Hello to all you fiber artists out there. Sorry I couldn’t be in the park with y’all today but a very sick friend needed my support. I hope you are all knitting and crocheting your little hearts out making swatches for the blankets we will be assembling at the knit-in. I already have half of a large suitcase full of them in some beautiful bright colors. Progress is being made on the flower garden as well. I hope to have a lot more information for you very soon. Have a great day and keep on crafting!
Around OWS I’m pretty easy to spot. I’m the ‘guy in the box‘, and in too many ways I’ve been in a box of sorts since the beginnings of Occupy. At Zuccotti Park, I created a succession of signs, boxes and a teepee that saw me spend 48 straight days in the park, painting, or building, or being filmed, or something – all in a one-man-band communication matrix that has now spread to the Fiber Arts working group and the Internet. This blog is my latest Fiber Optics creation.
But this week, on the way to the Union Square event, I stopped at a street corner and met a young graphic design student who had taken notice of the box I was carrying, folded in a rolling cart. His name is Ogoby Asencio and he and I had a beginning conversation that revealed our mutual love of typography and pointed to both our professional beginnings as graphic designers. Ogoby began as a graffiti artist and I put myself through university working in professional sign companies, learning the craft there. The rest as they say, is of course, history. Instant friends were made – years apart but common by design.
Ogoby asked me what I was doing on 14th street with a curious sign collage and I told him I was on the way to an OWS event at Union Square. Then he beamed:) “Man, I’ve been designing a typeface based on lettering used by protesters at OWS”, he said. “Could I photograph your box and include the fonts in my development of a typeface for my master’s thesis on OWS type?”. Damn, I thought, a few weeks ago my blog, aHBiNYC, was assigned as recommended reading to a class at Columbia Law School for a segment on OWS, and now I’m referenced for a design school MA program. I’d better savour this obscurity while it lasts:)
Check out Ogoby’s blog on the Occupy Typeface. He’s got great ideas and the start of some truly original designs. His stencil font is on the left and there’s plenty more on the site. We’ve invited Ogoby to join Fiber Arts and hope to collaborate on some totally new fonts as the American Spring approaches. Outreach can take many forms, from the seemingly simple knitting of a hat, to the more than deliberate stroking of a brush in complete creative disobedience. What’s important though is that the message gets out there in any form, many forms – and all about reform. That’s the spirit that has kept us all together in this, our occupied winter of discontent.
I would like to offer MY OPINION on tax cuts for the rich as it implies trickle down to jobs. I would call this theory unfounded and so far very unsuccessful. In other words, bullshit. You wanna know who creates jobs?
I do. Yes, I am a job creator. And on top of that I do it in more ways than one. If I have enough money (through, oh let’s say tax cuts to the poor and middle class) then I will buy stuff. When I buy stuff, someone has to make that stuff so I create a job. I like to buy my stuff from American produced goods so I create American jobs.
Another way I create jobs is to teach people how to do jobs in my chosen field or with my expert skill set. Oh wait, you say. Doesn’t that create competition? I say, so what. I make a unique one of a kind product so even if they make something similar to mine, it is not the same and let the consumer chose what they like the best. That is what I consider capitalism and there is nothing wrong with that.
Okay folks, lets go….
Frozen extended digits no more with the new ergonomically designed “Occu-finger” from #OWS Fiber Arts. Knitted to help you keep exactly one finger sheltered from the elements at all times, the Occu-finger works on any digit, whether you’re showing your disdain for the NYPD or simply pointing out some of New York’s finer tourist attractions to a friend. Knitted in a variety of colours to match any outfit, the Fiber Arts Occu-finger is as at home on the runway as it is on the freeway for fashion minded activists the world over.
And what better venue to unveil our newest models than at this weekend’s Occupy Town Square III at Tompkins Square Park from 11am to 5pm on Sunday. Fiber Arts will be there with knitting by Marsha and Karen, Hearts by Patricia, Paper Cranes by Raven and Signpainting by David. Join us this weekend and flip a bird, be it a paper crane or an Occu-finger at your favourite target.
To make things easier for fellow OWS bloggers to get their blogs working well with social media, increasing readership and spam free comment moderation, the Fiber Arts group has partnered with TechOps to install three new plugins that will make your blog more user friendly and easier to manage. Check these out:
ShareThis is a handy little plugin that helps you share on Twitter, Facebook and over 120 other social networking sites from just a few simple buttons. Now, no more need to add a button for every site you want and clutter up your posts. ShareThis is more simple than the ‘really simple’ plugin and it’s elegant by design. And the 120 other sites it connects to? Just remember that in China, Facebook is not #1, Baidu is – so if you want people all over the world to share your stuff, this gives them a way to do that. See it in action at the bottom of this post.
Disqus is a comment moderation system that is lightweight, elegant and prevents spam from ever entering your mailbox. No need to enable Akismet with the WordPress comment system and Disqus gives you lovely charts, graphs and easy comment sharing on FB & Twitter. To eliminate spam Disqus does a commenter vetting that requires human interaction (capcha) so bots can’t touch you. Give us a comment here and see how it works – but say something nice because Disqus also gives blog moderators the option to edit or mark comments as spam and ban the sender forever. You can even use it on your mother-in-law.
Outbrain is a plugin that provides your readers with more suggestions for further reading at the end of every one of your posts. Whether from your blog, or others, Outbrain scans and matches keywords, tags and categories to make intelligent recommendations to your readers on similar subject matter – and it does it with picture thumbnails and headlines to make those suggestions really sexy. In short, Outbrain helps to increase the amount of time your readers spend with your content, thereby getting your message across by cross-selling it. See it below.
Give these plugins a try. Our thanks go out to Drew, Jake and Pea at TechOps for helping us get these up on our site and available to all other OWS blogs as we speak. And you thought #OWS Fiber Arts was just for knitting wool? Try these fiber optic mittens on for size.
And welcome Patricia, because with her, she brings the lovely recycled sweater hearts you see here and in our new header above. Patricia will be with #OWS Fiber Arts this Saturday, 11 February, at West Park Church at W. 86th and Amsterdam to both offer hearts (and love) to the crowd but also to give instruction on how to make your own, using re-purposed materials and a bit of ingenuity. Patricia also runs the blog and real brick and mortar basement of SustainableStudio here in the city. Check it out. As an added bonus, I’m going to send an email to Bloomberg right now, cause I think he needs to show OWS a whole lot more love and one of these would look just smashing on one of his stuffy old Brooks Brothers lapels.