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This 404 Message is Anti-Google Art

MTO’s “We Live On Google Earth” provokes debate on corporate hegemony and censorship.

Earlier this year, Google announced its new street art project, an ambitious attempt to memorialize street art from around the world before the pieces get whitewashed or painted over. But while Google has the support of famous Obama poster-maker Shepard Fairey, it’s also been the target of criticism from other artists. Among them is MTO, a French artist who debuted three new pieces in the Italian coastal town of Gaeta that challenge Google’s hegemony, imagining a dystopic future in which all art and expression are mediated through and curated by Google.

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Yemen’s Banksy Uses Street Art to Fight Sectarian Violence

Murad Subay’s designs bring much-needed attention to the drone strikes, corruption, and violent political chaos that has plagued the tiny Middle Eastern nation.

While elusive British artist Banksy has kept a rather low profile since his controversial New York City residency in 2013, his “Middle Eastern counterpart” has been causing quite a stir. Murad Subay, a 27-year-old painter and former literature major from Yemen, has been making waves online and on the streets of Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, with his politically-charged, crowd-generated murals. The city, which in recent years has seen numerous sectarian clashes, is a landscape of telltale bullet holes and battle-weathered buildings. As part of Subay’s creative call-to-action, he has spearheaded 2,000 murals across Sana’a and beyond in just over two years, inviting others to join and help in their creation.

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My work as a public artist is specific to the discovery and interpretation of connections between people and culture through interactive, participatory visual art. For the last four years, Green School math teacher Nathan Affield and I have teamed up to create murals that combine art and mathematics to empower students and connect them to their communities in Brooklyn, New York. These projects build lasting relationships and help students realize their strengths.

Our first project took place in the school with two mapping projects that are permanently installed in our school’s hallways. Based on the sustainability principles of the school, the students went out in their community to collect visual data on what was culturally, environmentally, and personally sustainable in their neighborhoods. They mapped out the neighborhoods using zoomed in abstractions, noting the collected data with symbols.

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