Erik Sanner Home Visual Other About

traffic cone appreciation

saturday was a lot of fun. just a few people joined for stages (only john and i completed the full walk) for the traffic cone observation and photography tour. haven't had time to add the new images into the piece yet, but if you come to the closing party this friday evening (which i just found out about a couple of hours ago at kendrick's crit), you'll see a changed piece (incorporating new photos, color photos, other people's photos).

here are the notes from my gallery talk:


rarely serve any discernable function

like paintings, primary function is to be looked at

like abstract art, they may be impenetrable. they may not be compelling to everyone.

color jumps out at you, demanding your attention

modern phenomenon

always changing

location in the world and eye-grabbing nature combine to form an extremely low-effort aesthetic experience (vs. going to a concert, for example)

things to look for:

- manufactured characteristics (what kind of cone is it?)

- wear and tear (what has happened to it?)

- location (where is it?)

- relationship to other cones (is it part of a community?)

together the aspects/attributes of traffic cones create visual poetry

for free

for everyone

public art which didn’t exist a hundred years ago

which is changing all the time

which may disappear

which can be documented

and appreciated almost effortlessly


also held up a piece of paper to show the difference between orange-projected-onto-orange and orange-projected-onto-white:

good news for further exploration and awareness-raising of traffic cone aesthetics. got letter a few days ago: "on behalf of the lower manhattan cultural council and new york city department of cultural affairs, it is our pleasure to notify you that your project, how to enjoy traffic cones, has been awarded a 2009 manhattan community arts fund grant. congratulations!"

which means that there will be warm-weather traffic cone viewing tours, among other things. and i really want to involve people in the project. excited.