Last year, after the Occupy Wall Street movement was evicted from its base camp in Liberty Plaza, a group of ingenious and ingenuitive 99%ers conceived the Illuminator—though you might know it better as the Occupy Wall Street “bat signal.” As a gift to those thousands upon thousands of people marching across the Brooklyn Bridge in solidarity with the Occupy movement, this group projected a giant 99% icon, followed by an emotional message of hope, inspiration, and encouragement, (notably “Do Not Be Afraid”) on the Verizon building the march was drawing alongside. The effect was powerful, and the press paid attention. But it was only the beginning for the Illuminator, a rogue van outfitted with projection equipment and a small group of clever artist-activists, and the Occupy Wall Street bat signal began popping up everywhere.
But evidently, there’s been a problem with the sponsors of the Illuminator, and the van will officially be revoked at the end of September. Rather than decide it was nice while it lasted, the Illuminator team is asking for help via Kickstarter so that it can continue to be a literal beacon of hope to those of us in the 99% who need to be reminded that the work is far from done. It’s an ambitious project. Not only will the team need to effectively rebuild the “tactical media machine,” but also it’s looking to expand its reach to San Francisco and Baltimore—and then, of course, the world. The Illuminator’s use of public-private space as a canvas for art is revolutionary in and of itself, but as a tool that can work as a voice for a movement, it’s brilliant. And it doesn’t stop with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Here’s a picture of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral last week:
Plus, of course, the incentive gifts are all art works. Look into your heart and your wallet, and help the Illuminator occupy the sky.