Orchestra in Amsterdam last year. Having created the world's first artist based music subscription service, and even allowing fans to re-configure his music into user friendly compositions, Todd has evoked the spirit I try to bring to iTOMB. The spirit that we are all born free to create and that not creating, and sharing our visions with the society at large, would be the greatest crime of all.