Lost and Found Art goes from Random to Contrived?
March 26, 2008 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Is it “found art” when it’s intentionally left out to be found?

Enough findings at this street corner have been documented in a blog as long ago as April 2007, around the time anonymous artist(s) were planting small paintings at street signs in urban residential neighborhoods.
The resident who tracks the found art sightings, regularly updates with photos of her neighborhood’s location, a telephone pole with a makeshift shelf for passersby to anonymously place (and replace) found items.

Now she has become one of a posse of local artists is launching a movement in the spirit of this found art, calling itself Real Small Art.

posted by skyper (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Better not do this in Boston.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:56 AM on March 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

That's 'left art', not 'found art'. Heh.
posted by Pecinpah at 10:58 AM on March 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

I'd call it littering.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:02 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you're the artist, I think it's "lost" art. Provided anyone walks off with it, that is.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:02 AM on March 26, 2008

I'm pretty sure this would be called "guerilla art", as in guerilla advertising and guerilla gardening.
posted by Sar HaPanim at 11:32 AM on March 26, 2008

I'd call it littering.

Funny, that my word for geocaching.
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:36 AM on March 26, 2008

posted by Dr-Baa at 11:36 AM on March 26, 2008

We talked about someone else's found/left/lost art long, long ago.

I really like the idea. There are a bunch of antique fire department call boxes around my neighborhood. Some have been painted nicely, and some have been turned into historical markers for various sites, but I'm thinking a left art repository might need to be created, too.

There was also a lot of this going on at PDF. I came back to my tent one evening to find a fuzzy red heart-shaped pillow, with an embroidered message just for me. No idea where it came from.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:37 AM on March 26, 2008

There's a public art campaign in New Orleans called nola rising that has been generating some controversy and a (warning: pdf) lot of local (and not so local) discussion.
posted by djeo at 11:37 AM on March 26, 2008

Found art is art made of found objects. This seems to be street art and the best site for it is woostercollective.com which covers graffiti and other evolving forms of unsolicited public expression.
posted by podwarrior at 11:43 AM on March 26, 2008

Is it "found" if it was never lost? Is it a rickroll if you're expecting Rick Astley?
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 12:08 PM on March 26, 2008

Huh. This shelf is just a couple blocks from my house -- and I still can't work up any significant feeling about it. But I'm glad I found this post, if that helps...
posted by newmoistness at 12:46 PM on March 26, 2008

If you're the artist, I think it's "lost" art.

Is it "found" if it was never lost?

Apparently "found art" is rapidly becoming a lost art.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:07 PM on March 26, 2008 [3 favorites]

A notorius bit of found (left?) art from Chicago, early 80s, spray painted on building in the gallery district: "Is it art or is it vandalism?" (I believe the artist was Nancy Forrest Brown, for those who need to know.)
posted by nax at 1:10 PM on March 26, 2008

I agree about not doing this in Boston. I think this city prides itself on not having any street signs whatsoever. Putting art up will confuse the shit out of people and will break the bleak-chic look that this city has.
posted by statcinerator at 3:06 PM on March 26, 2008

EMRJKC'94 and stat---
How terribly true!
("Boston: If You Have To Ask Where You Are, You Don't Belong Here.")
posted by Dizzy at 6:10 PM on March 26, 2008

O ye art-deprived Bostonians, come across the rivah to Camberville, where random art is affixed to road signs and public utility boxes are brightly painted to resemble boxes of popcorn or comic books.
posted by Spatch at 5:22 AM on March 27, 2008

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