help needed with unicorn head photos

    I know it’s going to be difficult for many of you to reconcile in your minds, but, in addition to doing relatively good, useful stuff in the community, I also do some stuff that isn’t so well received. Here’s a good rule of thumb. If you read about one of my projects here and you’re impressed, there’s probably a good chance that I’ve got another project going on at the exact same time that you would find absolutely detestable. For every Shadow Art Fair, YpsiVotes forum or “Shop Ypsi for the Holidays” campaign, there’s something like The Monkey Power Trio Music Band and the Severed Unicorn Head Superstore. Somehow I’ve been able to strike this perfect balance between being a respectable member of the community and being a pariah.

    I felt as though that last paragraph was necessary before launching into this post, which is about the Severed Unicorn Head project. I was worried that someone who has only been reading this site for the past few days, after having read about the “Shop Ypsi for the Holidays” project in the paper might see this post about me lugging a severed unicorn head around town, and that it might trigger some kind of dissociative break. And, I didn’t want for that to happen.

    So, with all of that as background, I wanted to tell you that my friend Melissa and I are still on track to launch the site this Saturday. The final pieces are falling into place. One of the last things we needed was photos, and we got several good ones on Sunday. I don’t want to give too much away, but a lot of the site will revolve around sharing little know facts about unicorns. One of the pictures we took, for instance, shows a depressed unicorn contemplating suicide on a bridge. The caption will read, “Unicorns often contemplate suicide, but never follow through.” Well, in order to make the site really great, there are still a few more shots that we need, and I was hoping that maybe some of you out there in SE Michigan could help us out. There are more, but here are the three we’d like to have done soon… A photo of the unicorn on stage at a strip club (fully clothed)… A photo of the unicorn disrespecting police authority… A photo of a tattoo artist tattooing a teardrop on the unicorn’s face. If you can make any of those three things happen, let me know. We’d appreciate it.

    Posted in Special Projects | 11 Comments

    “shop ypsi for the holidays” success

    It’s just one small piece of anecdotal evidence, but it seems that our Shop Ypsi for the Holidays campaign may actually be making a difference and bringing people into local stores. I just received the following note from Paul, the owner of The Rocket:

    Mark,

    The article that appeared today in the Ann Arbor News, “Help the economy – Shop Ypsi” has made an impact on at least one person. A shopper came into The Rocket this morning and mentioned that the reason she was in was because of reading the article. She was unaware of how her buying habits could affect the local economy by not utilizing local businesses. She is going to make every effort to support stores that impact the community and it’s welfare. This, to me, is a success story in how a group such as “Shop Ypsi” can educate the general population one mind at a time. Thank you to all that are laboring over this. I appreciate your efforts and let’s strive for continued success.

    Thanks again,
    Paul

    And let’s remember, this entire campaign only cost $500. It’s absolutely amazing what you can get done with a good idea, and a team of motivated, talented people who care about an issue. It’s really phenomenal what we’ve been able to accomplish in a relatively short period of time, and it’s incredibly gratifying to hear from at least one storeowner that we’re already making a difference. (I suspect for every one person we hear about, there are at least ten more out that that we aren’t.) Everyone who contributed to this project should be very proud.

    Posted in Special Projects | 10 Comments

      trent lott says goodbye, but why?

      Republican Senator from Mississippi, Trent Lott, unexpectedly announced yesterday that he would be leaving the Senate by the end of the year. The pundits are suggesting that he’s getting out to become a lobbyist before a new bill passes that would require individuals sit out two years after leaving the Senate before cashing in as lobbyists. Some are speculating that it might be due to the widening corruption case against Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens. And, then there’s the third theory — that Larry Flynt was about to expose evidence of a relationship between the Senator and a a young male escort. If I had to choose one, I’d go with the male escort. Given the Republican obsession with gay sex and the number of conservative legislators brought down by gay sex scandals these past several years, I think it’s a pretty safe bet. But, I think it’s quite likely that all three are true. I think that what we’re seeing unfold is just the perfect political storm for a corrupt, greedy, closeted Republican. The only thing that could have made it any more overwhelming would have been if he were also being forced to share an office with a black Senator or something.

      Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

      casting the shadow, and proselytizing for local business

      Linette talked with the printer this morning and it looks as though the Shop Ypsi for the Holidays brochure will be done on Friday afternoon. (Download a PDF of the final version here.) As I plan to be out at the Brewery at 8:00 that evening, getting everything set up for Saturday’s Shadow Art Fair, I’ll bring some with me. If you would like a stack for your store, or to give to friends, neighbors, and co-workers, just stop by and pick some up. We’re having about 5,000 printed, so there should be plenty. Also, if you’re a storeowner, and I haven’t mentioned it to you already, please feel free to drop coupons and such off either Friday evening or Saturday morning for the Shadow Art Fair literature table. I’ve heard from several local business owners that doing so has led to increased business in the past.

      While we’re on the subject of the Shadow Art Fair, I also wanted to mention that I will be on the show Pandora’s Lunch Box on WCBN (88.3 FM Ann Arbor) this Thursday at 6:30 PM, along with the rest of the folks in the Michigan Design Militia. If our last few visits to the show are any indication, it should make for interesting listening.

      Oh, and I’ve been meaning to mention something for the last few days, but I keep forgetting. Friends of the Shadow, Logan and Ryan, brewed up special batch of very dark, very strong beer to commemorate the occasion of the fourth Shadow Art Fair. I’m not sure what it’ll be called, but there should be signs for it. From what I hear, it’s incredibly awesome. And, best of all, if you buy a glass, $1 will go toward the Shadow Fund, a SAF spinout entity that will be doling out cash grants to kick start ambitious art-related projects in SE Michigan. The beer has yet to be named. I’m lobbying for Volcano Of Hate, but I don’t think anyone’s taking my suggestion seriously… The beer is to be unveiled at 6:00 PM. (The nickels collected from everyone at the door will also be channeled into this micro-grant initiative.)

      If you’d like to help, tell your friends, neighbors and co-workers about the Shadow Art Fair (to be held this Saturday, from noon to midnight, at the Corner Brewery). And, if it helps, we even have flyers that you can print out and take door to door, or leave on the desks of your co-workers while they’re at lunch.

      OK, I’m going to work on my severed unicorn head paintings now.

      Posted in Shadow Art Fair | 12 Comments

      has anyone else noticed the increase in heart-themed graffiti

      As I’ve stated here in the past, I’m not a huge fan of graffiti. With that said, however, I occasionally come across a piece of work that I like. There’s a stencil that I’ve seen around town for instance that says something like, “You Are Being Surveilled.” I like that. I think it’s a good thing for people to be aware of. It’s like a public service. And, as it’s on a sidewalk, it won’t last forever. The more people walk on it, the more it will fade… And, as you all know, I’m partial to the work of the Ypsi Tooth. I’m a little less than enthusiastic about her spray painting, but I very much like her sewn pieces, and, on the whole, I’d say she’s a good thing for the community. I’m not sure I can say the same for the Ypsi Heart. Has anyone else noticed a lot of heart-themed work showing up around town lately? My guess is that someone is establishing himself as the archrival of the Ypsi Tooth, but that’s just the guess of a wishful comic book reader. If you have any inside information, please feel free to leave a comment.

      Posted in Art and Culture | 20 Comments

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