John Fekner

John Fekner has been doing street art since the 1970s, but he’s as up on digital art and Internet art as anyone half his age. With his street art, Fekner often seemed to put work where people would least expect it, like on sidewalks in residential neighborhoods, for example. The works in his Kickwriting series appeared in an equally unexpected digital space: Flickr search results. In the case of Give a damn donate to Japan, which was made after the earthquake in 2011, Fekner’s message, split up into a series of images, can appear unexpectedly in Flickr search results for “red cross” or “earthquake.” Fekner says, “the sentence and individual letters start to be 'kicked' around, float, disseminated, and scatter in image searches on the Internet in cryptic and accidental combinations, interpretations, and meanings.” The work is less for his already existing fans than for those who might randomly stumble across it while looking for something else, just like a piece of street art; except in this case, the viewer is online rather than at a street corner.

Above: Give a damn donate to Japan by John Fekner