Activate Your Creativity!

Simple performances, interventions, and artistic adventures for everyday living

| January / February 2004

The situationists, an iconoclastic group of French leftist theorists, artists, and pranksters active in the late 1950s and '60s, pioneered a critique of capitalism that called not for revolution in some distant future, but imaginative acts of resistance, refusal, and mind-alteration in the present. Influenced by Dadaist absurdity and deeply interested in how the routines of everyday life dull our responses to the world, they carried out, among other things, absurd actions that derailed our expectations of how life is supposed to 'run.' In their spirit, here are some amusing, enlightening, and absurd actions, suggested by Twin Cities-based artist and curator Jo del Pesco, to make your day a little stranger -- and your life that much less stuck in the grooves of the 'way things are supposed to be.' -- The Editors

Nonlinear Poetry Write one line of a multi-line poem in chalk on each street corner in a four-or five-block radius.

Flowers to Strangers Go through the dumpster of a local flower shop, pull out the flowers that still look okay, and give them to strangers on the street.

Along the Lines Wear a pinstripe suit to work. In the middle of the day, cut along each line with a pair of scissors.

Guerrilla Farming Plant vegetables or flowers on a traffic island in the middle of a street.

Trail of Tears Attach chalk to several strings and let them hang from the back of your bike, marking your route.