A red VW-bus (“VW-Bulli”) driving slowly along dark streets throws
light through its windows on houses, walls and trees. In
some places drawings appear, lines and traces of light emerge
and words and signs begin to show, then again the light hits
more distant surfaces and the traces become more diffuse and
blurred. Simultaneously a somewhat strange yet catchy chime announces
the Graffiti Van like an ice cream van from afar.
It is not ice cream, however, that residents can order at the van but individual light drawings (see below) for their houses, i.e. for facades, gardens, living rooms or cellar rooms. For a day or an evening they will get temporary graffiti they can watch alone or with friends and neighbours.
The Graffiti Van: The red VW-Bulli is my means of transport for pictures, material and tools that I need for my artistic work. But it is also a camper van and so, by nature, a mobile living room and workroom. The built-in worktop can accomodate a number of projectors and it towers over the roofs of cars so that parking or passing vehicles do not obstruct the projections.
Due to its size and striking colour it is easily recognized. In addition the mobile installation makes it unique and immediately reveals its function.
Like an ice cream van the Graffiti Van can be heard from afar since it produces a chime that was especially composed for this purpose.
At the beginning of the project there will be a period of advertising with the Graffiti Van passing through the Steinfurt district informing residents with the help of flyers (see draft below) and personal talks with the artist.
In addition small ads in local newspapers, a Graffiti-Van-Homepage and perhaps even short reports on RST, the local radio station, might help. Thus there could be regular reports on the whereabouts of the Graffiti Van (similar to the WDR programme “Hallo Ü-Wagen”: “The Graffiti Van will pass through Rheine today.”) and examples of graffiti may be shown.
Ordering light drawings: Though being a draughtswoman I rarely use pencils or charcoal or other tangible materials but intangible light instead. In my light installations I produce three-dimensional light drawings in different places and buildings. On the sooted glass of lantern slides, i.e. in the 24 x 36 mm format, I produce miniature drawings that may then be projected in any size, turning rooms, corridors, houses or streets into light sculptures.
At first sight onlookers tend to mistake my light drawings for real graffiti (a graffito is an inscription scratched into a wall). My inscriptions, however, are never scratched into walls but are temporary at all times.
The light drawings are always created on site. The wall chosen for the drawing is like a sheet of paper that is covered with lines. The slide is just the medium to transfer the lines to the wall. In my drawings I pick up elements of the architecture, respond to the atmosphere of the place or tell a picture story about the weather or the people who live there. The location is always the starting point for my response.
These are my plans for the project Graffiti Van: The customer supplies the location that I then respond to graphically.
The customers: The addressees are the residents of selected villages and towns in the Steinfurt district. Individuals, families or groups can order the Graffiti Van for a light drawing, either directly with me during the advertising tour at the van, by phone or at DA Kunsthaus, by post or personally during my “studio office hours” at DA. It is the customer who decides on the location, e.g. garden, facade, corridor, side lane et cetera. Together we then decide on the exact date and time when the drawings are to be realized, depending on the location and the amount of work. At the appointed time I will react to the situation on site. My ideas, associations and perceptions will be incorporated in the drawing so that the result will come as a surprise for the observer. The customers will see the chosen location in a new way, experience the light drawing and my associations with the place and their life for a while and will remember the location in a different way than before the graphic intervention.
Moreover, customers can decide if they would like to invite guests to see the drawing that can be presented during a day or an evening. For that purpose invitation cards will be printed (draft see below) indicating time and place that can then be handed out or sent to prospective visitors.
If the light drawing is meant for a larger public, sending invitations might possibly be organized by DA-Kunsthaus and, additionally, be announced in newspapers, on the radio or on the homepage.