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New MAC BLINK project pops up in front yards all over Madison

Provocative questions have started popping up throughout the Madison and are expected to continue for “anywhere from one month to 49 years,” according to the artists behind If Not This Then What, a MAC BLINK temporary art project commissioned by the Madison Arts Commission.

If Not This Then What is the first in a series of art/writing/design experiments by artist Trent Miller and poet J.L. Conrad. The project provides yard signs to Madison residents. Each sign portrays one of three different texts:

If not this, then what?

It’s too early to know.

You take it from here.

According to Miller and Conrad, the project’s designers (who are also married), the signs are open to interpretation: they could be seen by some readers as inspirational, and by others, in different circumstances, as provocative or even unsettling. The somewhat enigmatic signs may indeed be read as “a sign” for the viewer, in endlessly different ways.

The artists are using their own social networks as well as multiple distribution points and online media platforms to help distribute the signs to a broad network of people. The signs have the web site printed on the bottom and come with a sheet of instructions for posting.

People taking a sign will be asked to share a photo online, and/or to send the organizers a photo including the sign using the hashtags #ifnotthisthenwhat and #itsaboutthefuture. The goal is to distribute the project as widely as possible with hopes that it will eventually spread to other locations and be distributed in multiple physical formats.

To kick off the project, there are three set pick-up times where FREE signs will be available for anyone living in Madison, WI -- while supplies last! Times are:

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18 5:00 – 7:00 P.M.
Goodman South Madison Public Library

SATURDAY, JULY 21 2:00 – 4:00 P.M.
Hawthorne Public Library

WEDNESDAY, JULY 25 10:00 A.M.– 12:00 P.M.
Sequoya Public Library

People unable to make any of these pick-up times can contact the project organizers about an alternate time to get a sign. For those living outside of Madison who would like a sign, they are available for purchase at cost+shipping on the project website.

For guidelines and application to participate in the Madison Arts Commissions Blink Temporary Public Art Program visit our website. The next Blink Deadline is October 1, 2018