Saturday, July 15, 2017


Sometime in the early morning hours, an artist known as #stickntwisted installed a "pop-up gallery" on an old fence on West 28th Street just off 12th Avenue. On Instagram, they write, "Come see The City Of Dafuture. Not sure how long it will last. Depends on the kindness of strangers."

In the rising luxury shadows of Hudson Yards, under a coil of razor wire, the miniature foam city known as Dafuture shows pipe-cleaner stick figures living their urban zombie lives, leashed to smartphones.

Colorful signs narrate the goings on, where "Technology is turning humanity into self-absorbed machines."

The mom and pop shops have been shuttered and the city has become big-boxed and homogenized.

A mega-store called Messy's has taken over and left behind high-rent blight.

On this piece, the artist writes: "What was once the town's fashion epicenter, Ma & Pa's Fashion Hut was wiped away back in the 90's when Federated started buying out all the local retailers and then converted all of them into Messy's...home of the forever on going 1 day sale. Now that they have put all the other stores away, they are closing the Dafuture store and leaving them with nothing. Thanks Messy's for being great neighbors."

There's a queer theme here, too. "In all the excitement in gaining equal rights in marriage," one sign reads, "we lost our self-respect and caring for our community."

In a gay sex club, stick figures in black chaps take selfies of their asses in front of pictures of stick-figure Tom of Finland posters.

In a lonely apartment, bedecked in pink, a resident celebrates alone, "Happy Birthday to Me." Next door, above a bank, the neighbor has hanged himself because he didn't get any social media messages.

The public library is "permanently closed," because no one wants books anymore. They want donuts instead.

A UFO appears to be taking a cow into space.

A homeless man advertises his GoFundMe page and his "Faceless Book" profile, but adds: "Don't follow me. I get paranoid."

Meanwhile, several citizens of Dafuture have fallen down a manhole, too absorbed in their phones to see the danger.

Go see it.

Before it's gone.


Unknown said...

This is spot on, even the gay part. Everything has lost it's edge and therefor has become extremely commercial to the point of downright silly. In the past most great art and entertainment came from struggle and strife. Being homosexual was one such struggle that produced great art and rang in the incredibly beautiful and sexy disco era. well I don't believe it's really a struggle to be gay anymore, in fact you get a trophy for it now. You get a trophy and a pat on the back today for being anything that isn't mainstream which has everyone clamoring to identify themselves with something on the fringe or taboo. This has mainstreamed and watered down pretty much everything so we are living in a sort of cultural oxymoron.

How many people walk around with blue hair now? How many ugly tattoos can one fit on their body? How many holes in their face? How many questions can one have about their gender or sexuality? It's all learned globalized cultural behaviors today fueled by social media. Sorry, but it just isn't interesting or edgy anymore to be "oddly mainstream", it only screams desperation to belong or fit in by any means necessary.

Now the arts are in despair, our independently owned unique businesses are in despair, and our once fascinating city is in despair. Hats off to this artist and his/her modern day take on Dafuture! Ironically and brilliantly it's a piece of folk art.

esquared™ said...

Whenever I hear of or when I walk around and see favorite places and NYC staples closing and being replaced by luxury condos or luxury and artisinal whatnots, my reaction is Dafuq?!?