As Occupy Wall Street protesters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge last night, after an occasionally volatile day of protests, many gasped and cheered at an unexpected surprise: Their message was being projected back at them. Displayed prominently on the building at 375 Pearl Street, beneath a giant Verizon logo, was a scrolling chant in light: "99? / MIC CHECK! / LOOK AROUND / YOU ARE PART / OF A GLOBAL UPRISING," and so on. Its creator, Mark Read, says the "bat signal" was conceived of as a "celebration of the birthday of Occupy Wall Street." But how they pulled it off is the best part.
Here's Read, via Boing Boing:
Opposite the Verizon building, there is a bunch of city housing. Subsidized, rent-controlled. There's a lack of services, lights are out in the hallways, the housing feels like jails, like prisons. I walked around, and put up signs in there offering money to rent out an apartment for a few hours. I didn't say much more. I received surprisingly few calls, and most of them seemed not quite fully there. But then I got one call from a sane person Her name was Denise Vega. She lived on the 16th floor. Single, working mom, mother of three.
I spoke with her on the phone, and a few days later went over and met her.
I told her what I wanted to do, and she was enthused. The more I described, the more excited she got.
Her parting words were, "let's do this."
She wouldn't take my money. That was the day of the eviction of Zuccotti, the same day. And she'd been listening to the news all day, she saw everything that had happened.
"I can't charge you money, this is for the people," she said.
The graphics were created by Max Nova and JR Skola of the art group Dawn of Man, and they were put up using a Sony 12K lumen projector, which Read said sells for about $10,000.
Asked about the legality of the project, Read said the family who lived in the apartment wasn't worried: "If they want to come up they're gonna need a warrant!" they told him. "The police knew where we were, they were pointing up to the window," Read added. "But no one stopped us when we left."