I wanted to add these 2 thoughts.
- I hope the WorWO campaign is place-based. The public's visualizing With will be much easier in the actual public spaces. Pay for artists to transform, if just temporarily, those spaces. Advertise With art and architecture, in place.
- The ugliness of Memphis owes so much more to the dystopic land use and anti-design of politicians and developers than to graffiti taggers. So even if we could convince taggers to put down their cans, or pick up their skills, Memphis' blight of ugly would continue. The UAC, rather than just a arts sub-contractor for buildings pre-designed, could/should start influencing this world.
Take a look at this UAC piece by Mark Nowell at A.B. Brewster Elementary School, a block from the UAC's headquarters.
It's really cool, but as you might be able to tell, it's in the middle of a street-fronting parking lot, where it competes with the clutter of street lights for attention. So in addition to destroying the school's visual and urban presence, the street-fronting lot hides the power of the art piece.
In this case, the UAC could have been, perhaps, a public advocate for moving the parking lot to the back of the building and creating a space near the front of Sam Cooper which would include Nowell's piece integrated into a grand, inviting entrance for the backpacked kids walking down Sam Cooper towards their school.
As dystopia goes, A.B. Brewster is fairly mild. But it shows the visual and built oblivity of Memphis power elites that pushes much of the city and region to ugly. Other examples are speculative demolition and neglect, white flight abandonment and environmentally nasty clear-cutting.
The Powerless With Spraycans is not the real Without.
The Powerful With Vision is the real With.