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PAC-WE Flash Mob
Action Art Happening &
for Health Care
As Performance Art it was one thing, entertaining and probably best seen in the U-Tube video shot from high above in a helicopter, hot-air balloon or tall building, which is where the official video camera was. Somewhere up there. Those elevated persons could see the Pac-Man shapes formed by the yellow rain-coated participants as they were guided by the organizer shouting into a bullhorn across the parking lot to fit into the colored outlines painted on concrete.
The event's publicized map of a march from the big red sculpture across the street did not happen. It was unclear why, though I asked. Perhaps no one thought to get a parade permit, generally required for herding people across City streets. Instead, yellow-raincoated artists walked from the sidewalk along Flora Street where they had gathered, down to the end of the block, around the bushes and into the round performance area.
These images are nearly chronological. I know some of the people in them but not most, so they are presented without identifications or much in the way of descriptions. More information may be available on their website. If you'd like to help me identify the artists and others in these photographs, use our latest email address on the Contact Us page and send with "PAC-MAN" as the subject.
Event organizer, UTD instructor and long-ago DARE co-founder Greg Metz said he expected one or two thousand artists to attend. Just before they paraded onto the adjacent parking lot to form the PAC person shapes, I counted 135.
Whatever else it might have been, it was a good excuse for a bunch of artists to get together and talk. That they were involved in symbolic action (Pac-Man — comprising a crowd of yellow-clad artists, swallowing dots — individual yellow-clad artists), and thus in some minds, participants in that elusive genre called Performance Art, added to the fun.
As the website explains, "We will create a giant PAC-WE for the World to see." Not sure the world was watching. Might have if we'd been two-thousand artists strong.
"Choose your insignia logo identifying your artistic medium — Literary, Visual, Performing, Media, Commercial, Trades, Arts Supporter, Student of the Arts." They also offered stick-on (onto the Rothco All Weather Emergency Poncho Item No. 3691 Made in China — suggested donation $2) symbols to "identify your healthcare preference by choosing a colored Square (large pixel). Blue = Universal Health Care Policy; Red = Public Option; Green = Co-op Health Plan; Purple = Single Payer; no color = Undecided; Brown = status quo.
I wonder whether anyone counted the preferences, so someone would know which the participating artists represent. Name tags might have been a huge help in creating community among the mostly anonymous performers.
The whole thing seemed more than a little silly — Pac-Man is not usually associated with Health Care or reform, but it was a wonderful excuse to get a bunch of Dallas artists together to do something, to say something, even if whatever that was was muted by obscure symbology. It was a great photo op; it was grand fun; and it didn't rain, so it stayed cool enough to be wrapped in plastic — except those few moments when the sun burned through the clouds.
It was also one of the few occasions when actual visual artists got to use the space so often proclaimed as an Arts District.
Stickers proclaimed Health Care Reform Tenets
Stylish Yellow Jacket
Crowds and Individuals
Red Square - the Public Option
Blue = Universal Health Care Policy
Metz Jr. Laid Back
Interviewing Greg Metz
It's A Parade
Pac Man Space
After Many People Left, Greg and his Elder Son Delivered
a PAC Cake for his Younger Son's [above] Third Birthday
has news coverage of
Sheila Cunningham shot it, but I can't find her link.
PAC-WE's facebook page 404s.
I've not seen nor hear of the video shot from the tall building down on us.
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