June 16, 2008

Ambassadors of Fun

I heard a story recently about some people who had a party in their front yard. It was on the day of graduation, when parents and grandparents would be out and about. This is a very festive and busy day. They rented a champagne fountain and really just acted like jackasses while most of their peers walked to have lunch with their families. It was a spectacle from the very beginning. My first inclination was that these self-proclaimed "Ambassadors of Fun" were bumbling fools seeking attention. But when they explained to me why they did this, I realize now that they are mockitects.

"When I was younger, lets say 14 or 15, I would go to these concerts and there would be a huge parking lot scene called 'Shakedown Street.' This phenomena was basically a traveling village of vendors and whatnot that followed bands around. For a sophomore in high school, this was outta this world. I would just walk around and take it all in. There were people doing interesting things; the people created the experience. I thought, 'Someday I want to contribute to this...' So now I want to be a part of the landscape, creating space which can enhance people's experiences. If people walk by and get a kick out of what we're doing, then its successful."

Its like a happening-slash-folly. Its purpose is to make people laugh, and thus lightening their outlook on the day. After hearing the inspiration behind all this, I took a different approach to these performance artists. If they are having a good time being spectacle, then that is great for all of us. These performances are what enrich our places.

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