Monthly Archives: July 2011

MISSION 12: ART MY RIDE

What do the French Revolution, American Revolution, and Cuban Revolution have in common? They all happened in July!

Let’s face it—spring is a terrible season for revolution. Empirical evidence indicates that the masses are reluctant to take to the streets in the thick of April’s infamous showers. May and June, on the other hand, are simply too nice. The pleasant weather lulls the average proletariat into complacency, and he forgets to hate his government.

By July, however, most people begin to feel oppressed and stifled by the heat. They yearn for freedom and a gentle prod is all it takes to make them go out and burn shit. Incidentally, with those spring showers safely out of the way, July is also a perfect month for arson.

So, after our happy-go-lucky spring break, Art Art Revolution is back with a vengeance. We wish to honor the season with a new mission: Art My Ride

Marx famously declared religion to be the “opiate of the masses” and, in his time, perhaps he was right. But looking around me today, religion doesn’t seem to be a major force behind our complacent bliss. As I ride the subway, it’s true, I don’t see many people reading the Communist Manifest, but I don’t see too many people reading the Bible either. Instead, just about everybody is tuned into their iPhones, iPods, iPads, iWorlds. Consumerism has become the dogma of the digital age, and the cool shit we own, our drug of choice.

With impressive prescience, Xzibit boldly observed the universal human need to “pimp” one’s ride. We at Art, Art, Revolution feel that this ostentatious compulsion could, ironically, be the cure for our doped-up consumer nation.

For a long time, critics of capitalism have argued that the system encourages us to define ourselves through the shit we own. To me, however, this inclination does not seem inherently problematic. Well, ok, it’s a bit problematic. But the real problem is that the shit we own, and with which we definite ourselves, is mass produced. Whether the coffee in your hand comes from Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or the hip fair-trade café tucked in a quiet alley behind your apartment, you shouldn’t pat yourself on the back too hard. Remember, anybody with $2 ($4, $6, whatever the price!) could purchase the same cup of coffee. How special do you feel now?

But if you were to grow your own beans, brew them at home, and pour them into a ceramic mug which you designed, maybe you could take a little more pride.

And so, for your next mission, we urge you to pimp your proverbial ride. Take a mass produced object and turn it into a one-of-a-kind work of art, something that makes a statement, something you can be proud of, and which represents you. Your modifications could be subtle or drastic. The object could be a coffee cup, a car, or anything in between. It doesn’t matter. Your mission is to take artistic control of the shit you own, and let your inner revolutionary shine in the July heat.