Image via this proposal
Almost three years ago, I profiled the work of American artist Norm Magnusson (no relation) and his I-75 Project. Along a highway in the American heartland, Magnussen started posting custom historical plaques — his “art of social conscience” — at every rest stop.
As often happens with the topic of artistic activism, this became one of Osocio’s most popular posts of the time. So when I happened to stumble upon Magnusson’s new Kickstarter campaign, The New York State Thruway Project, I figured it was time to revisit his work.
In this project, Magnusson plans to install one of my ‘historical’ markers in each of the 27 travel plazas of the New York State Thruway.
The Thruway connects the state’s two largest cities, New York and Buffalo, and passes by most of the rest of them: Albany, Schenectady, Utica, Syracuse, and Rochester. Its mainline sections cover 496 miles and it is a major road for Canadian visitors to the U.S.. It’s the 5th busiest toll road in the country with about 271 million vehicles each year traveling more than 8 billion miles.
And here’s part of the artist’s statement:
The beauty of these sculptures is their ability to create contemplation. They get people to open their minds and to see some of today’s most pressing social and political issues from, perhaps, a different perspective.
The people who stop and read them are united by their intellectual curiosity even if they’re divided by partisan proclivities.
It’s a great extension of a very thought-provoking installation, and the Kickstarter page lets fans and supporters put their money where their mouth is. (As well as earn interesting rewards.)
Here’s his video pitch: