Tuesday, December 21, 2010

IM Pi The Considerate Cartographer Breaks His Silence

Do you remember the "considerate cartographer" who stenciled compasses outside subway stations all over Manhattan this summer? Recently, someone going by the name of IM Pi and claiming to be the artist reached out to NYC The Blog through an intermediary, offering more information about the project. Though both seemed unnecessarily evasive and mysterious, sometimes annoyingly so, NYCTB was able to get some questions answered.
First up...is this the IM Pi responsible for IMPIart, where a similar style and tags can be seen? The person on the other end of that email would neither confirm nor deny.

IM Pi did agree the undertaking this summer was a kind of public works project, offering obvious navigational assistance to those exiting train stations. Seeing a simple problem "with an obvious artistic solution," Pi set to work. "I want my work to make people rethink public spaces and what is possible," he or she explained. "I wanted to take personal responsibility for the city around me. I wanted to break the law in a positive way to highlight the fact that this is our world, we create it and we can effect it."
The artist has so far laid down over 190 tags on most of Manhattan from 96th Street down to Soho and the Lower East Side. However, some stations are challenging to get to. "For instance there is a cop or security guard stationed in front of every entrance to Grand Central at all times." Now that he or she has more money in their pocket, they plan on picking up the project again, touching up existing compasses and hitting Brooklyn as well.

In response to a question about other public art projects of IM Pi we might have seen in New York City, Pi informed there were many, "including paste ups and stencils...but I don’t care to elaborate at this time." And what's next for IM Pi? "You will see and don’t worry you won’t miss it." 

Sidewalk Graffiti Provides Navigational Assistance For Subway Commuters
Stenciled Compass Project Expands To Most Subway Lines

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