OK - this one is gonna be short.
If you did not know, I work for a larger than average construction company in NC. ( By disclaimer, I will not name them, but I will say I like my job, my employees and the things I do. I work with some pretty cool people, and have a great boss. Sure, I have the occasional shitty day, but even a pie taster gets a case of the shits every now and then.)
Recently the news, including local and national, and internet based, have all had a story, a blurb, or a photo of the infamous Barrel Monster. This was created by a student at NC State, and showed up on a constuction project. Appaerntly, the barrels for the structure were liberated from the project, without consent of the owner.
I have mixed fellings about this whole thing. I am not going to take a side, just let you in on my thoughts.
1) It is cool. It is cool as hell. Shows imagination, and I like it.
2) Is it art? Sure, I will give you that. But that is all I know - i do not know weather it is folk art, political art, vandalism as art, or graffitti personaified . Hell maybe all that, and a bag of chips. But yeah, by my definition it is art.
2a) My definition if art - Anything that is creative and is original to the creator.
3) Is it vandalism? Yes, I am sorry - but it is. These barrels are pricey for a contractor - and we all know how tough the economy is right now. The artist could have just as easily bought some or even contacted a contractor for used but no longer in service ones, made his project and them put the piece on-site, and probably saved a little bit of the kefuffle. Still woulda got the attention, but would have removed the whole theft angle.
4) The purpose of the barrels it to warn and slow traffic. This is where I am kinda torn:
4a) It definately would slow traffic - making for a saafer work zone for the guys out there busting their ass for hourly pay to build badly needed roads.
4b) It would distract drivers attention from what they are doing, and could actually make the workzone even more dangerous due to that lack of attention.
4c) it could increase traffic as more people come to see / photograph the monster - definatly increasing the chance of an accident.
4d) Lastly, people could concievably want to get a picture with it. Pedestrians and 'civilians" have NO PURPOSE within an active work zone - this is unsafe to all involved.
I hope the uy does not get in to too big of a jam. I would also like to make an open suggestion to the NC Department of Transportation to consier liceensing the monster for use in public relations materials and work zone safety ad campaigns.
And should it happen, and it somehow ended up out of a work zone, on dispaly, I'm gonna go get me two pictures of it. One all alone, and one with me beside the Barrel Monster.
Below is a picture I got in an email - this things is cool...