Interactive Public Art: “Before I Die”
INTERACTIVE PUBLIC ART: “BEFORE I DIE” – When faced with the death of a loved one, many of us realize that life is slipping by and we have not done many of the things we dreamed of when we were young. For some of us the advancing of old age or the diagnosis of a terminal illness or disease may provoke the same feelings.
Much like the well-known movie, “The Bucket List,” motivation for living life can be realized through the interactive public art entitled “Before I Die.” Created by Candy Chang, what started as a process for personal healing has become a national phenomenon that allows individuals to express a desire of their heart.
Ater the death of a loved one, Chang found hope on the side of an abandoned home in her New Orleans neighborhood. Using chalkboard paint on an outer wall, she then stenciled and lined it with the sentence: “Before I die, I want to ______.” and left a bowl filled with chalk nearby. She hoped that anyone passing by would feel free to fill in the blank with their personal life dream. She was more than surprised when in less than 24 hours, the wall was covered with touching and emotionally charged responses.
“Before I die, I want to: see my daughter graduate, get clean, write a book, learn French, be a daddy…… The sentences were unique and personal, revealing and private; each one being birthed from deep within the writer.
The wall became the focal point of the neighborhood and over time requests for instructions or help in creating the same type of wall were coming in from all over the state. The “Before I Die” tool-kit was born and includes: chalkboard paint, stencils, spray paint, chalk and a certificate of appropriateness.
It has since been shared in over 30 countries and in 10 languages, with each wall being a testimony of personal individuality and the human spirit.
We all have at least one dream that we hang onto; that one thing that allows us to escape the routine of our everyday life for a few minutes. What would you write?
“Before I Die is merely one of the most creative community projects ever.” -The Atlantic
More information, including how to create your own wall can be found on Facebook, Twitter or: beforeidie.cc