Economy of gesture is a collaborative project started in 2007 as
site-specific poetic and performative interventions in public spaces
across the binational region of Tijuana and San Diego. This
initiative departed from an interest and reflection on human
directionals -also know as sign spinners- a Southern California
Sign spinners are paid for their movement, so there's a practical
reason for it, but within this job some of them have created highly
expressive forms. This expression of personality in public space is
striking and rare, to the extend of been already absorbed as popular
culture even by entertainment industry.
Nevertheless, we need to acknowledge the problematic relation that
can be trace between performance and labor when considering age,
class, gender and race in spaces (i.e. Afro-American teens spinning in
manly white-and-privileged neighborhoods, middle age men and women
advertising housing on gentrified neighborhoods that are completely
inaccessible for them). When considering these coordinates more
complex landscapes can be draw, away from a superficial celebration of
a new kind of sport-like urban youth expression.
Economy of gesture collaborators had reflect on this phenomenon and
develop microgestures exploring the potential of a creative and
critical communication platform. Efficiency vs inefficiency,
visibility and invisibility, clarity and abstruseness in the
“delivery of the message” are possibilities to insert the poetic into
the capitalistic sphere; and to appropriate and interrogate structures
of power and emergence of expression in advertisement.
The goal of the project is is to keep an ongoing process to have new
participants and publics engaging with new locations and
performances. Los Angeles will be the new territory to explore.