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Lindsay Newland Bowker

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Celebrating and Elevating “ common man “ through art, architecture and design : Who are your heroes?

In history, a few. enormously gifted in intellect, spirit and art/design have for some reason been called to, or chosen to, dedicate their lives of art and spirit to “we the people” ..to the common man and in so committing have elevated all, for all time.

Three who were my contemporaries are Milton Glaser whose images are ubiquitous in our lives, like his famous I heart NY; R. Buckminster Fuller famous for the dome but whose entire life was for “we the people”; and the delightful, fun, unique husband and wife team of Charles & Ray Eames known to millions of office workers through their beautiful, cheap ergonomic Herman Miller office furniture

Please provide one quote and a link to one image exemplary of the work of one designer, artist or architect committed to “we the people”, to the common man.

Here are the one quote/one image links for my three all time “common man” heroes:

Charles & Ray Eames
http://hivemodern.com/pages/products.php?sid=1493

“Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se. “ Charles Eames


R. Buckminster Fuller
http://web.gc.cuny.edu/dept/arthi/part/part7/articles/loranc.html
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Milton Glaser
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-features/8303867/Milton-Glaser-his-heart-was-in-the-right-place.html
"getting a device to do what we want doesn’t mean we’re clever, it means the design was wrong" (Milton Glaser).

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    Jan 30 2012: Lindsay,
    love your question :)

    Historically, design "as we know it" is for the common people, since it was born when new means of mass production were invented late 19th century, the Thonet chair being an example of these early mass design productions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._14_chair).

    My favourite quote: "less is more" by Mies van der Rohe.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Mies_van_der_Rohe

    So true, not only for design but life as well!
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    Jan 19 2012: JENNY HOLZER

    Guggenheim Project (exterior projections)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT62rD7wPkU

    “ Going with the flow is soothing but risky.” Jenny Holzer

    Jenny's art is about a very intimate connection in very public places..she projects or does LED displays of mostly original text outdoors on the surface of buildings, on the surface of water or sometimes into the sky. Totally original , brilliant and powerful but also connected in spirit to the dadaist tradition that art should provoke original personal thought.

    Jenny's art is mostly set in very public spaces where passers by can have unexpected encounters with it.
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    Jan 18 2012: Wow, you know Duchamp & Co.! Dada was probably the most influential modern art movement ever with many spinoffs into happenings, Fluxus, mail art, situationism, collage, found object art, Burning Man, Theater of the Absurd, guerilla art, graffitti, modern typography, etc. Dada was about breaking the rules and smashing the dictatorship of "salon" art in favor of proletarian artifacts by making the creative process accessible to the naive and untrained. Refinement was supplanted by immediacy and intention. You didn't need a degree in mixing pigments or years of study to get ethereality into a sunset to enjoy making something out of nothing, ie., exploring our god-like nature. I have some essays on art and technology on my portfolio website that you are most welcome to peruse: http:/walteralter.byethost32.com
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      Jan 19 2012: Hi Walter,

      I actually became interested in Duchamp through my deep interest in John Cage, who greatly admired Marcel Duchamp..so much so that he went out of his way to learn to play chess so he could play with Marcel..he didn't consider himself worthy to be in Marcel's company as an artist.

      Randomness and chance, a key element in John Cage's explorations, were key elements in many of the works of dadaists, who as you say, opened a whole new avenue for artistic expression that has carried on to our times. I will be posting today Jenny Holzer and her projections of original texts on to the ocean and onto famous buildings has its roots in the dadaists

      Here, where our topic is art that is about or for the common man, it would be interesting to make this a thread about early founding dadaists..their art and their quotes.although the world wide collapse caused by the excesses of instiutional speculation is not comparable to the devastation to which the dadaists responded, it is a parallel with what the anarchist influenced occupy movement has been about ( early dadaists were protestors with a message or radicalsim)

      One of the hallmarks of the art produced by these early dadaists is that it was intentionally about provoking thought in the viewer..stirring something in the viewer that encouraged a private exploration of thought ..planting fertilizer to rekindle originial indiviudual thinking ad keep it alive, a deterrant to conformity and complacency which they felt had allowed world war i to happen).

      That radicalism in art was in all the arts..look what MAN RAY did with film and photography

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CH5zg6KXN0

      "Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask 'how', while others of a more curious nature will ask 'why'. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information" Man Ray

      Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/man_ray.html#ixzz1jv3Uv7kl
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    Jan 18 2012: The Dada artists elevated commonplace articles in sculpture and collage by simply changing their observational context. The Internet will elevate the common human effortlessly as it breaks down hierarchies of control and idea dissemination that originate from centers of power. The Japanese industrial paradigm of welcoming more efficient ideas from the assembly line floor is exemplary.
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      Jan 18 2012: Hi Walter and Welcome..nice to meet you,

      Three interesting and very different examples of how art technology and design can serve and elevate man.

      Yes the Dada movement.

      For example the dada period of Marcel Duchamp..his famous fountain..a signed urinal a classic example http://www.dailyartfixx.com/2011/07/28/marcel-duchamp-1887-1968-2/

      “The individual, man as a man, man as a brain, if you like, interests me more than what he makes, because I've noticed that most artists only repeat themselves. ” Marcel DuChamp

      Dada was a movement not so much about art but about artists ledaing others toprotest what Europe had allowed.,.World War I..like the anarchist rooted Occupy, a wake up call for all mankind to reject the old order in all its expressions and build fresh

      The internet..absolutely..access to the internet declared a universal human right by the United Nations.SOPA and what has happened to wikileaks though are frightening oppositions to the possibility you point to. We still don't have though one lap top per man or street kiosks like large telephone booths where anyone can pop in and connect

      .I like your reference to the Japanese collaborative model of technology ad design..yes that is the ultimate..where we ouselves co-intelligently move ourselves together to a higher plane and as we go more and more of everything around us..our shelter, the goods we produce, the mages we make, the tools we use will express and embody that

      .How many more miles dada?
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    Jan 17 2012: Keith Haring

    pop culturist alternative artist who brought art whose subject was the common man to the streets of New York

    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm708678656/tt1204341

    "My contribution to the world is my ability to draw... Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings together man and the world. It lives through magic".Keith Haring
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    Jan 17 2012: The Homer Laughlin Co.

    Designer & Makers of Fiesta Ware

    http://www.hlchina.com/

    couldn't find a quote

    Not in the same league as Eames, Milton Glaser Buckie Fuller but a beautiful well made enduring design that has lasted through the ages. They are celebrating their 75th anniversary.

    When my Mom first came frrom England post WWII she said every home she wet to in Maine, Florida and Texas had Fiestaware and it is still popular.