Lexington, KY, Dubai, UAE, Kalamazoo, MI, Green Bay, WI, Ennis, IRE, Madrid, Spain, New Street Culture Map Markers 06-02-16
New Art in Lexington, Ky,
Photo Charles Bertram cbertram@herald
Downtown Lexington is home to several murals and art installations, but the colorful depiction of Abraham Lincoln will have some competition…
The Dare Devil in this video must remain anonymous. Not even the licence plate on the scooter can be revealed in this video due to the many infractions of law as the governments feels it must protect us all from ourselves. This young dare-devil will not be deterred.
But what about safety?
The best part about being a Young Daredevil…
What is paradise for street performers?
Well as with everything else in this world there is no perfect paradise but for street performers, New Zealand comes very close. Both New Zealand and Australia have a ton of busking festivals and competitions all the time. Kids 14 and over sometimes younger can be found in New Zealand out busking on the weekends and it is not looked down on in as great a numbers as other places in this world. A good busker is more often encouraged and appreciated in New Zealand than looked down upon.
So what’s up with Auckland?. The New Zealand Herald reports today that the City is deciding whether or not to limit busking and increase the fines for infractions. Now MK Sellwood is leading a discussion in Auckland to revisit the busking law and create a more socially optimized solution.
There is a general appreciation of Street Artists in Auckland. There is no permit fee for talent exhibition on the street. When complaints are raised with the authorities they are usually very reluctant to issue more than a warning and seem to use highly admirable discretion in presenting citations. Another positive is, if someone complains about the performers the authorities often let the performer know, and log it dutifully every time. Rarely does it get to the point of a fine for the performer as buskers generally move on and come back later. So that is good for the trust of the whole community. Apparently you have to be quite a bother before anybody in Auckland is going to raise a fuss.
But some apparently do complain repeatedly and seem to get no solution. So it is incumbent upon the good offices of the government in Auckland to find which of these complainers are just cranks. People who want to impose their own sense of order over others unwilling to embrace any compromise. They also need to see if some complainers raise a genuine point which will be useful in locating the places where greater than 65db may be appreciated at certain times and where less than 65db is appreciated all the time. Why? Because sound carries differently in different places and sometimes a stakeholder has to think without being subjected to the same song they’ve had to listen to 3 times a day every day, at just a bit to loud a volume, right outside their door.
Sometimes the ability of the stakeholder to think helps keep that street a profitable place to busk. Sometimes your personality or business model just might not work for certain neighborhoods. Sometimes the culture in a place, is what gives it the prestige you want for your business or residence. So you might think before you move in and change the culture if it results in damage the desirability of the place.
Street I Am is based in the Los Angeles area and I can give you 2 examples of 2 different policies one mile apart.Venice Beach is a world famous destination where you do not even need a permit to perform or recite poetry or play a radio and ask for money. It is one of the last places in the USA where free speech of this type is still available and Google as well as other tech firms have offices. Other high end money and residents live and work here and the culture keeps them coming. Performers need to pack it up at sundown. The performers talent runs from spotty to eccentrically brilliant.Santa Monica 3rd St Promenade and Pier is a different affair. It is wealthy to solid middle income heaven and the performers all pay a reasonable fee for a permit. The talent is more professional and have cards and contact info and often of the big stage and pre big stage level. This video, songwriting street star and busking beauty NAIA KETE performs on the 3rd St Promenade in Santa Monica California USA.
65db is the sound limit everywhere in Auckland, no matter where you are no matter what the time. This one size fits all approach by government entities is not exclusive to Auckland. It is simply the way that bureaucrats who are lazy and/or opportunistic govern and as usual we find that it may not be useful for street culture. Unfortunately now the City Council of Auckland wants to double down on this current inefficiency and make fines unbearable and start giving themselves the power of police judge and jury over any complaint. They seem to some to seek the power to decide what is art.
Today The Villager (read article here) reported on the meeting that was held in New York on the new park rules governing street culture and in particular performing.
The City of New York like so many government entities when faced with a situation where their lazy one size inclinations are wholly inadequate to handle the situation with alacrity choose ambiguity which allows any bureaucrat for any reason (political or otherwise), to interpret the law as they see fit, taking self governance out of the hands of the people.
When it comes to a subject like street culture, it should be obvious that the rules for one park, ie Washington Square Park, may need to be different from the rules for another park. By the same token, the rules for one neighborhood, ie Times Square may need to be different from other areas. In fact one part of a neighborhood may need a rule for one block that is different from the rule two blocks away. For instance in an area that has a thriving nightlife in one spot and down the street it is primarily residential, noise must be a consideration. You won’t mind noise late at night in one place but want it over by 8pm in the other.
Washington Square Park is a prime case in point when it comes to parks. Since it is known the world over as a place to see performers and art, it is wholly in keeping with the tradition of the place to have a major presence of creativity. Other parks perhaps not so much. Also, the ambiguity of the present arrangement further creates the danger of constituting a real threat on the rights of free speech. For instance will one busker singing songs in a totally accomplished manner with words like, Bloomberg is a control freak and his policies are weak, get escorted out of the park while a busker singing New York New York out of tune at the top of their lungs gets a pass? It’s hard to tell whether it would happen at all and hard to prove it was political if it did happen but it would be considered a possible motive and puts into question the intent of the entire law.
Perhaps community groups that surround the parks need to get together and meet and draw up recommendations for their park to submit to the City Council. The same for neighborhoods in general as well.One thing is for sure, free creative expression is the bulwark of a free people and street culture is where the rubber meets the road.
According to This is South Devon, she was brought up in London and lived in France when she was a teen. Now Brooke Sharkey busks every Sunday at Columbia Road Flower Market in East London. She has just released her first album and is a truly accomplished singer songwriter. She is touring now to promote her new recording. Check out this video from her website and decide for yourself.
Wednesday the New York Nannies will lay down the law.
What the government control of anything that they do not like crowd of New York City did to the Big Gulp in the name of public health they now are doing to park culture in the name of peacefulness and order. On Wednesday they will be trotting out their park police to hand out a FAQ document which spells out the proper way that an artist performer will be allowed to express themselves. The new law is very limiting in terms of where a performer will be allowed to perform and secondly it severely limits the way a performer will be allowed to perform. The new regulations will, if allowed to stand, radically change the way parks are used and the rights of citizens to freely interact in public spaces.
The regulations are an attempt to limit excessive noise and allow those who use the park to collect their thoughts and perhaps hear birds, experience a tranquil atmosphere and experience mother nature (in at least some small way) in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a busy urban environment. This is a wonderful goal and may be said is one of the primary reasons parks were invented. The other reason that parks were invented was to allow space for people to interact, discuss and express themselves free of the restrictions associated with other spaces. The balancing of these two vital public rights is what hangs in the balance.
No one disputes the need for a place of quiet and tranquility to have thoughts and peace but to say that no performing can take place in front of any monuments in the parks is crazy and perhaps the people who made these repressive rules need to find a quiet place to reconsider. Outlawing amplification wholesale in all parks is just plain stupid as well and means that those who want to hear and experience a wide variety of expression in the public places will no longer have the right to do so.
The fact is that there is room for both quiet and celebration in the public parks of NYC and both are needed. I mean sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you only want to hear the voice of nature and sometimes you want to hear the creativity of your fellow-man.
The issue of noise and freedom of expression is a current debate in the realm of street culture optimization. So what can the people do about NYC? The website I Am an Amplifier has some good suggestions for those who want to go to Washington Square and see the FAQ sheet that will be passed out on Wednesday so check that out. Also if you cannot make it to the park on Wednesday and you want your voice to be heard there is a petition available on Change.org you can sign, urging modifications of the current law.
100+ injured two dead. Attack on open streets in Boston.
The forces of hatred and intolerance blew people away people celebrating the marathon in the streets of Boston today in an attack on the freedom of people to assemble. People were cut to pieces in an effort to enforce a political cultural, personal or perhaps psychotic street level agenda which is unclear at this time.
Our hearts go out to the individuals, family and friends of all those who were so cheaply, cowardly and tragically affected today. Let us resolve to work more closely together in our communities to find the ways we need to know each other better and develop the tools to keep our streets safe, for people to live and ideas to express.
If you were an artist with a number 1 hit single on the pop charts would you be caught dead busking on the street corner playing your music. Well you would and you are if your name is Mike Rosenberg and you are on a tour of Australia and you are true to your roots. The new British pop star is changing the face of how street music and performing are being perceived around the world and joins the ever-growing awareness of the caliber of talent to be found in street artists that used to be ignored in the marketplace.
WAKY CHAD IN #BOSTON
Why does #WakyChad travel the world putting a smile on peoples faces and get paid for it?
If this question has been haunting you in ways that you cannot adequately describe then you owe it to your own peace of mind to watch this video and learn the amazing truth for yourself, if you dare!
Waky Chad will be in Boston through April. Then he begins traveling to such exotic locales as Vermont, Texas for the Pasadena Strawberry Festival and Oswego New York for the Harborfest.
If you love acrobats then check out our “Bob at Large” video below
Video of Waky Chad by joricm