On August 4, 2010 Dan Spencer and Cheryl Meeker set up their Bed-In at Yerba Buena Gardens to bring attention to credit and employment exhaustion, and to protest the proposed sit/lie law.
The art team Dan and Cheryl™ have been working together since 2004. Having done collaborative works under Stretcher’s exhibitions at Southern Exposure in The Way We Work, and in Bay Area Now 4 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Dan and Cheryl collaborated on two works for CIO! – the Summer of Tough Love.
The art team Dan and Cheryl™ have been working together since 2004. Having done collaborative works under Stretcher’s exhibitions in Bay Area Now 4 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Southern Exposure in The Way We Work, Dan and Cheryl now collaborate on two works for CAPITALISM IS OVER! IF YOU WANT IT – the Summer of Tough Love, 2010
Dan and Cheryl / online gallery of bumper stickers for CIO. Inspired by the web header made by Andy Cox that incorporated the circular logo designed by Cat Ferrez for Capitalism Is Over! If You Want It, Dan and Cheryl repurposed them into a bumper sticker. The poignancy of an un-PC format like a bumper sticker in a fossil fool’s world suggested to the idealistic art team the romance and implausibility of the task of curating an on-line gallery of bumper stickers appropriate to the Summer of Tough Love. The results can be found here.
Dan and Cheryl /Market Fatigue
Drove the futon from the Mission with the sheets
Trying to find some money to keep
Security guard said
Say what’re you doing in bed
We said we’re only trying to get us some sleep
Market Fatigue was enacted on August 4, 2010, a date just past the 9th anniversary of the Afghanistan war, making it the longest war in US history and longer than the Vietnam war. Some 40 years after Lennon and Ono performed their Bed-In during the Vietnam war to promote world peace, Dan and Cheryl reinterpret the piece for San Francisco 2010.
What does it mean to see two people in bed in public in San Francisco? It means they are cold and homeless. Dan and Cheryl called their piece Market Fatigue because they are just as exhausted as the consumer market. Exhaustion, the depletion of the safety net for Americans, the erosion of real wages for the working class, the increasing income disparity between rich and poor—all of these combine to make a bed-in in 2010 entirely different in effect than one in 1969.
Richard Wolf’s analysis, “Capitalism Hits the Fan” indicates that the consumer economy cannot revive under the current circumstances because home equity lines, having fueled the entire recent consumer economic expansion, are at their limit. The banks and corporations who have profited handsomely at the expense of the worker have finally been caught out—the toxic assets they sold to the world markets almost brought the economy of the world to its knees. Meanwhile, the extreme profits that the corporations made were not passed on to the worker in the form of wages and were also not reinvested in American businesses, or in maintaining infrastructure or education through the tax system, and were not funding improvements in availability of day care, universal health care, or environmental remediation.
Read about the sit-lie proposition that narrowly passed in November 2010 and its history as an anti-hippie, then anti-gay law, now brought back from the dead as an anti-poor and anti-immigrant law in the beautiful graphic novel by Shawn Gaynor and Andrew Goldfarb, “Sit, lie, get deported?” in SF Public Press. See an article about funding from the rich for sit/lie from the Bay Citizen here. For more on Sit/Lie see Sidewalks are for People
Dan Spencer is a visual artist based in San Francisco, whose work includes painting, performance, and collaborations.