News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Downtown Temporary Public Art Installation Hopes to Spark City Conversations
Contact : Elise DeMarzo, Public Art Program Manager    650.617.3517
A new temporary installation by Oakland conceptual artist Anthony Discenza hopes to spark community conversations with 20 provocative, signage-based artworks that will be installed downtown on existing light poles. Discenza has said that he views street signs as a powerful, impact tool to connect with his audience. The neutral text for the Palo Alto project is derived in both tone and content from English-as-a-Second-Language conversation questions.

Like many other Discenza artworks, this project relies on ambiguity and humor to engage the public. The questions touch on subjects applicable to many communities, while addressing recent topics of discussion specific to Palo Alto. Intended to inspire the public to think about the issues affecting the Palo Alto community in an unexpected and humorous context, the pieces will be "discovered" by the public over the course of their six-month installation.

Discenza states, "I'm much less interested in taking a particular stand or position in my work, and much more interested in having the work act as a kind of trigger for some interior experience or dialogue on the part of the viewer."

Discenza’s solo and collaborative works have been presented both nationally and internationally, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Getty Center and the University of California Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive. Discenza previously created an installation for the Palo Alto Art Center in the fall 2012 as part of their Community Creates exhibition, celebrating the re-opening of their facility.

The project is part of the Palo Alto Public Art Program, and the public is invited to a free artist talk planned for Wednesday, October 15 at 6:00 p.m. at the Downtown Library, with a guided tour of the artwork to follow.

A map and a full copy of the text for the project will be available at City Hall and on the Public Art Program webpage. Additionally, internet links placed on the back of each sign will provide more information about the project.