Have you ever locked eyes with a handsome man or gorgeous girl on the subway, in a Starbucks, or passing on the street? Did you wish you had said something? Craigslist tackled the issue ages ago when they created their "Missed Connections" section of their website. The Missed Connections feature allows people to potentially reconnect with a person they encountered in life. Most of the posts in this section are entertaining to read, others are heartfelt, and some are just bizarre.
There are a couple key features that are found in most of these posts-a brief description of the encounter, "we locked eyes"; a location identifier, "on the 2 train"; where the encounter concluded, "you got off at 72nd"; the thought process at that time, "I thought you were the most gorgeous girl I've seen, I wanted to say something"; and finally a way for the hunter to confirm whomever is replying to his posts is actually who she or he wants it to be, "if this is you, tell me what color jorts i was wearing." These little hopeful blurbs, that eventually become lost among the sheer number of posts, were the inspiration for artists Lisa Park and Adria Navarro.
Park and Navarro noticed that the number of these Missed Connections, and the fact that there even is a Missed Connections, is a result of a social network immersed culture. According to Wired, this led them to the question,
"Have we become so used to interacting online that we can't say 'hi' in person?"
Posing this question facilitated the creation of their art project, called I Wish I Said Hello. Their art project takes the online postings and makes them a bit more palpable. The clever idea comes to life after Park & Navarro type these posts on a tear-drop sticker and place them in the location which, the Missed Connection occurred. The artists wanted to utilize familiar markers to deepen the connection between society, social media/technology, and public signs. The tear drop shape is an homage to the Google Maps location pins, the human figures are reminiscent of restroom signs, and the colors of the stickers can be seen utilized in many other public signs-such as crosswalk identifiers.
Although I Wish I Said Hello is confined to the island of Manhattan, both Park and Navarro are planning to design and offer templates & instructions that will give anyone the opportunity to create their own, maybe it will be the new "Keep Calm & Carry On" poster generator. This project definitely aligns with the classic reemerging Americana trend, hopefully these fun stickers will bring a little reality back to this digital age.
To make your own sticker go HERE!
Follow I Wish I Said Hello via Twitter: (@IWishISaidHello)
For more information go HERE!
Friday, May 24
We sat down with Anne Pasternak for a few questions about Creative Time's past and future, as well as the importance of having an awareness about public art in the city.