Mutable Matter of the Week: Citizen Ice Cream Vendor

Center for Tactical Magic, ‘Tactical Ice Cream Unit’. Image source: Democracy in America

I recently came across ‘Democracy in America’, a project curated by Nato Thompson who was also in charge of the ‘Experimental Geography’ exhibition. As far as I can tell from the website, ‘Democracy in America’ is not merely a travelling exhibition, but also includes a diversity of ‘outreach’ activities. These appear to range from the creation of discussion and experimentation spaces to ‘mobile units’ bringing artistic experimentation with democracy to spaces outside that of the exhibition.

One of these ‘mobile’ projects is the ‘Center for Tactical Magic’, whose ‘Tactical Ice Cream Unit’ (TICU) addresses ‘cold stares’ (= public surveillance) with ‘frosty treats’. Combining the form of a police mobile command centre with the function of an ice cream van, the artists seek to provoke discussion about securit-ice-ation issues. The other ‘mobile unit’ is no less interesting: ‘Another Protest Song’ by artists Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere. This project has the advantage that it is not only taking place in various parks in the form of ‘protest karaoke’, but also online. So, if you are a politically inclined musician, you can upload your 21st century protest song on their site!


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