Tatfoo Tan’s “S.O.S. Pledge,” modeled after the Pledge of Allegiance and installed in a Brooklyn public school entryway, invites students to begin each day with a renewed promise to work as a team to save our earth:
“I hereby pledge to make the following changes in my life. My actions will be small, but their collective impact will be great. I promise to consume fresh and local produce. I promise to reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, and conserve energy. I will walk, bike, or ride public transportation as much as I can. I will set an example for others as a sustainable organic steward (S.O.S.).”
I am a “social sculpture artist.” I create a scenario, a place for people to interact. It’s about bringing people together to start a conversation. It’s the idea that art happens when people interact together, rather than viewing art as an object or commodity you can trade. I give the idea, I create a situation, but the artwork still belongs to the participant, so I don’t own the artwork. I think that’s the beauty of what I am doing right now. I am especially involved in urban farming and new ideas about our food system. Part of my art is to Tweet about how many eggs my chickens have laid daily.
After giving demonstrations of my art at several Early Childhood Centers, I realized I wanted to make a piece that would surround the students and give them a common sense of purpose to lead healthy lives in harmony with nature, to follow principles of sustainability and find joy in that. Sustainability should not be scary.
Artist’s website: www.tattfoo.com/sos/SOSpledge.html