Word on The Street
By utilizing the materials and visual language of street signs, Los Angeles-based artist Scott Froschauer is able to harness the power of authority while playing with viewers understanding and perception of public space and the role of art in it. By replacing the traditional controlling language on public street signs with positive life-affirming statements, The Word on The Street seeks to provide something that is missing from our hum-drum daily visual diet.
Scattered throughout and sponsored by the city of Glendale, California, Froschauer has placed 20 different custom street signs all over, hoping to engage and inspire city visitors and residents to see the world just a little bit brighter. The signs range in message and tone, but maintain the standard directional sign styles and shapes. Touching on positivity, curiosity and absurdity, Froschauer’s signs are evocative, supportive and whimsical, inspiring a smirk or smile to all those who view them.
Juxtaposing the expectations of passersby, Froschauer is particularly fascinated with the role of the public space—hoping to combat the common thought that public space is meant to host signage and messaging to control and conform people in order to keep things copasetic and peaceful among the masses. Froschauer has utilized this expectation in order to produce a positive and shocking response from his viewers. Applying the power of street art to the concept of public signage, he has found an untapped area of captivation in contemporary art where the street art is not a visually rebellious statement, illegally operating and going against the system. Instead, Froschauer employs a contextual rebellion from the mundane messaging but still utilizes the government-approved signage style in order to gain proper attention from viewers as well as utilize the positive shock value of his opposing messages.
These signs are so similar to the traditional street signs that many people pass right by them without even realizing the signs say something different than they expected. This aha moment is a mandatory aspect of Froschauer’s work, demanding the viewers’ participation to complete this experiential artwork.
Aiming to give viewers a positive yet momentary emotional lift, Froschauer hopes that people who see his signs start to expect extraordinary things in ordinary places more often, evoking greater imagination and positivity by the masses. His messaging in The Words on The Street are simple yet thought provoking, with self-love and compassion at the core of his sign statements. With just 20 new additions to the city’s public space, Glendale now offers all visitors and residents a boost of positive energy and personal empowerment.
About the artist:
Scott Froschauer is a experimental artist and art fabricator in Los Angeles. His background consists of a structured education in Engineering, Photography, Computer Programming and Business. He earned a B.A. in Theoretical Linguistics from Syracuse University and has broad practical experience in Fabrication, Design, Non-ordinary Reality, Experiential Narrative, Venture Capital, Counterfeiting and Breathing. His background in the motion picture industry as a Key Grip has given him the skills to rapidly deploy large engineering projects for television shows, feature films, commercials and music videos. His fine artwork covers a broad range of subjects and materials from ephemeral street art and experiential narrative events to gunpowder illustration and alternative technique photography to practical sculpture and many large scale pieces for the Burning Man Festival, including the fabrication of The Church Trap, a large scale sculpture which was featured in numerous publications. Scott also fabricated RuckusRoots’ 2015 Wild Art sculpture, for the LA Zoo.