Who will save the human race… from ourselves???

Today, a mixed report.  I scattered exactly 500 maple leaves on one of the big paved pathways in Boston Common, each leaf tattoo’d with the latest stamp: TO REPORT A FALLEN LEAF…

How gratifying it was to stand to the side and watch passersby halting to look down at the leaves… and many stooping down excitedly to take a leaf as a souvenir.
I overheard a conversation behind me:
“That’s why that guy was picking up leaves yesterday!  See!  He stamped them.”
“Whadduzzitsay?  William Cravis dot com slash leaf a message…”

Now, this is what an egomaniac artist like me dreams of: absolute strangers chanting
my name!!!  – or, o.k., chanting my URL… basically the same thing.
However, the ensuing conversation dashed all my hopes, not just for my project,
but for the overarching project, The Big Project known as the human race:
“Yeah, I get it, they want to trick you into going to the website so that your computer
gets a virus…”
It was a pessimistic male voice, with an unmistakably Jewish, Newark accent (although maybe my perception is colored by the fact that I’m currently reading Phillip Roth’s novel, The Plot Against America ).

A woman, adapting his tone, responded, “…and this is how they get your email address…”

Good people of the Park:  it is not an evil ploy to steal your identity, or to bombard your
email inbox with spam.  There will be no virus on your PC.  It’s just a public art gesture designed to bring a smile to your daily routine…

NOTES: Yes, I am a Jew, not an anti-semite.  And NO, I will not give up… when artists
lose faith in humanity, what’s left?

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5 Responses to Who will save the human race… from ourselves???

  1. Rob Graham says:

    Hi William:

    As a marketing professor I was (and still am) intrigued by your approach to getting your message out there and driving traffic to your blog. A very unique way to make a little noise that rises above the din. It certainly caught my attention.



  2. Kalinda says:

    My mom may have been the one with the first quote you listed ;) We are out here visiting from California (first time) and found your leaves earlier today – we looked at them as the modern day equivalent of a “message in a bottle”, and it indeed brought a smile to our faces. Be assured that not everyone out there thinks it’s an evil internet ploy! ;) Thanks for the cool and simple spark to our day – we are bringing them back home with us, if they’ll stay crisp that long! :)


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  4. I admit the URL made me skeptical and instantly disappointed. Not a random act of public art, but a publicity stunt.

    I wonder what the difference might be if you used a domain name that seemed less unrelated and commercial — “leafmessageproject.org” or something.

  5. leafamessage says:

    hi Matthew

    Thanks for the comment/criticism. You are absolutely right…
    I was too cheap to create a brand new domain for the project
    (in other words, i used WordPress to start a blog within my
    main artist website http://www.williamcravis.com... and this
    compromised the “feeling” of the URL).

    Come to think of it, i first opened a free blog with blogspot…
    and that one had the simple name “leafamessage.blogspot….”
    In the end i was limited by my absolute lack of programming
    skills, i.e. html, css… and chose WordPress because the available
    template was more interesting and easier to work with.

    You have illuminated one of the central problems of the project.
    While it is too late to change the direction of the current project,
    I will follow your suggestion for future, similar projects… even if
    it means bringing someone with programming skills on board.

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