The Tangled Web of #OccupyWallStreet

"The Declaration of the Occupation of NYC" created for the Occupy Wall Street movement (click to enlarge)

If you’ve been following Occupy Wall Street, then you’ve heard the question a million times, and may even be asking it yourself: what are the movement’s demands? What do they hope to accomplish?

It’s a question that seems impossible and also unreasonable to answer when you consider how diverse Occupy Wall Street has become. But protesters themselves are still searching to find some answers. The “Declaration of the Occupation of NYC”  (pictured left) created by Rachel Schragis is a start. Sent out on the OWS Arts and Culture listserv yesterday, the web of grievances and facts was a collaborative effort, made with input from Arts and Culture, other working groups and crowd-editing sessions at Zuccotti Park.

While the web is more informational than artistic, its one of the more nuanced and concrete visuals of the movement that I’ve seen. Its a reminder that at this still young point in the movement, art that deals directly with the issues at hand can have more punch than an abstract or conceptual work. The web also articulates the role of art in Occupy Wall Street — a way to connect people to the movement without diluting all of its wonderful and challenging complexities.

Possibly the one demand the web does call for is simply this: to recognize that our grievances are all connected.

I reached out to Schragis for comments on the piece and she will be posting a statement to the A&C listserv soon. There is chatter on the Google group about possibly turning it into a poster or using it at future gallery shows. For now, you can dive into the many layers of the Declaration by clicking here.

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