The Astoria Scum River Bridge

The Astoria Scum River Bridge by Jason Eppink and Posterchild. Photo by Jason Eppink.

The Astoria Scum River Bridge by Jason Eppink and Posterchild. Photo by Jason Eppink.

The evolution of a wall or of an individual piece of street art as it is installed, modified by nature and human intervention and eventually destroyed can be extremely interesting, but the full lifecycle is rarely captured. Jason Eppink and Posterchild’s Astoria Scum River Bridge video captures something close to that. The video tells the story of a piece that the artists made and what happened after it was installed. Eppink and Posterchild build and installed a little bridge of sorts that they called the Astoria Scum River Bridge. Ostensibly, it was meant to allow people to walk safely over a “scum river” caused by a broken drain system which interrupted a busy sidewalk in New York City. Of course, Eppink and Posterchild were no strangers to the power that street art could have, and so I think they knew exactly what could happen thanks to their bridge: The attention caused by the bridge could force whoever was in charge of it to fix the drain system and the scum river could disappear. And that’s is exactly what happened. Once the scum river was no more, the bridge was no longer needed and it was removed. The artists’ video tells that story from start to finish. In this case, the performance that the video could show was not just about the artists installing their artwork as it was about the entire story of the piece from beginning to end, with performers including Amtrak workers, pedestrians, the artists and a city council member. Once again, video is used by street artists to make their work about more than just the experience of seeing it in situ.

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