|LocuStLed displays messages from a curated selection of individuals via a vintage-style LED sign in the window of the Woodland Pattern Book Center* in Milwaukee Wisconsin. For five weeks, the project will publicize messages from approximately forty people. FSU Art Assistant Professor Dan Torop is a contributor. Contributors reflect wide-ranging perspectives, the one common attribute is a now-familiar constraint that each message is no longer than 140 characters.
The LED will be displayed in Woodland Pattern’s storefront facing Locust Street. The project proposes an audience that is distinct from the bookstore’s walk-in clientele and the self-subscribing networks of Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. The LED’s contents will loop every hour, twenty-four hours a day, presenting a non-stop collage to the working-class neighborhood of Riverwest and the people passing through it. Locust Street is a major thoroughfare, moving thousands of commuters through the Milwaukee area each week. The project takes advantage of daily, rush hour bottlenecks that create stop and go traffic outside the bookstore.
LocuStLed transcribes the spirit of new millennium connectivity into a purposefully anachronistic sculptural display with said display’s innately different sense of public. LED signs are a technological link between archaic forms of public inscription—like landmarks, plaques, and statuary—and today’s data cloud that hovers intangibly overhead as an unwieldy record of human concerns. The project combines populist outreach and the art of social authority in order to create a hybrid footprint that rewinds the relationship between public pronouncement and digital interface. The project pays homage to Jenny Holzer’s pioneering work with information systems.
* Woodland Pattern is an internationally renowned small-press bookstore that has served as a cultural anchor for the city of Milwaukee since 1979.
Presented by Guest Curator Paul Druecke, and running concurrently with Signments: works by Jeffry Chiplis
Friday, April 1 through Sunday, May 8
Made possible with generous support from the City of Milwaukee Arts Board