Tuesday, August 07, 2012


Performance-Installation by A K Mimi Allin

Conceptual artist A K Mimi Allin is walking down Greenwood Avenue in Seattle, WA (between 65th & 87th St) embracing telephone poles. This is happening 2 hrs/day at either morning or evening rush hour, 3-5 times per week. The artist carries with her a blue sheepskin to wrap around the telephone poles, to make them embraceable, hinting at those fur-covered surrogates used to 'mother' orphaned animals in zoos. 

When the blue fleece is laced up, she hugs the pole and thinks of a relationshippast, present, future or imagined—allowing the thoughts to come. When she's done hugging, she composes a handwritten letter and posts it right there on the pole. This 5-week project began on Friday 10 August 2012. 

Surrogate highlights the artist's need to give and receive. It also considers her need for an audience and the result of not having one. It takes the poet's obsession with communication (often expressed alone, in a car, an office, using e-mail, Facebook, cell phone text) and makes of it an absurd performance. But alas, relationships, no matter the kind—real, thwarted, imagined, online, even fantasies, characters in books—allow us to love and therefore have value.

The artist's unspent love is on display that it might spark a dialog about where and when we meet—in dreams or on the street. Passersby will be invited to revisit their own real or imagined relationships.

"Surrogate" is a temporary public-art installation supported by Art Interruptions which is funded by SDOT 1% for the Arts funds and administered by the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. It runs 5 weeks and launched on Friday August 10 in tandem with PhinneyWood Summer Streets 2012.