Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Lostmissing: a public art project

Filed By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore | April 04, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Media, The Movement
Tags: accountability, ethical dreaming, friends with benefits, Lostmissing, public art, queer, relationships

You know when you have a friend who you think will always be there -- no matter what, at least you'll have that friendship, right? Lostmissing is a public art project about the loss of that relationship, a specific relationship for me -- right now it's missing. I want to express myself in public space in a way that feels personal and more meaningful than a private expression because I want to connect to other people and other lostmissing stories. This project is a public expression of grief in order to feel hopeful again -- it's about that random poster you see and you don't know what it means but your eyes get bright all the sudden.

lostmissing #20.jpgI'm putting these posters up everywhere I can think of, and posting photos of the posters in public space on my blog and even making new posters out of those photos and then posting photos of those new posters too. And I'm giving the posters out to people to put them up in their own towns and kitchens and living rooms and bathrooms and galleries and meeting spaces and community centers and bars and workplaces and on the street and on abandoned buildings in bus shelters and on public transportation at shows of all kinds and in sex venues and restaurants and on bulletin boards and in store windows and in letters and in taxis and on the internet and near dramatic views and tourist attractions and in your own art and wherever else you can think of.

I want to make this expression of sadness and anger into something collective, and I want people to add their own lostmissing stories to the posters if they want to, and then I want people to send revised posters or photos of posters in public or private spaces, affixed in any way you find appropriate, and then I'll post it all on my blog and maybe make a zine or a book or some form of documentation that puts it all together. What do you think?

There are 24 posters so far, all archived on the sidebar of my blog, and you can print them out from there. I can certainly send you a PDF of each poster as it arrives, or mail you hard copies of the posters as I make them -- just let me know, and I'll make sure to send them your way!

So far, there have been lostmissing sightings (and photos) in Arkansas; St. Louis, MO; Calcutta, India; Rockville, MD; Berlin, Germany; Portland, OR; Houston, TX; Beacon, NY; Washington, DC; Corvalis, OR; Leeds, England; and San Francisco, CA.

Yay -- I'm so excited!

Oh -- and here are some more samples:

lostmissing #1.jpg

lostmissing #21.jpg

lostmissing #22.jpg

lostmissing #24.jpg


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Love this - am looking forward to posting in Chicago; thanks for sending the posters!

Yay -- and I look forward to lostmissing in Chicago -- thank you, Yasmin!

#25 hit home pretty hard in some unexpected ways. putting things up in public is pretty outside of my normal routine ,but i'm going to make myself do it.

Greg, that's so great to hear!!! Keep me posted...