In Scarcity We Bare The Teeth

Selling them off one by one
Appetites in search of the highest price
No longer able to smile at or chew on
What it means to live the good life

~ Poet: Tim Kahl [ LinkedIn Profile for Tim ]
~ Designer: William Leung [ Gallery / Portfolio for William on Behance ]

Like art should, this particular installation has struck a chord with me. Sometime in the fall of 2013, this blank brick wall in the shabby lot in the shabby neighborhood suddenly had this compelling mural with an oddly compelling message. I didn’t even see the body of the poem at first. It’s in black paint, ALL CAPS and centered above the script “B” in Bare. I can’t say I’ve gleaned its meaning completely but it’s something that I like to ruminate on. It builds and bears repeated viewing.

Eventually, I found some more murals / installations and figured out something had to be going on.

With a little research “on the line”, I found out it’s part of a larger public art campaign in the area called: WORDS ON WALLS: A Temporary Public Art Project on Del Paso Boulevard in Sacramento. Basically, the Del Paso Boulevard Partnership partnered with the City of Sacramento to produce five (5) temporary public art / poetry mashups on various buildings on Del Paso Boulevard in North Sacramento. Five Sacramento poets were tapped to write poems about the Del Paso area and five designers transformed those poems into the murals that you can visit and see with your eyes. It’s good stuff. Go czech it out, if you can.

  • If you want to see the mural in the featured image (Photographer: Rick Erle), it’s herein old north Sacramento, CA (aka Del Paso).
  • Here’s Tim Kahl speaking briefly about his poem, the installation and the project. It was interesting to hear he was inspired (in addition to walking the neighborhood) by the writing of Havard philosophy professor Michael Sandel. While I haven’t read Sandel, it seems one of his focuses is the personal / moral conflicts that arises from opportunity costs of pursuing our best economic interests. I found this.

The Ingress Tangent

Of course, if you play Ingress, these art installations are all very much contested portals that you can hack along w the slew of others strewn all along the way there. Deploy, recharge, mod, link and hack to your hearts content. Link up the street portals w their neighbors of course, but don’t be a yutz and just YOLO link. Look to throw links north and east from there. Green links & fields preferred. If you are not an Ingress agent  — it’s a cool way to discover new and different parts of your city and travel destinations you might overlook otherwise. Choose a team (Enlightened is my personal and biased recommendation), run through your tutorial and get involved in the community in your area.

Next: The segue from cool public art installations in an area that needs some revitalization to Python and some other tech related stuff.


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