Mark John
Smith
 



 


Village Alliance   
Public Programming & Community Engagement

New York, NY 
2018
 

The Village Alliance has been a leading advocate for the Village community of NYC for over twenty years. As a Business Improvement District, the Alliance works with area residents, businesses, cultural and academic institutions to ensure the district continues to grow and succeed. The Village Alliance mission is to enhance the neighborhood’’s quality-of-life by creating a cleaner, safer and more enjoyable environment.


#CreativityCubed  
A landmark Artwork by the Public

Creativity Cubed returned to Astor Place on July 7, 2018, for a third year of public creativity and art around one of New York City’s most iconic pieces of public art, the Alamo sculpture or “the Cube”.

For Creativity Cubed 2018 the Village Alliance commissioned Mark to create a platform on which to evoke perceptions about creative spontaneity in public space.



“Essentially, the public are the work of art - their motions, actions and participation builds the work’s importance. This event aims to capture this mood - creating a hub and network, born from engagement, dialogue, reaction and action - a space to contemplate the past whilst looking towards the future of community, collaboratively.” 

 

Through the construction of a temporary 8’ x 8’ x 8’ plywood cube, initially covered in 100 individually numbered custom white t-shirts, Mark created a space for interactive and immersive intervention, which rapidly became a nexus of live engagement, reaction, and action.

Friends and strangers gathered and bonded through creativity and personal expression as they contemplated the past, reacted to the present, and looked to the future. The sharing of individual stories, sentiments, and thoughts ranged from current affairs to music, fashion to video games, and the East Village to Barcelona and everywhere in between.  


Draw, paint, spray - share your narrative with NYC

As more people contributed towards the Cube, public space itself became the work of art, revealing the public domain as a tool and platform for empowerment, learning and discovery.


Lasting for six hours, Creativity Cubed resulted in a visually striking public installation, touched by the hands of thousands, plus one hundred individually numbered and uniquely designed t-shirts. It is likely these t-shirts are now spread across continents, worn in faraway cities, each one documenting a moment in time in New York City.


In a time of when expression is increasingly challenged, Creativity Cubed demonstrated the power of art for all, and the power of a shared and equitable public space as platform.


“Creativity Cubed reminds us of the power of public space and public art to bring people and communities together - that we do not have to rush through space, but can stop to engage and immerse with the present, while contemplating the past and future.” - Participant.


“I felt so inspired seeing so many people from the community coming together to create something special. I don’t really consider myself to be creative but after doing this and feeling all of the good energy from everyone here, I really feel like I can find my inner art voice, start going to museums more often and appreciating art more.” - Participant