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Yoko Ono and Occupy Wall Street Collaborate On a Wish Tree Project

by Liza Eliano on January 11, 2012

Wish cards will be distributed to Occupy Wall Street groups as part of their collaboration with Yoko Ono (Photo courtesy Chris Cobb)

Occupy Wall Street’s Arts and Culture group has so far been able to align itself with prominent artists and organizations around New York, and now Yoko Ono, a major inspiration for OWS you could say, will join the ranks.

Yesterday, Occupy With Art, formerly Occupenial, released a statement about their upcoming collaboration with Ono based on her famous Wish Tree project initiated in 1981 and re-imagined in locations around the world.

The project was initially meant to be displayed on a tree in Zuccotti Park, but since the raid on OWS in November, protesters have not been allowed to set up tents, signs or any other installations at the site, causing Arts and Culture to have to rethink the project. From the press release:

In accordance with the raid of Zuccotti Park, and its subsequent closure, and the ubiquitous nature of the Occupy movement, Ono has broadened the project. So now instead of literally placing wishes in the trees, she has made a postcard edition of 10,000 with written instructions to be distributed nationally by Occupy Wall Street groups.

Chris Cobb, a member of Occupy With Art and an organizer of the Ono project, told Hyperallergic that he thinks of the project as a “social sculpture” or “almost a poem,” that is more about starting conversations rather than an end product, much like Occupy Wall Street itself. Cobb noted:

Part of what makes this project good is that it challenges the perceived notions of art just by being a gesture. It’s not for sale and the cards are not originals, but multiples. We’ve managed to find a work that is in the same vibe as the movement.

Cobb also mentioned that Ono has been supportive of OWS from the beginning and expressed interest in getting involved. After Arts and Culture hung their works in the window of Printed Matter in early November, a member of Ono’s studio got in touch with the group to arrange the collaboration.

Occupy with Art is meeting tonight to hash out the details of distributing the cards, and a short press conference will be held at Zuccotti Park with members of Arts and Culture and Occupy With Art this Saturday, January 14 at 1pm.

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  • Nadja Lazansky

    I love Yoko, but trees are not what’s gonna make changes! How about posting these cards on City Hall?

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