Minneapolis’ MN GOP Drinking Fountain Art Project

Minneapolis Mayor, RT Rybak, recently reflected on the criticism he received for attempting to spend a relatively small amount of money to place free drinking fountains in the city that were both functional and artistic.

When it comes to public art, Mayor R.T. Rybak is tired of being a lone wolf.

Rybak told an art-centric crowd earlier this month that “I got my head kicked in” for installing 10 water fountains designed by artists — at $50,000 a piece.

Back when he was running for governor, the MN GOP used this as one of their talking points against the mayor. Considering that Rybak has significantly improved the city’s finances in the time he’s been mayor, the MN GOP had to dig deep for a financial criticism of my city’s mayor.

As I pointed out at the time, the MN GOP’s critique of Rybak’s city budget was laughable, since it represented a whopping 0.03% of spending.

Marty Seifert was one of the MN GOP candidates who attempted to make an issue out of the fountains. As the time, I pointed out that his own community has publicly funded art projects, so chill out. But, I also took at stab at what the state would look like if we actually took Seifert seriously on public funding for the arts:

What would Minnesota’s State Capitol look like had Marty Seifert been governor in the 1890?s? Would Seifert have had the vision to hire Cass Gilbert to build one of the most beautiful state capitols in the country? My guess is that he’d lean toward something more pragmatic that’s built out of corrugated steel; or perhaps sublease part of an abandoned strip mall. Fiscally responsible? You betcha.

Which brings me to something I saw the other day:

A @MNGOP Drinking Fountain

This appears to be a perfect example of a MN GOP drinking fountain. Here’s a zoomed in look at it:

A @MNGOP Drinking Fountain

If you ever find yourself heading south on West Mississippi River Road through Bohemian Flats in Minneapolis, try veering right at the fork before Franklin bridge, climb the hill, and keep an eye out on the right side of the road for this.

When you see it (go slow or you may miss it) don’t think of it as the most utilitarian drinking fountain in the City of Minneapolis. That would be wrong. Instead, take a moment to stop so you can fully appreciate this drinking fountain art project dedicated to the Marty Seifert’s failed gubernatorial campaign.

Mapping the Human Experience Exhibit

I had a chance to check out the Mapping the Human Experience exhibit launch tonight at Intermedia Arts, and highly recommend it to people who are into mapping and technology. It’s not a large exhibit, but the stuff that’s there will definitely make you think.

This is a shot of one of my favorite pieces. An artist set up his camera to capture a photo once a minute for 24 hours of a cable channel called FOX News. The photos were presented in 60 columns and 24 rows, representing an entire day – minute by minute – of their broadcast:

24 Hours of FOX News
Click the image to view large versions.

To me, this reminded me why I don’t need to own a television. The vast majority of shots captured one of two things: commercials or people arguing about minute details of campaigns that don’t deserve airtime. Should I buy a TV and pay for cable in order to gain access to this type of programming? I think I gain the gist of their arguments in around 5 seconds online through headlines and quickly realize that I don’t need to spend 30 minutes (with commercials) listening to pundits hash out the issue.

The exhibit runs through May 9th at Intermedia Arts, which is located at 2822 Lyndale Ave S in Minneapolis. If I wasn’t from Minneapolis, I’d make a trip of it and hit La Bodega, Herkimer, Galactic Pizza, or Fuji-Ya after since they’re all within 2 blocks of the exhibit.