Love Buttons, 2008
Designed as a participatory event for festivalgoers attending a rhythm-and-blues festival on a Sunday afternoon in April, Love Buttons dispersed a sea of poetry into a crowd of 4,000. Buttons were given to attendees as they entered the festival grounds. A button might say You under-punctuate m.e, or beauti-fully, or RADIATE. Festivalgoers might notice somebody else wearing the same button, or a mate to their button; or two people might decide to exchange different buttons with one another.
Many festivalgoers engaged with the three Have More Love carts: They could choose to “exchange some love” - exchange their button for another with one of 45 different messages; “buy more love” - buy longer poems comprised of several other button messages; or “make more love” - borrow a frisbee that says hover over me. If they played with the frisbee long enough, they got to keep it. The patterns of connection inherent in the poetic language were also reflected in a smattering of signs (oversized versions of the buttons themselves) mounted to lampposts across the festival grounds. The more than 9,000 buttons distributed began as a kind of wearable art, which then became a kind of public art that was both interactive and performative in nature.
Love Buttons, 5-hour temporary public art/participatory event, Sunday A’Fair Arts Festival, Scottsdale Public Art/Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, Scottsdale, AZ