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Roadwords.2 – October 17, 2009

November 5, 2009


On the morning of Saturday, October 17 we found out that the shoelace stencils for the Anderson Center parking lot weren’t quite large enough to have their intended affect. Rather than re-cut them on site, we moved up hill to the former MLK Jr. Drive and its compellingly rounded bottom end. On this hybrid cul-de-sac and sewer drain (due to its slow downward slope), Roadsworth painted a cautionary tale to drivers. Using a faded pair of yellow traffic lines as his starting point, he extended the lines into streams of spiraling water that terminate in a circular drain painted at the bottom of the hill. In this intersection of urban and natural metaphors, one must ask if our resources and social good will continue to go “down the drain” if the same linear path is followed. I can tell you that taping those lines to be smooth and straight was anything but simple, but the results were both whimsical and poignant. This design is best viewed from high above on the hill adjacent to the street.

Running Water 1

Taping the Yellow Lines

Running Water 2

Pondering the Drying Drain Stencil

Running Water 3

Still Taping the Lines...

Running Water 4

Working on Both Ends

When walking across MLK Jr. Drive, one often feels special empathy to the daring, traffic-dodging frogs of the classic 1981 video game Frogger. And while the game is almost three decades old, its reference feels more relevant than ever as vehicles grow larger and faster and pedestrian passageways continue to shrink. With this in mind, striding with amphibian affinity across the brick crosswalk next to the Diggs Gallery, Roadsworth set out to transform bricks into pixels. Just hours before SECCA’s screening of the NFB documentary Roadsworth: Crossing the Line at the Diggs Gallery, the artist and our tireless installation manager Cliff Dossel could be seen taping out the contours of frogs and cars on said crosswalk.

Frogger 1

Pixels become Bricks in this version of Frogger

With the paint barely dry, Roadsworth was welcomed by an enthusiastic audience of almost 60 people that evening for a post-screening Q&A. An engaging and often poignant discussion ensued about the evolving nature of street art, with the artist echoing his final line in the 2008 film: risk must be ritual.

Roadsworth & Matijcio

Post-Screening Discussion with Roadsworth

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