Posted by Fee
3 March 2008, 9:00 pm
What strikes you first about GRL is ‘cool’. From James’ black wrap-around shades to Evan’s Firefox t-shirt, these guys have new-New York down. There’s something dominating about their confidence; years of pushing boundaries and standing up for the rights of the ‘common people’ does that to you… but you can’t help but be impressed. And yet they’re so laid back they could almost fall off their chairs.
They start Monday’s session, as Lachlan says, with the ubiquitous battle against technology but day1’s mostly discussion anyway (although it always helps to show online examples…).
The GRL film, now touring the international circuit, shows us how cool these guys really are, the work they’ve explored, preGRL, through ignobal experiments in Eyebeam’s ‘trash alley’ to full-on fame, awards, and now international repute.
They both teach at Parsons (a NY school known for creative experimental approaches). “This is a whole semester, in one week” Evan leads the group, driving their thinking towards what THEY want out of this. Instead of spray cans and markers, the emphasis is on re-thinking the urban environment with an open-source approach. “Explore the systems that already exist in the city & think of how you can add something, or take something away to tell a whole new story. This is about hacking urban spaces”.
Later, at the Adelaide Festival forum, the boys ran a more public version of the earlier introduction. Highlights just had to be “Creative Commons, it’s like Burger King, you know? Have it your way” and James’ jazz hands (followed by an extremely red face, head and neck).