SILENCE WAS GOLDEN Archive
Back to project page

Albania

Kukës


Eu

Tirana


Us, Enver-Hoxha-Museum

Australia

Sydney


Drift, Sydney Opera House

Aaron Donoghue was born in Ireland and has since moved around between numerous places across the globe. Most recently he has chosen to call Sydney his home, however, he often says that he plans to leave any day. “I’m a drifter. Always have been, always will be.”

He chose to organize this performance with other people who were not from the city at the Sydney Opera House, a performance arts center built in the 1970’s that has become a world icon for the country itself.

Sydney


If, Sydney Harbour Bridge

With the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background, one of Australia’s most photographed landmarks, these performers chose to hold the word if while visiting Darling Harbour. It is the world’s tallest steel arch bridge with the top of the bridge standing 134 metres above the harbour. It is fondly known by the locals as the ‘Coathanger’ due to its arch-based design and the bridge climb has quickly become one of the top ‘to do’s’ when visiting Australia.

These two performers had come to Sydney to do the climb but opted out in the end after a long discussion of the ‘what if’s’ of what could happen if something went wrong. Instead, they chose to take a photo with the bridge in the background at Darling Harbour.

Austria

Graz


Savvy, Schlossberg

Graz


Unit, Schloss Eggenberg

Salzburg


Isms, Main Station

Vienna


Sing, Schloss Schönbrunn

Bahrain

Manama


Both, Bab el-Bahrain Souk parking lot

Belgium

Verviers


Behind, highway parking

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mostar

mostar-sun
Sun, Stari Most

In collaboration with the Local Democracy Agency Mostar

Sarajevo


Wolf, Sarajevo Railway Station

Sarajevo


Ghost, Sarajevo Memorial for Children Killed During Siege

Bulgaria

Sofia


Off, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Sofia


Soft, National Palace of Culture

Cambodia

Phnom Penh


Mankind, Independence Monument

Love for all mankind. “Living in Cambodia, I get to see these street kids almost daily, so when they were invited to be a part of an art project that will span the globe with @publicdelivery, they were pretty thrilled. Or they were just thrilled to get to keep some cool balloons.”
Amy Collins

Canada

Banff


Bless, National Park

The Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park and third oldest worldwide. It’s also one of the world’s most visited national parks, each year attracting millions of visitors. The performer chose the word bless as a reminder of how blessed she feels every time she visits the national park and how lucky both Canada and the world are to have a sacred, protected place.

Edmonton


Grown

Having lived in Canada with a much beloved host family, one of the performers returned to them many years later. After being away for so long the performer chose to use the word grown to speak to her own personal growth since being away.

Toronto


Magic, CineSpace Film Studios

Performed by Eve Harlow, Henry Zebrowski, Jack Coleman, Francesca Eastwood

“We’ve all heard that expression, and felt it when watching a film or TV show – big explosions, fast cars, people flying, aliens, monsters, worlds and creatures and situations we never even dreamed of…magic.
But the reality of how this “magic” happens? Very un-magical.
In studios, on sets, systematic and very practical environments, long hours, short breaks, an incredibly large team of people all working tirelessly. I guess that’s where the real magic comes into play: the juxtaposition of what filming is in real life and what we end up seeing on the screen that somehow manages to take our breath away – and just for the little bit that you’re watching – believe in something unbelievable.
Hence – magic.”
– Eve Harlow

CHINA

Beijing


Smile, Liqiaozhen, Shunyi

This performance was done by international artists from Germany, Bangladesh and USA visiting Beijing for various art projects. They all met by chance in an area frequented by tourists before flights out of the area.

Beijing


Wander, Jingshan Park Xicheng

“Not all who wander are lost,” is the well-known quote from J. R. R. Tolkien’s poem All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter. Here at the top of the hill in Jingshan Park, looking over Beijing’s Forbidden City, these tourists and locals picked the word wander.

Chongqing


No sea, North Railway Station

Due to being a landlocked city in the heart of China, these performers chose the words no sea. All of the performers were on their way to Sanya, China to get some sun and sea.

Guilin


Am

When told they could choose any word or words they would like, they said they wanted to do the initials of their mother. A.M., the woman who takes care of them at the end of their log work day in the farm.

Hangzhou


Haste, Hefang Street

Hangzhou is a city about 45min from Shanghai, more peaceful than Shanghai but still, as in all of China, very fast-paced. The student holding the balloon chose the word haste to represent the pressure they feel all around them, as their world is quickly advancing and growing. At the time of the photo, they were selling paper-made flowers, at the entrance to a well-known shopping street, for no reason but their own pleasure. Within the photo is Chenghuang Pavilion (City God Pavilion) as well as a large electronic advertisement, mixing history, modernity, culture and commerce.

Kunming


Q, Green Lake

Shoot in the Green Lake Park in Kunming, a place of peace and tranquility in the center of the bustling city, the performer chose q for quiet.

Menghai


Mosaic, Xiding Market

The performers on this market in Menghai, China chose “mosaic” to represent their different backgrounds. Southern Yunnan is one of the most biologically and ethnically diverse regions in the world. It’s vastly influenced by nearby Laos, Thailand and Burma, and even hill tribes such as the Dai, a 800,000-strong minority who keep their own language in writing and speaking.

Menghai


Scam

An area ripe with scams and hustles, many of the tourists who come here get ripped off. The most common scam in the area is fake tea, much of which is taken back to the US and sold for huge profits.

Menghai


V, Nannuoshan mountain

Menghai is a common place for backpackers and hikers looking for adventure. Many of them pride themselves in being one with the earth and being as conscious as possible. This performer chose to hold a v, the universal letter for veganism.

Pu’er


I saw

I came, I saw, I conquered, the Latin phrase veni, vidi, vici, is one of the most well known Latin phrases. It has been attributed to Cesar and his swift victory at the Battle of Zela. As large corporations have moved in to Pu’er and started to buy up land, this family of farmers chose to hold I saw with 2 tourists in hopes to tell outsiders that, yes, they should come to see their village but they should never conquer it.

Shanghai

3d
3D, Xintiandi construction area

Now an affluent entertainment district of Shanghai, Xintiandi underwent major redevelopment, during which about 3,500 Shanghainese families got displaced. The urban renewal is considered one of the first examples of the place making approach China has taken in the recent years. Xintiandi is home to some of the most expensive apartments in China, some of them costing more than Tokyo, New York and London. After the old Shanghainese lilongs get demolished, there is only a 3D rendering, a dream of what is going to happening in the future, erasing all physical memories of the past.

Shanghai


Alive

In the middle of one of Shanghai’s wealthiest neighborhoods, out front of Miu Miu, the city is alive. Business men and women run to and from work and the city’s chicest shoppers come to spend the evening at the local boutiques and luxury flagship stores.

Shanghai


BC, Qibao

B and C were chosen as the first names of the two performers in the video- Bai and Chen.

Shanghai


Evasion, Hongqiao Railway Station

The performance is filmed in Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, with 1.3 million square meters the largest railway station in Asia. The performers chose the word evasion due to the playful idea of escaping their current responsibilities.

Shanghai


Haze, Westbund, Huangpu River

A new area changing the visual landscape of the city, WestBund has become a favorite place for local and visiting creatives. Museum, green spaces, galleries and many other places have recently popped up and drawing international businesses to move in as well. However, one thing that remains from the old Shanghai is the haze of the smog.

Shanghai


Love, Qibao

Chinese artist and entrepreneur John Zhang Long came up with the word love, something that’s a reoccurring theme in his life. He mentioned the love to his children, his second home in Los Angeles, which he found in the 1990s, as well as his love towards art and painting.

Shanghai


P, Changning

The p was held by an artist to represent the first letter in his name. To be different than the other performances he has seen he climbed up a pole and held the letter in the mix of what he called “a sea of words and advertisements.”

Shanghai


Pirate, Qibao Ancient Town

Pirate was chosen by the photographer to show his legal status as a migrant from a European country living in Shanghai. He acquired his business visa in the chinatown of his home city and claims to feel like a pirate in China. Here, in the ancient town of Qibao, he had the performers climb up for the photo, ignoring the sign that clearly says “It is forbidden to climb. There will be consequences.”

Shanghai


Uplift, The Bund

The Bund is a waterfront area in Shanghai famous as a tourist location, and under strict surveillance by security and police. The performers in Uplift were not locals, but villagers, and some had never seen foreigners or spoken with them. Because of this they happily engaged with the letters. Their attitude was carefree and playful, and they freely interacted with their letters, smiling and chatting. Many know China to be a place of strict laws and control but this was a moment of souls brightening and uplifting one another.

Shanghai


Vile, Suzhou River

Performed on a bridge in the center of Shanghai, the word vile was held as a strong statement of the poor water quality in the rivers running through the city of Shanghai and the city’s lack of efforts to clean them up. Many locals have spoken out against the lack of environmental laws within the city and are constantly hoping for change.

Wuhan


Nomad, Hankou River Beach

After visiting over 50 countries around the globe, this performer found them self in Wuhan, central China. Describing his perpetual feeling of being lost in a big city with very low visibility due to some of the worst air quality in the country, as well as the world, he chose to use the word nomad. During an 8 months trip, sick from food poisoning, the performer chose the ironic word nomad to express himself and his constant feeling of always being on the road.

Wuxi

Silence Was Golden - Balloon - Wuxi - Taihu Academy - Lucky
Lucky, Wuxi Taihu Academy

The performer chose the word LUCKY due to its both positive and personal meaning. While it is auspicious it holds a strong, personal meaning to her.

Xiamen


I am, Xiamen streets

The Chinese Dream is a very new concept, and one that is hotly contested. Many envision it as the rejuvenation of the nation through collective hard work and dedication, emphasizing the importance of Chinese prosperity and glory. Others see the Chinese dream as a way that an individual may realize their own strength and aspirations. I am works to show the way that one may fit into Chinese society to work towards both their own, and the collective good, highlighting the importance of individualism in a socialist country.

Xishuangbanna


I can

I can was chosen by these performers to remind the world that anything and everything is possible, no matter where you come from.

Xishuangbanna


Z

Between two large elephants in the downtown of Xishuangbanna, this performer chose the letter z because, “my bike goes zzzzzzzzoom.” Limited to very little english, the performer was still able to get a laugh out of everyone there to watch the performance with his animated response.

Zhangye


Air, Zhangye-Danxia-Geopark

Xiahe

Xiahe, Labrang Monastery - Tens
Tens, Labrang Monastery

Hezuo


Oops, Milarepa Monastery

Longsheng


Limit, Longsheng Rice Terraces

Guilin


Warm, Xiangbi Mountain (Elephant Trunk Hill)

Sanya


Idea, Coconut Dream Corridor

Sanya


Ice, Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya

Chengdu


Cozy, Chunxi road

Sanya


Mad, Yanoda Rainforest

Jiayuguan


Life, Great Wall Fort

Tianshui


Fame, Maijishan Caves

Hong Kong


Rich, Hong Kong Park

Dunhuang

Dunhuang Echo Sand Mountain - End
End, Echo Sand Mountain

Bayingolin

Xinjiang, Bayingolin - Mix
Mix, Yuli, Nanshan Mountain

Shihezi


Bye, Shwan

In 1954, Shihezi was built in the Junggar desert and is located a 2h drive away from Ürümqi, the capital of Xinjiang Province in China. No other Chinese city has more trees per acre than Shihezi, with mountains rising behind the city to 16,000 feet. The word BYE was performed on the last day of the performer’s trip to her hometown.

Hong Kong


Now, Lantau Island, Pui O Beach

Colombia

Cartagena


Champ, Iglesia de la Trinidad

Croatia

Varaždin


Giant, King Tomislav Square

Varaždin


Wars, Old Castle (Stari Grad)

Zagreb


Vote, Gornji Grad

Zagreb


Ciao, St. Mark’s Church

Denmark

Aabenraa


Exit

Esbjerg


Hot, Men at Sea

Ribe


Past

Egypt

Matruh


Art, Marina Sunshine

Taba


Lazy, Red Sea

Finland

Turku


Silence

France

Metz


MMXVI, Saint-Étienne de Metz

Montbéliard


Movie

Nancy


Venom

Paris


U, Louvre

Paris


Voodoo, Bois de Boulogne

“Voodoo is part of my cultural origin, whatever if I like it or not (and actually I do not take part to this worship). Some people say that Benenise people are sons of Voodoo, even if a lot do not take part to it. Nowadays, it is also transformed as a brand, and these gold letters reminded me of this. Making these photos and videos in this place was particularly funny because people living and going there are more rich and white people not usually exposed to this thematic.” – Richard A. Korblah

Germany

Freiburg (Kenzingen)


Snow, Black Forest

Hamm


Play, suburb

Heidelberg


My Way, Heidelberg Castle

Hüttenberg


Helmut

Helmut is an elderly man who has owned and operated the most prosperous pub in his village. He is ‘about to die’, in the words of his friends, and one of the performers, who happens to be his neighbor, chose this opportunity to hold a word that represents somebody who has strongly shaped the village and the life of many people around him. This is for Helmut.

Osnabrück


Xmas

This family came together in their home town during Christmas. Being physically separated in different countries for the majority of the year, Christmas is the most important holiday in which most families reunite to spend a joyous and peaceful time together. While many of their friends celebrate other holidays due to being from other religions, the family chose to hold the word xmas, the short term for Christmas, to represent the holiday of their own religion that binds their family together over the year.

Wetzlar


Piano

Münster


Peak, Fürstbischöfliches Schloss Münster

Bonn


Lovers, Museumsplatz

Duisburg


Forget, Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain

Essen


Goals, Unipromenade

Bochum


Stage, Jahrhunderthalle

Herten


Gasp, Halde Hoheward, Landschaftspark Emscherbruch

Dülmen


Yoga, Neue Spinnerei

Haltern am See


Best, Haltener Stausee

Gelsenkirchen


Boys, Wissenschaftspark

Tecklenburg


Atom

Düsseldorf


Myth, Neuer Zollhof

Bottrop


Gems, Tetraeder

Oberhausen


Fit, Gasometer

Essen


Might, Zeche Zollverein

Duisburg


Body, Landschaftspark-Nord

Kamen


Shy

Dortmund


Soft, Lütgendortmund

Herford


Okay, Town Hall

Halle (Westfalen)


Virus, Kirchplatz

Teutoburg Forest


Top, Externsteine

Detmold


Fake, Hermannsdenkmal

Cologne


PDA, Cologne Cathedral

Kiel


Fit, Ostseekai

Hamburg


Stop, Magellan-Terrassen

Bremen


Facts, Universum

Mülheim


Son, Aquarius Wassermuseum

Düsseldorf


Out, Kaiserpfalz

Berlin


Axis, Schloss Charlottenburg

Munich


Alive, OFF Office

Ludwigslust


This, Schloss

Berlin


Luxury, Forum Factory

Greece

Athens


City, Acropolis

Athens


Fix It, Filopappou Hill

Athens


Games, Victoria Square

Thessaloniki


Void, White Tower of Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki


Joke, Trigoniou Tower

Holy See

Vatican City


Rome, St. Peter’s Square

Hungary

Budapest


Fit, Szechenyi Baths

Iceland

Skagaströnd


Hypnotic, Nes Artist Residency

No matter the time of year Iceland has stunning natural sites to see and take in. During Autumn and Spring many tourists come to see the spectacular Northern Lights. The performers described their environment in Iceland as „hypnotic“.

India

Bodhgaya

peace
Peace

Israel

Kirjat Schmona


Nice, Kibbutz

Italy

Lecce


Zen, Piazza Duomo

Basilica Santuario sits at the very heal of the boot of Italy in Leuca. Standing at the Piazza to this beautiful church, one looks out to see the sea, knowing Africa and the world is just beyond. It is daunting and extraordinary, but once you turn your gaze back from the sea, you notice, again, this piazza, and its stillness and the bells calling men and women into pray. This is zen. Extremeness, calmness, beauty, and silence at the edge of chaos.

Milan


Six, Naviglio Grande

Milan


Both, China Town

Milan


No, Sforza Castle

Milan


Hot, Bosco Verticale

Procida


Fun, Marina di Procida

Paestum


Faith, Second Temple of Hera

Alberobello


Soul, Magravì

Manfredonia


On

Japan

Tokyo

vlcsnap-2016-10-21-13h09m49s308
Cakey, Sumida

Jordan

Amman


Age, Roman Theater

Petra


Shine, The Royal Tombs

Kiribati

South Tarawa


Climate

Kosovo

Pristina


Hugs, National Library of Kosovo

Kuwait

Kuwait City


Imagine, Marina Beach

Yesenia Ramirez, who shot and organized the performance, an United States Air Force Airman stationed in Kuwait, chose to use the word imagine to reference the song of the same name by John Lennon. “Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion too. Imagine all the people. Living life in peace…” -John Lennon (The Beatles). Faced with a constant struggle with her deployment to another country the lyrics have a very deep meaning to her. All performers are army personnel and contractors.

Shuwaikh


51c

Halah Al Essa

Liechtenstein

Vaduz


Happy, Hauptplatz

Luxembourg

Medingen


Blond, border crossing

Macedonia

Skopje


Give, Memorial House of Mother Teresa

Malaysia

Pulau Rawa

Silence Was Golden - Balloon - Escape---Pulau-Rawa-island,-Singapore
Escape

On the coral island of Pulau Rawa, the performers chose the word escape as a comment on their desire to get away from their jobs, lives and the stress of their lives elsewhere. The rest of the day was spent sunbathing, trying to be as far away from their day-to-day responsibilities as possible.

Malta

Mdina


Church, St. Paul’s Cathedral

Mexico

Chihuahua City

holy
Holy

Ciudad Juárez


A, neighborhood retail store menudeo

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, in the state of Chihuahua, is the most violent city in the world. Run by the drug cartels, it serves as a hub for the drug trade on its route into America.

Angelica Martinez, a native to Juarez and shop owner, chose the letter A for the first letter in her name. She said, despite losing both her brothers to the city’s violence and being forced to pay extortion money to the local cartels, she remains upbeat and positive and is proud of where she is from.

Micronesia

Chuuk


We

In the subregion of Oceania, the Federated States of Micronesia has no formal political parties.

“We built this land. We are the nation. We are the people.” -Ghie

Mongolia

Baganuur


Silence, grassland

Montenegro

Kotor


Vice, Castle Of San Giovanni

Podgorica


Oath, Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ

Nauru

Yaren


unique

Netherlands

Roermond


Gold, Maas River

New Zealand

Dunedin


Banana, Dunedin Railway Station

“The reason I chose the word Banana was because to me it is evoking and also a little funny. After some research I really wanted my word to stand out and maybe make someone smile.”
Krue Love

Wellington


Windy, Richard Byrd memorial on Mt Victoria

Oman

Muscat


Viva, Port of Muscat  

Paraguay

Asunción

here
Here

Peru

Aguas Calientes

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Macchu Picchu, Peru - FAR
Far, Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, a remote and mysteriously beautiful Incan city, felt like the perfect place to celebrate the word far. It took 3 flights, 2 taxi’s, a train and a bus to get there (not to mention about 10,000 feet above sea level) and was worth every minute of the journey. Being there reminded me of the importance of nature and the strength that it has. The Incan people devoted their culture and lives to this understanding and Peru is rich to its core with this knowledge. When we got to the top of the abandoned 15th century city and blew up the balloons to celebrate this feeling of being far from home we were stopped several times by authorities, which just made the experience that much more exciting! In the end we captured a moment, despite balloons being illegal on that beautiful and ancient mountain top.”

Morgan Bogle of Freedom of Animals

Tarapoto


Magic, Utcurarca

Tarapoto


Air, Pumarinri Amazon Lodge

Poland

Warsaw


Fray

Portugal

Porto

egg
Egg

Porto


Warm, Porto Capela Das Almas Church

Qatar

Al-Wakra


Taxi, Singing Sand Dunes

Russia

Sochi

sochi-russia-olympics-2014-balloon
Utopia, Sochi Olympic Park

Standing as the site to the 2014 Winter Olympics, the performers chose the word utopia as a satirical criticism of the laws against LGBT rights signed into legislature by Putin during the Olympics. Despite calls for a boycott, the LGBT Network asked the international community to Speak up, not walk out.

San Marino

San Marino

San Marino
Eu, Borgo Maggiore

Senegal

Dakar


G

Slovakia

Bratislava


jazz, Grassalkovich Palace

Slovenia

Maribor


baby, Drava River

South Africa

Mpumalanga


Turmoil, Lothair

Turmoil represents the current state of South Africa amidst its student protests, government corruption and social tension. The country is in a somewhat transitional phase with the outcome yet to be determined.

This performance took place in rural Mpumalanga (near Lothair), away from the chaos, away from the uncertainty. Although it was at a music festival, it can also be pretty tumultuous as one can lose their own mind and dignity. (your personal values are at stake)

South Korea

Gangneung


Tigers, Express Bus Terminal

Gangneung, a city on the east coast of South Korea, is a common tourist destination for people visiting the country. The city’s flower is the crepe myrtle, its tree is the pine, its bird is the swan and its animal is the tiger.

Gwangju


Hit, Dong-Gu

In this run-down, seedy neighborhood of Gwangju, the performers were musicians on the way home from a show. When asked what word they would like to use, their instructor immediately said hit, promising a hit song in the next 12 months. He also posed along side his students for the performance.

Gwangju


Rebirth, Gwangju Culture Complex

The Gwangju Culture Complex is a 161,000-square-meter cultural center, promoting the city as a Mecca of culture and arts in Asia.

Located in the heart of the city, it’s been built on the site of the Gwangju Uprising, which is widely considered the birthplace of the modern democratic movement in South Korea and an important place for civil resistance in Asia. More than 200 people may have died in the unrest. Ever since, Gwangju has been trying to change into a place that’s internationally recognized for its cultural relevance.

Incheon


Tan, Ganghwado

Pale or ‘milky skin’ has been favored by Koreans for years. For many, dark skin was indicative of working under the sun and belonging to a lower class. Nowadays preferences are shifting and the performers in the video were looking to get a tan on the last warm day of the year.

Jeongdongjin


Pure, Sunrise Park

Jeongdongjin in Gangneung is a place in South Korea where people go during the weekends to enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation. The performers, all coming from the busy metropolitan city of Seoul, described the slow life of the locals as „pure“, forcing them to slow down and appreciate the honesty and genuine nature of the people they met.

Seoraksan


Detox, Sinheungsa Temple

Seoraksan is South Korea’s most visited national park and attracts both national and international tourists throughout the year. Being 3 hours away from Seoul, easily reachable with public transportation, providing fresh air and a slower pace of life, Seoraksan is a place for relaxation and detoxing.

Seoraksan


On Top, Ulsanbawi

Ulsanbawi is one of the high peaks in Seoraksan, Korea’s first National Park. After a few hours of hike in the early morning, the performers chose to hold the balloons spelling „On Top“, feeling as though they were living without limits on top of the world.

Seoul


Ambition, Ewha Womans University

At one of the most stringent universities in the country, classes are demanding and often overwhelming. For a student to finish the university with high grades they must have not only a high level of intellect but an abundance of ambition.

Produced in partnership with Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea.

Seoul


Frozen, Hongik University

“This might come up again.
At first there is no meaning at all.
But now it involves the known, the unpredictable,
and the unknown hope, which will continue and freeze forever.

Seoul


Future, Common Center

The Common Center is a dynamic new art space located in Seoul. In a city with hundreds of art spaces and the most private art museums worldwide, this space seeks to operate with a new model, trying to effectively support new artists and break the collector-dealer-artist triangle. To some, it’s the future of Korean contemporary art.

Seoul


Gender Equality, Ewha Womans University

The students that produced and participated in this performance attend one of the best schools in South Korea. Many of the women find themselves in fields of study that are male-dominated, often facing harassment. Many of the men find themselves unable to pursue their studies of interest due to societal pressures. Among these issues, income inequality remains prevalent. These students proudly chose the phrase “Gender Equality“ to express their desire for the world to change to reflect their own experiences: that all people are equal and should always be treated that way. The recent president Park Geun-Hye promised to promote a “women’s revolution” which these students and many more are hoping for.

Produced in partnership with Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea.

Seoul


Rebels, Ewha Womans University

In this elite, female-only university the students are trained to become leaders. This creates many conflicts with the Confucian and patriarchal society in which they live in. They describe themselves as rebels who are set out to change things in order to create a more balanced society, using education and knowledge as their weapon.

Produced in partnership with Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea.

Seoul


Wifi, Ewha Womans University

One of the most important things in the life of the modern student is keeping up with their friends, family as well as with the latest dramas and music videos. In order to not run out of data they are always in the search of wifi, with the passwords of protected wifi standing as the key to enter the virtual media extension of their world. If social media is their world, wifi is the visa in their passport to get them there.

Produced in partnership with Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea.

Sokcho


Brothers, Abai Village

Abai Village is an old refuge for North Korean immigrants who fled during the Korean War. The village, with its small houses, reminds many of the visitors on Seoul in the 1970’s. Being in close proximity to the sea, the village provides a simple and quiet way of life life. The Korean drama ‘Gaeul Donghwa’ (Autumn in My Heart) was filmed here and soon Abai Village turned became a popular tourist attraction. The performers chose the word „Brothers“ to call attention to the fact that, while they lived on the other side of the border, their neighbors in North Korea were still their brethren. 

SPAIN

Barcelona


Gift, Park Güell

Figueres


Star, Teatre-Museu Dalí

Portlligat


Art, Casa-Museu Salvador Dali

SRI LANKA

Colombo


Jetlag, Independence Hall

State of Palestine

Jerusalem


Holy

SWEDEN

Kiruna


Sky

SWITZERLAND

Grindelwald


Story, Schwarze Lütschine, Grindelwald

La Chaux-des-Fonds


Mix, goat meadow

Murten


Win, river walk

Staad


Yacht, Lake Constance

Stoos


Life, Fronalpstock

Kandersteg


Shift, Oeschinensee

TAIWAN

Taipei


Anxious, Huashan Creative Park

In 1992, Taiwan and China reached the „1992 Consensus“, a semi-official political meeting between both countries which helped to ease the tense relationship between these two nations. From 2005, the first direct flights since 1949 were allowed and today there is a vivid exchange between Taiwan and Mainland China. Taipei has rebranded itself as design city, creating creative places like the Huashan Creative Park, which are frequented by many Taiwanese. Despite the calm surface, many Taiwanese are „anxious“ that one day their country will be invaded by their bigger brother, and that there would be no chance to withstand the overwhelmingly strong army of the PRC.

Produced in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary, Taipei, Taiwan.

Taipei


Boss, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Sun Yat-sen was China’s first president and the founding father of the Republic of China; known now as the Father of Modern China. He believed that China could only develop if it was to adopt the Western ways of industry, agriculture and for the country to become a republic. Sun might be the most adored Taiwanese leader and similar to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, his memorial hall attracts bus loads of visitors from Mainland China who come to pay their respect. The performers used „boss“ as a humorous yet respectful gesture to Yat-Sen.

Produced in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary, Taipei, Taiwan.

Taipei

Silence Was Golden - Balloon - Tamkang University - Bonjour
Bonjour, Tamkang University

These freshly graduated students from Tamkang University say „Au revoir“ to their old student life and „bonjour“ to a new chapter in their life, ready to take on the world and all it has to offer.

Taipei


Date, Bitan Suspension Bridge

At a terminus of one of the many subway line within the city, the riverfront park is a popular getaway. The 200-meter long bridge was completed in 1936 and is a famous landmark of Taipei City. Ever since, it has been a dating spot for both the young and old, to which couples from all over Taipei City flock to have their first date (and hopefully not their last).

Produced in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary, Taipei, Taiwan.

Taipei


Fear, Xindian ghost house

Fear was shot in front of one of Taiwan’s famous ghost houses. The performers grew up around this house and witnessed a seemingly scary old man. The house later burned under unknown circumstances and ever since people have been scared of this house which they say is „haunted“.

Produced in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary, Taipei, Taiwan.

Taipei


Hustle, 228 Peace Memorial Park

Home to what is known as the 228 incident, the Peace Memorial Park is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. The students in the performance all attend a nearby all girls high school and chose the word hustle to remind themselves that they must study hard and push themselves to get good grades.

Produced in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary, Taipei, Taiwan.

Taipei


Noisy, Museum of Contemporary Art

Noisy refers to the location of the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art where this performance was shot. Like many other places in the inner city of Taipei, noise is a part of the soundscape of the city, mixing traffic, people, businesses and even firecrackers lit for celebration purposes. Quite often the noise is a huge part of the makeup of an area. Produced in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary, Taipei, Taiwan.

Taipei


Nose, Elephant Mountain

The Elephant Mountain provides the best view of Taipei city and is just a short hike away from the Xinyi Shopping District and Taipei 101. It got its name because it looks like an elephant with a long nose, one that is popular among tourists and locals alike.

Produced in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary, Taipei, Taiwan.

Taipei


Savour, Guang Hua Night Market

With over 100 night markets in Taiwan, they are an important part of the Taiwanese culture. Every night they open from around 5pm to midnight, with some staying open even later. Offering all kinds of goods, but most significantly food, locals come to spend an evening with friends and family. This particular night market is a one that is mostly frequented by locals, however, there is many that have become some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. “Food is cheap and tasty, and not inferior to more pricey food in upscale restaurants,” claimed one of the performers.

Produced in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary, Taipei, Taiwan.

Taipei


Snobs, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park

Snobs was shot in an old tobacco factory that has been transformed into a „creative park“. It houses facilities like the Taiwan Design Museum, a pond, various restaurants and cafés. Ever since the park opened in 2011, large, luxurious multi-purpose buildings like Eslite Spectrum Songyan have popped up and prices have skyrocketed. The large building in the background will turn into another high-end housing complex and will further gentrify the area.

While choosing to take a somewhat strong stance against the area’s gentrification, the performers said they still love coming there to spend an afternoon.

Produced in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary, Taipei, Taiwan.

Taipei


Tea, Bitan tea house

Tea was filmed in front of a well known tea house. Taiwan’s culture is considerably influenced by tea consumption and tea is often called the „social fabric of Taiwan“. Tea was an important export resource for many years, however, domestic consumption has risen and now tea exports represent only 20% of the total production.

Produced in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary, Taipei, Taiwan.

Taipei


Temple, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-shek was one of the most famous Taiwanese people to ever live and is considered a national hero. He was both a political and military leader and served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975. Chiang is widely credited for developing Taiwan into a prosperous country, one of the four ‘Asian Tigers’ (along with Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea), yet he ruled with an iron fist, which resulted in the 228 Incident and others. Chiang is highly controversial in Taiwan today, yet he is still adored by many, especially by tourists from Mainland China, who flock in masses to the enormous memorial that was erected shortly after his death. The performer jokingly called the memorial hall a temple, choosing to use this word for the performance.

Produced in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary, Taipei, Taiwan.

THAILAND

Bangkok


Family, DEAR Burma school

DEAR Burma is a school in Bangkok, Thailand open every Sunday, providing free education for Burmese migrant workers. All have fled the longest on-going civil war in the world in their home country in search of a better life. Burma consists of 135 ethnic groups, many of which have conflicts which each other. At DEAR Burma, Burmese from all ethnic backgrounds come together to study together peacefully like family.

Bangkok


Oasis, Lumpini Park

Lumpini Park is an oasis in the center of the world’s most visited city; one of the most over-crowded and polluted places on earth. The park is a rare open public space, with trees and playgrounds, contains an artificial lake offering visitors the chance to rent 2-seater swan boats. Paths around the park are nearly 2.5 km in length and have been the most popular place for joggers since its’ opening. Officially, cycling is only permitted during the day band there is no smoking anywhere in the park. Dogs are also not allowed, however, there is many other animals living in the park, most notable being the monitor lizards near the small rivers and lake.

Chiang Rai


Crystal, Old Chiang Rai Airport

Performed at the old airport in Chiang Rai, the performers chose the word crystal to raise awareness to the ever-growing demand for crystal meth, or Ya ba (methamphetamine and caffeine) as it is sold as in SouthEast Asia. Recently authorities have tried to slow the flow of the drug coming across the border from Burma into the Golden Triangle and then flowing freely across Thailand.

Chiang Mai


Privacy, Slum

In one of the emerging neighborhoods of Chiang Mai, filled with beautiful homes that decorate covers of architecture magazines and are shown on international blogs, migrant workers are being kept close by, often just less than a minute away from the world of millionaires.
They live in shacks that resemble South American favelas or African townships, and often are the beginnings of small slums. These Cambodian migrant workers have their own private parties every night, and like in the fancy homes just a few steps away, they have their privacy, closing off the property with a tarp that barely hides the laughter and joy.

Chiang Rai


Invasion

Chiang Rai is on the verge of becoming an international tourism hub, especially for Chinese tourists, with on-going construction everywhere preparing for the rise in visitors. The workers on these construction sites are usually from neighboring Myanmar or Laos, many of which come from hill tribes such as the Hmong, Karen and others. The performers, all migrant workers from neighboring countries, chose Invasion to represent the influx of foreign Chinese tourists coming to the country in such high numbers.

Chiang Rai


Lost, CentralPlaza

Q: “What have you gained from the coup d’état in Thailand?”
A: “Nothing! However, let me tell you what I lost : freedom, hope, dream, opportunity, justice, and much more.”

Angkrit Ajchariyasophon

Nakhon Phanom


No Plan, Ban Sang Paen School

Nonthaburi


Better, Prachabodi School

Ukraine

Kiev


Vigor, Alley of the Hero Cities monument, National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War

Kiev


Rio, The Motherland Monument

Kiev


Go, Crossing of the Dnieper monument, National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War

United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi


Most, Emirates Palace All-Purpose Field

Dubai


Turbo, Al Wasl

Ra’s al-Chaima


Rats, Al Hamra Village

United Kingdom

Edinburgh


I, East Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh Christmas Markets

London


Sin

Sin was chosen by tattoo artist Simon Erl to remind the world that we all sin. It was performed on a rooftop with two of his friends in London.

USA

El Paso, Texas


USA, Mexico-USA border

Standing at the fence that separates America from Mexico, these 3 migrants have gained Green Cards and now dedicate their lives to helping ‘illegal aliens’ who have crossed into America. They said the 3 letters USA often represent a dream for many still living in Mexico. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer in the truck in the background was all-too-familiar with the trio.

San Antonio, Texas


Silence Was Golden, Alamo Mission

The Alamo has been the subject of numerous American works, including a Disney mini series and John Wayne’s The Alamo film. After launching an attack, Mexican soldiers killed every soldier over a 13 day siege of the former mission.

“The reason there was silence after the battle of the Alamo was because the locals felt bad they didn’t assist the Alamo heroes. The other reason was, as they stacked the bodies and burned them, the skies darkened with black smoke and the buzzards swarmed, men were getting tired of stacking up bodies so they threw the remaining bodies into the river, which clogged up the river- all of which caused a lot of silence.”

-Julian (U.S. Customs and Border Protection and former Alamo tour guide)

Anaheim, California


1943, Disneyland

1943 is the number of the year that Disney got taken over by the US government and made propaganda films for the army for World War II. Two famous films were produced during this year with Donald Duck as Hitler.

Disneyland’s ‘secret police’ tried to prevent the performance due to its political nature, detaining the photographer for nearly an hour.

Hollywood Hills, California

I - Hollywood, USA
I, Runyon Canyon

This actress and American Apparel model from California chose the word I to say models and actresses are often seen as very egocentric.

Hollywood Hills, California

U - Runyon Canyon, Hollywood, USA
U, Runyon Canyon

Victor Vidal, a hair stylist and 2nd generation Mexican-America, chose the word U to say Hispanics in California often dedicate their lives to serve others.

San Francisco, California


See & Do, Golden Gate Bridge

See & Do is a term often used and Googled in the West when planning a trip. Tourist sites and travel agencies alike have used the term to denote the top things to check out and best activities of travel destinations across the globe. These tourists from 3 different continents, visiting the 218-year-old Presidio of San Francisco national park to get a better view of the Golden Gate Bridge, said being involved in the performance was the highlight of their trip thus far.

Monterey, California


1, Presidio of Monterey

‘Army Of One’ is a former slogan of the US Army. This photo was taken at the Presidio of Monterey Army base in California. The site is strictly off limits to the public and was taken with the help of an enlisted military member who has chosen to remain unnamed.

Primm, Nevada


130, Bonnie and Clyde’s Death Car

Bonnie and Clyde’s car is currently located in Whiskey Pete’s Casino in Primm, Nevada at the border of California. The outlaw couple met their end in this car, called the ‘Death Car’, when shot 130 times by the police.

Detroit, Michigan


G, Army Navy surplus store

Shot inside one of America’s many Army Navy surplus stores, the owner chose to use a G to both represent and honor his grandfather, a GI who fought and died in World War II.

Las Vegas, Nevada


31, Las Vegas Strip

‘Adult Advertising’ is everywhere on Las Vegas Boulevard. Walk down The Strip and you will see Mexicans and other Latinos in brightly colored shirts, handing out cards that say girls or sluts atop a photograph of a scantily clad woman and a phone number. It is one of the only jobs illegal immigrants can work in the city. Hispanics or Latinos make up 31% of the population of Las Vegas.

“These individuals are just as important to the energy of The Strip as the neon lights, the Flamingo or the water show at the Bellagio Hotel” –Dorian Lynde.

Houston, Texas


1 – Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

With the United States’ NASA space shuttle program being shut down in 2011, just 42 years after being the first nation to land people on the moon, and India planning to send people to space in 2016, the super powers of space are changing hands. When asking these two boys from India, visiting the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center for human spaceflight training, research and flight control, what word they wanted to use they simply replied, 1. Why? “Because India is number 1 in space travel now.”

Galveston, Texas


Seed – Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

Established by Spanish pirate Louis-Michel Aury, Galveston is an island in the Gulf of Mexico. It was hit by a hurricane in 1900 and was the deadliest natural disaster in the history of North America. In 2008 it was once again struck by a hurricane, displacing 16,000 families and destroying most of the island’s buildings. In 2012 Pleasure Pier opened with a boardwalk built out over the sea. Many locals consider it a seed in the regrowth of the city.

Houston, Texas


Lies – KBR Kellogg Brown & Root

KBR, an American Fortune 500 company and former subsidiary of Halliburton, is a construction company and private military contractor with the U.S. Military, including during World War II, the Vietnam War, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Over the years they have been the subject of numerous controversies, including international scandals with Vice President Dick Cheney and the U.S. Department of Defense, bribing officials, human trafficking, lawsuits and rape and abuse allegations. The performers, all women and all employees at KBR (who asked to remain nameless), chose the word lies as a comment on the companies’ handling of the Jamie Leigh Jones rape case.

Honolulu, Hawaii


Nowhere, Diamond Head

Nearly 1 million visitors a year from all over the world come to hike to the top of the volcano’s rim and look down into the middle of the 1,073 meter wide opening of the volcano. Performed atop the peak of Hawaii’s Diamond Head volcano, the performers held the word nowhere. A place far from everywhere, in the center of the Pacific Ocean, prompted the performers to suggest it is a destination in the middle of nowhere.

San Antonio, Texas


In – Guinness World Records Museum

Guinness World Records is a reference book in its 61st version of print, and the most stolen book in America. In recent years they have extended to a television series and museums.

The couple, on one of their weekly dates, wanted to keep it simple. They chose in because they felt it was everyone’s desire to get in to the record books.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Nice, christmas tree

For Christmas the performers were asked if they had been ‘naughty or nice‘ this year. They, of course, chose nice.

Sacramento, California


Vegan, Plum Cafe & Bakery

Plum Cafe, housed in an old Victorian Era home in the heart of midtown, is a staple in the Sacramento community. The employees of the local bakery chose the word vegan because the bakery and restaurant has a fully vegan menu.

Pearl City, Hawaii


Son, World War II Valor In the Pacific national monument

Performed at the World War II Valor In the Pacific national monument at Pearl Harbor, with the USS Arizona memorial in the background, where 1,177 crewmen lost their lives on December 7, 1942. The performers, all employees of the National Park Service, held the word son for the son of one of the men who died that day during the surprise attack from Japan that prompted America to enter WWII.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada


Sun, Emerald Bay

Completely unreachable by car, Emerald Bay, tucked between the Sierra Nevada mountains in Lake Tahoe is one of the most photographed locations in the world. Out on his boat, the performer and captain chose to use the word sun on this sunny day at the lake.

Las Vegas, Nevada


BUY, Gold & Silver Pawn Shop

Pawn Stars is an American reality television series on the History Channel. It is filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada, where it chronicles the daily activities at the world famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, a 24-hour pawn shop opened in 1989. The series, which became the network’s highest rated show, and the No. 2 reality show in the world behind Jersey Shore, debuted in 2009.

Mojave Desert, Utah


M, Death Valley

The Mojave Desert is both the lowest and hottest place in North America. Mostly uninhabited it is spread across 4 states. The performer, alone in her solitude, chose an ‘M’ for Mojave.

Denver, Colorado


B, downtown parking lot

The performer, a parking attendant and former boxer, chose the letter B because it was the first letter in his last name.

Sutton-Alpine, Alaska


W, Matanuska River

The performer, a fly fisher in his spare time and assistant production manager by profession, chose to use a W in reference to the TV show he works for, Wild West Alaska. He often comes to this location to fish for salmon due to the areas solitude.

Kaneohe, Hawaii


N, Kaneohe Bay

Stationed at Kaneohe Bay, this Navy seaman chose to use the letter n to represent the Navy at a military base that is home to around 10,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel year round.

Sacramento, California


Mix, Weston House Recording

Korean-born violinist, singer and songwriter Joe Kye performed playing the violin during a recording session at Weston House Recording studio.

Mix represents everything I’ve come to love about Sacramento- diverse styles and cultures converging and conversing in a city bent on originality and artisanship.” –Joe Kye

Placerville, California


Hang, Historic Old Hangtown

Placerville, formally know as Old Hangtown, was once the 3rd largest city in California and earned its name from the numerous vigilante hangings in the 1800’s. The lack of organized law in the area, and high crime rate, saw the citizens to take the law into their own towns.

Placerville, California

Silence Was Golden (Balloon) - US, Placerville, California - H
H, Placerville Historical Museum

Journalist and historian Stanley W Morris chose the letter H for ‘history’. The performance was done in front of a small audience at the Placerville Historical Museum; a valuable historical resource to the community with a research facility, a permanent collection of exhibits, and ongoing educational programs. The museum is run by the El Dorado Historical Society.

Davis, California


TED, University of California, Davis

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading.’ Started as a conference in California 1984, TED has grown to support world-changing ideas with many initiatives.

At a TED conference, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives. TED speakers have included Roger Ebert, Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, JJ Abrams, Madeleine Albright, Philippe Starck, Al Gore and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Talks from TED conferences are shared with the world for free as TED Talks videos and the entire staff of every event is run by volunteers. This event at TEDxUCDavis shows the performers, all volunteers and speakers, standing together as a collective.

Coloma, California


49, Marshall Gold Discovery museum

As a result of the California Gold Rush, which started in 1849, the idea of becoming rich in a new land became known as the ‘California Dream‘, which ultimately led to the idea of the ‘American Dream.’ At the Marshall Gold Discovery museum on the site of the discovery of gold that ultimately led to the largest voluntary migration in the Americas, the California Department of Parks and Recreations’ Rangers chose the numbers 49. 49ers, or forty-niners, is the term for gold miners who arrived prior to December 31, 1849 and were the inspiration for the NFL team San Francisco 49ers.

Sacramento, California


S, Sleep Train Arena

Professional basketball player Ray McCallum, Jr. from the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and former NCAA Division 1 Horizon League Player of the Year, chose the letter S to represent Sacramento.

The performance, shot by Sacramento native Phil America, was taken in front of the Kings’ practice facility of the Sleep Train Arena after a practice.

Webster, Texas


8 – Challenger 7 Memorial Park

The Challenger 7 Memorial Park is a park in Webster, Texas, where NASA has its flight control center. The Challenger was a space shuttle that blew up, killing 6 astronauts and a teacher on board as it took off. The 7 who died are known as the Challenger 7.

“As a kid my mom dated a guy who helped build the rockets that were on the space shuttle. Whenever I said I wanted to be an astronaut my mom told me I couldn’t be one because it was too dangerous. I chose to use the 8 because I feel like my dreams died on that fatal flight and I was never able to dream as big as the other kids around me.” –Phil America

Davis, California


T, Odd Fellows Hall

Divorce Options‘ collaborative group offers help to get divorced without going to court and promotes the idea of a collaborative divorce model. After their weekly meeting at Odd Fellows Davis Lodge these two attorneys(lawyers. up to you which you use), Lana M. Shearer and Yasmin Spiegel, chose to hold the sole letter T together to say ‘thank you.’

“We immediately thought thank you. As divorce attorneys our focus is to help the family realize that they are always going to be a family, just living in separate homes. If you can divorce with dignity and respect, then you will be able to go forth and look back and say thank you for the wonderful life we have given our families. And if you don’t divorce that way you can be sure that when your kids get old enough to vote, they will divorce you.” -Yasmin Spiegel “And we’d be holding up a much different letter.” -Lana M. Shearer

Rancho Cordova, California


X, Centerfolds XXX Superstore

This performance was done by the manager of the Centerfolds XXX SuperStore, Northern California’s largest adult store. The store itself is attached to the strip club Gold Club Centerfolds.

Honolulu, Hawaii


O, Diamond Head

The purchased of the volcano by the federal government saw it become a military base for WW2. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, further gun emplacements, pillboxes and foxholes were built to be able to better defend Oahu in the future. Many of them still remain on the crater rim and one underground facility, the Birkheimer Tunnel, houses the headquarters for the State Civil Defense Agency. On top of a pill box looking out over Honolulu, the performer chose to hold simply a letter O because he said it represented the shape of the volcano from his location.

Wahiawa, Hawaii


Ma, Dole Plantation

Ma, which means ‘and others’ in the Hawaiian language, was the word these employees of the Dole Plantation chose. They said it represented all the others on the islands of Hawaii who work hard in the fields to feed millions in all different countries around the globe.

Dole is an American multinational corporation growing items such as bananas, pineapples, grapes and sugarcane. The Dole Plantation is also home to the largest maze in the world.

Phoenix, Arizona


PIMA, Camelback Mountain

In 1879 U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes included Camelback Mountain as part of a reservation for the Pima American Indian tribe, giving the land back to its original inhabitants. 6 months later the Arizona Territorial Legislature reversed the decision to protect the white settlers and push out the Native Americans, eventually seeing them settle in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC). SRPMIC is a sovereign tribe residing in central Arizona with an elected President and tribal council.

Las Vegas, Nevada


Y, A Little White Wedding Chapel

Sin City. City of Lights. Capital of Second Chances. Of all the nicknames for Las Vegas, the Marriage Capital of the World somehow seems the most ironic. Yet it’s true. Celebrities such as Paul Newman, Elvis Presley, Michael Jordan, Johnny Depp and Jon Bon Jovi have gotten married in Vegas. The main draw is the ease of marriage: marriage licenses are available daily until midnight, and no blood test or state residency is required. And its cheap! Drive-thru weddings and themed ceremonies are also available in case you want to be married by Darth Vader or Elvis. This pastor has done thousands of weddings over the years and he told me every bride and groom has always said ‘yes’…so he chose to do a Y.

Pūpūkea, Hawaii


Seen, North Shore O’ahu

Banzai Pipeline is a surf reef break at O’ahu’s North Shore where the world’s top surfers come to be seen. It is known to have huge waves, often over 15 meters high, that break just above a sharp and cavernous reef, forming large, hollow curls of water for surfers. This particular beach was the filming location for the ABC TV show Lost, Fox’s North Shore, the films Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Big Bounce as well as numerous surf videos.

Holding the balloons are aspiring surfers while in the distance professionals and armatures can be seen surfing the Pipeline.

Honolulu, Hawaii


16, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, often called simply ‘Punchbowl’, serves as a memorial to honor those who lost their lives in the U.S. Armed Forces. Millions of visitors visit the cemetery each year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hawaii.

Relatives of CDR Robert H. Isely of the US Navy Torpedo Squadron 16, chose to hold the numbers 16 to remember their loved one who led raids against Tarawa, Wake, Kwajalein, Truk and other islands. He was shot down on June 13, 1944 during the pre-invasion bombardment of Aslito Airbase, Saipan. The base Isely Field, one of the most important in the Pacific War, was named after him after he was missing. On either side of the grand stairs leading to the memorial are eight courts of the missing on which are inscribed the names of the 18,096 soldiers who went missing in action. Robert H. Isely is one of those names.

Honolulu, Hawaii


1961, Obama’s childhood home

Since first putting his name in the ring to run for President, Barack Obama’s birth has become the most debated birth in history. Theories have circulated falsely claiming he is not a natural-born citizen of the U.S. and consequently, under Article Two of the U.S. Constitution, is ineligible to be President of the United States. Theories allege that Obama’s published birth certificate is a forgery—that his actual birthplace is not Hawaii but Kenya.

Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital (now called Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children) in Honolulu, Hawaii. Performed in front of his first childhood home in Honolulu, these 4 native Hawaiian construction workers held the numbers 1961 to remind people that Obama was born in Hawaii that year, a fact that brings many locals a strong sense of pride and making Obama the first Hawaiian-born President.

Halawa, Hawaii


L, Halawa drainage tunnel

Shot in a drainage canal ditch in Halawa, held by a female graffiti artists visiting to paint, the L represents her graffiti moniker. The ditch is a hot-spot for graffiti writers who come from all over to leave their mark. It recently made news as the police set up a sting there and caught a handful of graffiti artists.

Kaneohe, Hawaii


H, Haiku Stairs

The Haiku Stairs, often called the Stairway to Heaven, is one of the most highly sought after hikes in the world- and it’s illegal to do. The stairs were installed by the U.S. Navy in 1942 to provide communication between other areas of O’ahu as well as submerged submarines as far as Tokyo Bay. In the 1950s the Navy base was decommissioned and the U.S. Coast Guard used the site for an Omega Navigation System station. It was later completely abandoned and in 1987, after numerous deaths, the trail was closed and a guard was stationed at its base.

Today people continue to get arrested attempting to hike the 3,922 steps, even as recent as the morning of the performance. The security guard on duty often stops people from going up and has had to deal with deaths even as recent as 2015. The performer, a Dutch photographer named Dick Bogers on a trip around the world, paused his hike to hold a h both for Holland and the Haiku Stairs. It took both Bogers and the videographer over 2 hours to reach the location to do the performance. Moments later he continued his lone hike to the top, GoPro attached to his head and his backpack full of water and photography equipment.

New Orleans, Louisiana


We overcame, French Quarter

Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest hurricane in the US in nearly 100 years, killing nearly 2,000 people in the hurricane and the subsequent floods. Property damage was over $100 billion, flooding 80% of the city as well as surrounding parishes. The floods lingered for weeks, displacing nearly all of the city’s residents. It caught international attention as well as garnering support from people from Kanye West to Mike Meyers. 10 years later, performing in the heart of the French Quarter just days before Mardi Gras, these performers chose the words we overcame to show the world that no matter what, strength and togetherness will overcome any hardship.

New Orleans, Louisiana


We are, Perry Street Wharf

Crust punks are a loosely organized subculture of individuals influenced by anarcho-punk, hardcore punk and extreme metal music. They are often referred to as ‘traveling kids’ due to the fact they travel across the country by train or hitchhiking and live shorter periods of time in each place. When settling they often choose to live in squats or ‘off the grid’, living by the mantra ‘Do It Yourself’. These punks chose we are, yelling simply ‘we are punks’.

New Orleans, Louisiana


Awe, Jackson Square

Every year over one million people pack the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans to celebrate. These performers, dressed in the traditional colors of the festival, chose the word awe because they were in sheer awe of the growth of the festival since they started going in 2006. In less than 10 years it has doubled in attendance.

New Orleans, Louisiana


Rome, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans

The Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, often referred to as St. Louis Cathedral, dates back to the 1700’s and was established before the United States was a nation. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans and both Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II visited the cathedral on trips from Rome.

Saint Louis Cemetery is known as the burial place of Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, and her tomb brings hundreds of pilgrims every year. Many other notable people are buried here and actor Nicolas Cage purchased an empty tomb to be used as his final resting place. It is also said to be haunted by Fr. Antonio de Sedella, more commonly called Père Antoine, a former priest at the cathedral who is buried in the church. These visitors from Italy chose to recognize the heritage of the church itself by using the word rome.

New Orleans, Louisiana


Woe, Irish Bayou

Irish Bayou is a community along a body of water by the same name on the edge of the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge. Most people heading to the bayou from New Orleans have seen the small castle standing out from the rest of the homes in the area facing the interstate. The castle, named “La Chateau Villemarette” after its maker French homebuilder Simon Villemarette, was built in 1981 and has stood tall ever since. The new owners chose the word woe to show sorrow for the other home owners in the area, nearly all of whom had their homes swept away during the Katrina disaster.

Newark, Delaware


D, Interstate 95

Delaware is one of the smallest states in the US, yet one with an extremely rich history. Nearly everyone from the state knows their state’s history. The performer chose the letter „D“ to proudly represent the state.

New Orleans, Louisiana


R, Dumaine St. Streetcar Stop

The old New Orleans streetcars are an important feature on the face of the old city. The performer chose an R to represent RTA, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Vow, Spanish Town

Bill Brumfield, president of the Society for the Preservation of Lagniappe in Louisiana, said pink flamingos became a symbol of Spanish Town during the beginning days of the Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade. Many have said the flamingos are tacky, pushing the residents of the neighborhood to vow to display them on every home year after year.

Texas/Louisiana border crossing


E, Roadside rest stop

Emma is from Texas. She is 7 years old and on her first trip outside the state. She wants to be a basketball player.

Brooklyn, New York


Decay

As someone who has lived in New York off and on since 1999, I’ve seen a small part of the neighborhood change, gentrification, and the age old struggle between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ play out in the city. Some see the chain stores and sanitized streets as an upgrade from the gritty city of old; while others mourn the loss of what they see as unique New York culture. I wanted to show the word ‘decay’ on one of the most famous streets in the East Village, St. Mark’s Place; which has managed to hang on to ‘old’ New York, even as the chain restaurants and wealthy NYU students continue to wear down some of its rougher edges. As we were taking our photo one of the longtime residents of the neighborhood bobbed and weaved past us, manic in both his speech and expressions, his time in the village in the 70’s and 80’s seemingly having taken a very visible toll. He joined us for a last photo and video where he insisted on being his own letter, ‘Z’. After the photos we stood around wondering what else to do with our shiny, gold balloon letters; Mr. ‘Z’ suddenly and definitively provided our ending when he grabbed one of the balloons and popped it with a reverberating bang. We nervously laughed as we ended up popping the rest of them, childishly enjoying each mini explosion. Two days after our shoot we were stunned and saddened to watch three buildings around the corner from where we had shot our photos destroyed in what appears to have been a gas related explosion and fire. Decay is all around us in this city; but so is rebirth. Sometimes you don’t get one without the other.
Jessica Horani of Gideon Speaks

Portland, Oregon


Zoo, Good Food Here food carts

“Portland is a place where the visitors come to see the locals and their life. With time, the coming and going guests make portland what it is. The wild end up contained, and the visitors to this zoo end up being the ones to watch.”
– Nicholas Lozito of Misty Peak Teas

Jersey City, New Jersey

Silence Was Golden - Balloon - Armitage Gone, Mana Contemporary - New Jersey - Build
Build, Mana Contemporary

Build is the word we chose to represent Mana Contemporary.” Based in Jersey City, NJ, Mana is a 2 million-square-foot contemporary art center dedicated to celebrating the creative process. A community of painters, dancers, sculptors, photographers, musicians, and many others who all work under the same roof. “Straightforwardly speaking, build represents the complex’s continuous state of construction and physical growth. On a more conceptual level, it symbolizes the tight-knit community of artists facilitated by Mana’s campus-like infrastructure. Build recognizes the importance of strengthening ties with others and oneself. It’s a command that encourages the development of relationships, networks, endurance, and self-esteem.” The letters are held by dancers from Mana’s resident dance troupe, Armitage Gone! Dance, whose muscular physiques give the term increased significance.

Los Altos


A, Steve’s Jobs garage

Apple’s first 50 Apple 1 computers were built in the spare bedroom of Steve Jobs’ parents. Those Apple 1s were sold to Paul Jay Terrell’s Byte Shop for $500 each. Only a couple months later Apple moved – in to Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage. The garage is located at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos. From this small garage to the world, Apple has become one of the most iconic brands in the world.

Orlando, Florida


Alms, Holy Land Experience

The Holy Land Experience is Christian themed amusement park in Orlando, near to other theme parks such as Disney World and Universal Studios. The park has the architecture and themes of Jerusalem in 1st century Judea including the world’s largest indoor model of Jerusalem and replicas of many other places from the Bible.

The performers, all visiting the park, elected to hold the word alms which referenced Matthew 6:1. They also wanted to remind people to give back to those in need.

Orlando, Florida


Like, Walt Disney World Resort

On the shores of Village Lake, this Columbian family holds the word ‘like’ to represent America’s craze for social media. The performance was done in Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort and, of course, saw numerous people photographing and posting the image to social media hoping to get ‘likes’.

Orange, California


L, Orange County prison

The L was chosen as a symbol of solidarity for the individuals within prison systems around the country who had been given ‘a L’- a life sentence. 

Tampa, Florida


WL, Raymond James Stadium

The performers chose to hold the ‘W-L’ letters to represent the win, loss record which is kept for every sports team. Shot at the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ stadium, the fans of the team hope to see them rise in the ranks this year, hopefully entering the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and to ultimately win the Super Bowl; a feat the team achieved only once in 2002.

PortMiami, Florida


K, Dodge Island

Ketamine, also known as K, is a drug of choice for many Americans. While some of it is produced in the US, most of it is smuggled in through ports such as Portmiami. The performer chose to hold a k to call attention to its use and the deaths from it that have happened in Miami.

Miami, Florida


C

This man, who has been homeless for nearly 10 years, lives on the streets of Miami. He noticed another performance and wanted to be a part of it but it was already finished. So, another solo performance was done. His name? “People call me Cat,” he said. Hence the C.

Miami Beach, Florida


AC

Only out of the water for a short time, these locals hanging out at the beach at South Beach chose to perform holding the initials of their favorite item in the summer- their air conditioning.

Miami, Florida


Climate, Scarface filming location

Performed in Miami Beach’s Art Deco District, on Ocean Drive, climate was chosen by the performers as a comment on global warming and its effect on Southern Florida. The location, in front of where the chainsaw scene of the film Scarface was filmed in 1983, was once called ‘Sun Ray Apartments. It has since been revamped to become Johnny Rocket’s diner.

Chicago, Illinois


E, Chicago O’Hare International Airport

In the middle of one of the world’s largest airports, this employee of the airport chose simply to hold the letter E. To, as he put it, “represent Edgewater. My home, my life, my hood.”

Los Angeles, California


R, 6th street bridge

The Sixth Street Viaduct connects downtown Los Angeles’ up-and-coming Arts District in the heart of downtown and East Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights. The bridge crosses over the LA River and has been featured in numerous movies such Drive, Anchorman, Grease, Terminator 2 and 3, National Security, The Mask, Furious 7 and many more.

 
The bridge will be torn down in 2016 so the performer chose to do her performance here, holding an r to represent her brother’s first initial who rides his bike over the bridge every day. For both her and her brother, this bridge symbolizes their Los Angeles.

Calimesa, California


C

I would have loved to bring out my family from Canada to be here to hold the rest of the letters,” said the performer. “I chose a C because it seemed so obvious. I would probably choose a longer word if my family was here, like Calimesa or canyon, to represent this location but then again if my family was here they may really want to do Canada. I guess since it is just me I can do only a c and we’ll let the view decide what it stands for.

Riverside County, California


CU, San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm

These wind turbines at the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm give power to thousands every day. The letters c and u were chosen for the initials of a family member living in Palm Springs.

Sacramento, California


Made In, Cal Expo

The iconic C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A letters that previously stood at the entrance of Disney California Adventure park for a decade welcome tens of thousands of guests to the California State Fair, as well as other events at Cal Expo, the largest exposition center in the capital of California, Sacramento. The letters were dedicated in a ceremony at the site of their new home, the California State Fair’s Main Gate.

The performers chose to hold made in next to the Cali to represent where they were born.

Sacramento, California


Indomitable, Bonney Field at Cal Expo

Sacramento Republic is a professional soccer club from Sacramento. They are part of the United Soccer League. Shot at their home stadium, Bonney Field, local artist Phil America and Dorian Lynde filmed the performance with the entire team, coaching staff, trainers and a small group of select fans.

“Those familiar with the rich history of Sacramento know that our city motto is Urbs Indomita. Translation? The Indomitable City – a name associated with Sacramento since its infancy because its citizens would not easily be subdued. They did not surrender to fire, floods or disease. They desired and were destined to thrive, literally moving rivers and raising their city to create a vibrant community. That fighting spirit is no different over 160 years later and lives on with Sacramento Republic FC.”
-Sacramento Republic

Atlanta, Georgia


F, World of Coca-Cola

In front of the World Of Coca-Cola, the museum that showcases the popular soft drink that started in Atlanta, this Venezuelan chose to hold a solitary f because, “F Coke!” The company suffered a huge loss as the Venezuelan currency became much less valuable over the recent years.

Washington, D.C.


D, Korean War Veterans Memorial

The Korean War memorial symbolizes the lives lost during the war between North and South Korea that saw American forces, as well as the United Nations, fighting half way across the world. While it is universally believed that the US won, many feel they lost due to the lives lost and money spent to fight the war. This student chose to hold a d to stand for defeat.

Washington, D.C.


Fad, Lincoln Memorial

While tourist from all over have shown great enthusiasm for the Lincoln Memorial, these tourist did not share in the excitement. They chose to hold the word fad and said they felt that, sooner than later, people would not be as excited to see the memorial.

Washington, D.C.


AD, Washington Monument

Often when given the choice to choose any words or letters, people choose outlandish or funny things. Sometimes they simply want to hold the letter of their name and have a picture they can put on their various social media channels. So was the case for these girls, Ashley and Danielle.

New Orleans, Louisiana


Move, Venetian Isles

Fort Macomb is an abandoned brick fort built in 1822 in the bayou of Louisiana across from Venetian Isles. The army of the Confederate States of America occupied the fort during the American Civil War however it was attacked by the Union soldiers and they lost the fort. Still covered in bullet holes from that final fight in the mid 1800s, it has since been abandoned. The climax of the first season finale of the 2014 HBO television series True Detective, staring Woody Harrelson and Mathew McConaughey, was filmed on location at the fort.

The fisherman, his sons and his girlfriend all recently moved back to the city after being displaced for 10 years due to the flood. They chose to use the word move.

Sacramento, California


United, Tower Bridge

United was chosen during an open call by the museum. The word is meant to signify the unity of the local people.

Produced in partnership with Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, USA.

Sacramento, California


Trees, Crocker Park

For one of the performances during the museum’s workshop the performers chose to use the word trees to represent the city’s claim of having the world’s most trees of any city and it’s nickname- The City Of Trees.

Produced in partnership with Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, USA.

Sacramento, California


I Need Art, Crocker Art Museum

I need art was one of 3 of the performances that were done based off words chosen by visitors and members of the museum during an open call. This sentence was performed outside the museum during a workshop held at the museum.

Produced in partnership with Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, USA.

Birmingham, Alabama


I Fly, Kelly Ingram Park

Performed by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute  

Jackson, Mississippi


Ooof, Mississippi Museum of Art

The Mississippi Museum of Art is the largest museum in the southern state of Mississippi. The museum is located in the city’s capital, Jackson, and its beautiful architectural makeover pushes to reflect the museum’s mission to be a “museum without walls”.

Ooof was chosen by Marcus, a 13 year old boy from Jackson, who said his favorite word was “ooof with 3 o’s,” something he learned from reading comic books.

Gaffney, South Carolina


Go, Peachoid

During the blizzard that hit the East Coast of USA that media outlets called a monster, these performers chose to use the word go because they would not let the storm stop them from their cross-country trip. Having the option to film their performance anywhere across the entire US, they chose to do it along the highway in Gaffney, South Carolina with the infamous Peachoid in the background. The water tower, resembling a large peach due to the city’s proclamation of being the peach capital of the state, has often been called, and mistaken for, a large butt. The tower was immortalized in the critically acclaimed House Of Cards staring Kevin Spacey.

Fredericksburg, Virginia


Yo, James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library

Manhattan, New York


Rhythm, Hotel on Rivington

Charlotte, North Carolina


Jinx, Uptown

Iraan, Texas


Bye

Valentine, Texas


Leech, Prada Marfa

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico


Child, Ralph Edwards Park

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico


Hi, Rio Grande river bed

Long Beach, California


Fog, Queen Mary

Brooklyn, New York


Explore, Untapped Cities

Long Beach, California


Sensation

Performed by theatre students from California State University, Long Beach, they chose the word because ‘”they were all on our way out of school and coming to terms with how to mix childhood playfulness with adult responsibility and “sensation” is a reminder of being present and on my way and I’m whoever I want to be. Sensation is the heart of the human experience, and art should stimulate the senses.

Want inspiration in your inbox?
Ok
close-link
Public Delivery

Public Delivery