Words By Roads ~ part III

“Art is inseparable from life.” ~ Seyed Alavi

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Seyed Alavi, words by roads, giant word murals, east oakland murals

This is a continuation from yesterday’s post eRACISM

KQED did a wonderful feature on Seyed Alavi in a recent edition of Spark. Not only does Alavi discuss the creation of these murals (one of his first public art projects), explaining of this one, “You need to put your ‘I’ in [this world] to make a difference,” but he also discusses several others including his Emeryville project Signs of the Times, also a collaborative effort with local students.

Anyone who’s been to Emeryville has undoubtedly seen the striking yellow and black utility boxes featuring manipulated stick figures in unusual, comical, or paradoxical positions… one figure has a jigsaw puzzle piece for a head, one juggles three bowling ball heads, one kneels in front of a giant question mark, etc. I have always loved this project but never knew who was responsible for these clever and thought-provoking images until watching this episode…

If you have the time to watch the full episode, a recent project done for the Exploratorium in San Francisco is featured at the end, and it’s simply fascinating. The piece explores the concept of liminality – “a psychological, neurological, or metaphysical subjective, conscious state of being on the ‘threshold’ of or between two different existential planes.” (Wikipedia) Talk about deep.

1 thought on “Words By Roads ~ part III

  1. Lexica

    Thank you for this post! These murals definitely fall in the category of “I’ve lived here umpteen years and have passed this I don’t know how many times and yet I never knew the background about this before” for me, so I’m quite looking forward to reading more and following the links.

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