Friday, May 30, 2008
In the spirit of Memorial Day NPR reported on a non profit that focuses on a French organization that adopts graves of American servicemen who died during Normandy of World War II. The group encourages families to put flowers on the graves when it is difficult for the American families to visit.
I found a few other organization that do similar adoptions:
The Highland Road Cemetery
Located in Hampshire, England, the Highland Road Cemetery encourages adoptions of their graves. Maintenance may include as minimal work as removing weeds to keeping the lawns surrounding the graves trimmed.
USS Arizona Historian
Created for the soldiers who fought in Pearl Harbor, Ray Emory, chief historian, developed a program in Hawaii "which would encourage anyone - anyplace - to pay tribute and to recognize those who made the ultimate sacrifice." By visiting the USS website Arizona historical information website , those interested in adopting a gravestone can choose a specific grave that they would like to adopt and make arrangements with the florist on the website or choose their own florist.
Located in Middle town, New York this cemetery developed a program to install new markers that have been destroyed over time to remember the soldiers who died during the Civil War. The cost for each marker installation is $75. and that is the cost of adoption. The new markers will be located directly in front of the old worn one to not disturb the history of the cemetery.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
According to LA Times, Cyrus Yazdani who goes by the tag name "Buket" was captured today. The man was responsible for the damage $150,000 in property damage in the L.A. area. Like many tagger his writes on buses, street signs, and walls. What is interesting about his work is it's performative nature. He will tag in the middle of the day in front of huge groups of people, like people waiting for the bus. These tags are video taped and put on to youtube. Some of his most people videos have received up to 170,000. Why video tape it? As a artist who make documents of my public performances I am constantly asking this question. "Buket" graffiti are simple and actually quiet boring. I am sure I have seen his work all across LA and paid little attention to his markings. But through videos he has been able to blur the role as "tagger" and the position of conceptual video artist. This by no means is the first time this has been questioned, but with upwards of 150,000 damage, its an interested role to reexamine.
A few weeks ago on a late night run for burritos I was sitting in the car with Daniel and Katie. In between greasy fries and a large strawberry soda, some how we got into a conversation on how nothing brings us to tears more than NPR. Katie said the stories on the Earthquakes in China had really made her tear up, for me it was always the stories about loved one's doing exceptionally kind things for each other. A few days ago I was driving to work listening to the radio on a drowsy friday morning. I overheard a story about a man whose father collects coffee cans to fill with fake flowers. He gives the gifts to dead loved one's every Memorial Day. Being a avid collector of random everyday objects this story perked my interest. The moment that choked me up came towards the end of the story. The man explained that his father gave these flowers to people who had made a difference in his life. His father said, "Well, we were poor and we didn't have anything. And when I needed to learn how to drive a car, Mr. Torpey taught me how to drive a car, and when I had to have a car to go on a date ... Mr. Torpey would loan me his Buick.' " Though he could not say it in person, every year he brought flowers to say thank you.