Love. Here, now, in the present moment.
My latest project is about making us more interconnected by random signs of love, because love does not need a specific placement to happen.
It is a counter response to negative signs on the city, from broken window shields, garbage, or the oddity of a pair of shoes hanging on electrical wires. I didn’t really know what they meant, those shoes on wires, but there was a thought in the back of my head, remembering people's comments that they may be gang or crime related. But I was thinking more about love.
Aqui Love! has different layers with the intent of making it personal (in connecting us in one way or another) and close (in the intent of human inclusion).
One piece of this series is a personal gift: a little hand draw anatomical heart magnet I give away randomly to people I meet. I use magnets because they remind me of the sense of play, it does not need to be framed and can be hung easily. Magnetism symbolizes the attraction humans have to loving energy, an essential part of a healthy life, ecosystem and ecosphere.
For some reason every time I gave a heart magnet it made me think about the shoes hanging on wires. Who are those people that do it? Is that their way to connect as well? Isn't it what we all want? Thoughts dangling in the air..
The second piece is a stencil that has words making a circle and arrows pointing at the center, toward an "X" between the words. Before I stencil these words on the ground, I make an intention to put love in everything I do, or I think about my intention of planting love in whatever I do. After this moment in a place, I stencil the "X'' where I put my intention and then add the words ''Aqui'' and "Love" around the "X".
I encourage my friends to take stencils and perform the same action in different places around the globe. These places are gateways to a loving global embrace. And all the while, I kept thinking about the shoes. Are they a way to express art or yourself? Graffiti? Shoeffiti?!
And as I kept working to come up with the third piece, I wanted it to make a counter response to the shoes hanging on wires, which have intrigued me for the longest time. I’d never seen them in Europe and they seem to be hanging for some reason. Was it just aesthetic? Were they messages? How did it start? What did it mean?
After asking lots of people in San Francisco, I got a bunch of different answers, not sure what was myth or real. One common response/urban legend is that they are a way to mark spots for selling meth or heroin or that they are marking a crime scene, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoe_tossing.
It came to me that they were an urban tribal way to communicate, urban language? Is it a code? And then I got a thought, if this is a language, I want to learn it. Maybe I could even adopt it. Can we speak love? Can I use this language in my love project?
So then I imagine different stuff hanging on wires, and I came back to my hearts. They made the most sense, just a straight single message, love is everywhere and is available to all of us.
Soon I started to craft them. I made several pairs and they hang out in my art studio not knowing how I was going to hang them up there, until I met Todd Hanson, a local artist, a great conspirator. He liked the idea and he became a heart thrower and then a heart maker.
In 2011, Todd worked as well on his own love project, called, “What do you love?” http://missionlocal.org/2011/10/fleeting-art-makes-lasting-impression/
And so there you go, love hanging on wires over city landscapes. Look for them.
Love is universal, there is not a scarcity or a lack of it but an abundance of it.
Love is inside of us, in this present moment and it does not need a reason.
I want my project to help people make that connection, just a glimpse of joy on a city environment, just a thought of love and inclusivity.
A contribution to make self love to be common and ordinary.
Aquí Love to all!!
Photo by Jeremy Sugerman.