Student art project is vandalism for a cause

Student art project is vandalism for a cause

Credit: indiana.edu

Student art project is vandalism for a cause

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WHAS11.com

Posted on March 7, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 7 at 3:34 AM

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- An Indiana University student has distributed stickers pronouncing "I am coal" around the world in what she calls "smart vandalism" to raise awareness of climate-change issues.

Junior Cristina Vanko enlisted family and friends worldwide to affix 1,000 stickers to electrical fixtures, illuminated displays and other structures as part of a class in art, engagement and activism.

The stickers have appeared in U.S. cities including Bloomington, Chicago, San Francisco and New York and internationally in Europe, South America, New Zealand and even Iraq.

"It's like a little piece of me -- everywhere," Vanko told The Herald-Times of Bloomington.

Vanko's class is part of The Canary Project, a New York-based program that uses visual media, events and artwork to build public understanding of climate change issues. Its founders, Edward Morris and Susannah Sayler, are guest instructors at Indiana University and taught the class.

Vanko created a Web site to collect photos taken of her stickers in their locations. It also includes research on power generation, coal mining and the health effects of coal.

She said she hopes her project raises awareness of how people waste energy.

Vanko acknowledged that her approach was more radical than those of some of her classmates.

"I decided to go on a more guerrilla route," she said.

But it's paid off in more than the A she received for the project.

"It's smart vandalism," she said. "A lot of people are getting in with the cause."

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On the Net: http://iamcoal.wordpress.com

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Information from: The Herald-Times, http://www.heraldtimesonline.com

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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