Monday, August 25, 2008

DNC: Day One continued...

Sunset is just around the corner. I'm really looking forward to seeing how our visitors respond as the daylight fades, and the lights in the installation start to really take effect.

I've lost count of the number of people I've talked to from all walks of life. Hundreds. Interestingly, the overwhelming response to the show from visitors has been strongly positive. We have had a few guests who were challenged by what we are doing, but so far it's been nothing but civil discourse.

The same can't quite be said for what's going on around us. As I write these words, there is a standoff going on between Denver and Aurora police and protesters. We're not quite sure how things got inflamed, but somehow things progressed to the point that several hundred police officers in black riot gear faced off with protesters just a few hundred feet from our installation. Pepper spray was used, people were running everywhere, and now the police have about 150 people pinned down in a public plaza. Nobody's quite sure what's going to happen next.

An interesting thing happened in the middle of all of this. Because of where our installation is situated, mounted police, protestors, and all sorts of people were charging by. No matter how crazy things got, our structure was a conflict-free zone. No confrontations took place in our immediate vicinity. Some protestors who had been pepper sprayed chose to sit right outside our structure as they recuperated. It's hard to describe what it feels like when a young woman who is trying to recover from being pepper sprayed looks at you with bloodshot, watery eyes and tells you how important she thinks your art is.