"It’s just a ride, and we can change it anytime we want." - Bill Hicks
Comedian Bill Hicks died 20 years ago today. To mark his passing, we’ve asked Houston artist DUAL to paint a few of the things Mr. Hicks said (the ones safe for broad public consumption) around the outside of the Cargo Space, transforming the bus into a rolling memorial to Hicks as prescient truth-teller and adopted son of Houston.
We’ll present the new paint scheme to the pubic on Thursday, March 27, to coincide with the closing reception of DUAL’s exhibition at Rice’s Emergency Room gallery. You’re all invited, naturally. We’ll kick off at 7PM and carry on for several hours.
In the meantime, if you want to help us to get the bus ready for a new coat of paint, shoot us an email. Of course you always can see updates on the project right here at thecargospace.com
Here’s one last post on the recent billboard projects. This article contains brief interviews with the student artists responsible — courtesy of Rice News.
OUTSIDE CONTEXT: Rice students make new artworks as billboards in Texas
Rice University’s Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts presents Outside Context, a new series of artworks developed as billboards in and around College Station, Texas.
As part of a course that examined the evolving role of art in contemporary society, students enrolled in the Outside Context class developed new artworks as billboards. In an effort to extend cultural thinking beyond the traditional places for art, such as museums and galleries, these students made new artworks that are designed to be seen by wider audience. After a period of research, including meetings with students and faculty at Texas A&M on areas such as LGBT rights, women’s education, arts education and sustainable farming, the Rice students went through a design phase yielding artworks that suitably engage the topics in a visual engaging display.
These billboards are currently on view around the town of College Station, Texas, as 22’ x 11’ billboards using space donated by Lamar Outdoor Advertising.
The Outside Context billboards are:
What’s Left? by Yutian He
"This billboard is a collaboration between a Rice visual art student and an A&M student organization. In support of Texas A&M’s Life to Love, which champions for women’s rights by providing global women with access to education, this billboard is designed by Yutian He of Rice University to remind all that education remains a tangible, viable, and specific solution to alleviating the vast issue of gender inequality."
Location: N/S CARSON 50’ E/O FINFEATHER F/E, Bryan TX
Howdy? by Michael Loconte
This project seeks to bring to light the apparent duality of Texas A&M’s famous ‘Howdy!’ Phrase. Where on one hand it is a harmless and traditionally Texan welcome, it can also raise questions of LGBT inclusion in a university that has been ranked as one of the least LGBT friendly in the nation.
Location: S/S UNIVERSITY DR. 1 MI W/O FM 2818, L/H, College Station TX
Have you seen this child? by Constance Lewis
All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up -Pablo Picasso.
The arts belong to everyone (not reserved for the fortunate or privileged). Arts education is not a luxury — a necessity not a frill. Art education can make abstract concepts real and understandable—expanding options and opportunities for students. But, what is the quality of the core skill set with which we hope to —and must— equip future generations? And how are we connecting with urban, under-resourced youth? Amongst a sea of road-side directives, a large-scale public statement about “Art Education” has the potential to raise important questions, and to perhaps level the learning field across socio-economical boundaries.
Location: W/S SH 6, .1 MI N/O HWY 21, F/S L/H, Bryan TX
“Trust people with dirt on their hands” by Heather Olson
I worked together with David Smith and Elizabeth Kennedy of the Howdy Farm, a sustainable student-run farm at Texas A&M, to create the billboard. The message “Trust people with dirt on their hands” challenges the authority that our society grants to scientists and bureaucrats in debates over farm policy and practices.
Location: S/S 290 W/O 389, RH/WF, Brenham TX
The Outside Context billboard project was supported by the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts, and is umbrellaed under the Cargo Space, a mobile artist residency program developed by Assistant Professor Christopher Sperandio. Cargo Space facilitates artists and cultural workers, helping them to engage a wider public in the development of new artworks.
Outside Context work in College Station
We took a rainy drive to College Station to take a look at the latest Cargo Space project. Students from Rice made new artworks as billboards, after engaging folks directly at Texas A&M. It was a rainy day, so our photos are a bit ‘oh, dear.’ Still the work is terrific and we couldn’t be more proud. The above piece is a subtle dig at the state of arts education. The child pictured is Pablo Picasso at age 15. We’ll post more images later, as we get them doctored into a presentable condition.
The above drawing is the first artwork actually completed on the bus. We had company on the trip to College Station, and although the artist wishes to arrange anonymous, the paper napkin drawing you see will be framed and hung on one of the bulkheads.
Only back in Houston for a day, and we’re already on the road again. This time it’s with Rice students as part of the Outside Context class. These young artists are making new artworks that will appear as billboards next month. These works will be made after a period of research, and some interaction with students at Texas A&M, in College Station.
(A candid moment before departure)
We’ll also make a Cargo Space billboard. And when the billboards come down, we’ll capture it them to make awnings, book bags, and more.
As we pack up in Tulsa, a look back in pictures
We’re packing up at the Hardesty, and by tomorrow we’ll be on the road to Houston. With all the nostalgia in the air, here are a few of our favorite pictures taken by Geoffrey Hicks. No doubt some of these will end up in the upcoming book that will document the project.
Final day for Cargo Space at the Hardesty Arts Center in Tulsa
Tomorrow is the last day to catch the Cargo Space exhibition at the Hardesty Arts Center in Tulsa. On Friday, we’ll pack everything in to the bus and drive it all back to Houston, and into history.