SXSW Eco Shepard Fairey keynote (Live Blog)

Shepard-fairey2The live blog is done!

SXSW Eco Shepard Fairey spotlight


 Following is what transpired (in reverse order):

That was fast. Big standing ovation.


Well Jeremy, how bad did we screw that up?

“We’re frequently made to feel inferior if we don’t overconsume.” — fucking brilliant


Earlier Fairey said, “Urban Outfitters are conservative assholes.” That’s good to know,

Damn, he’s almost out of time. – Stupidgregg


Awesome – he’s a philanthropist AND he made some artwork showing non-threatening polar bears.


Fairey ijoked about how “Communal Use” is frequently condemned being labled as “communism.”  – Stupidgregg



Fairey explained his belief that sometimes it’s really important to do the right thing because it’s the cool thing to do, not because they feel guilty.

Edit: I totally effed this. He was talking about motivating people. He explained that using “cool” as a motivator, instead of guilt, is important.

– Stupidgregg


One of my favorites, “The Toxicity Inspector” (below) was inspired by the way politcians (Cheney)  misrepresent “things.” Kinda’ like the Patriot Act?

– Stupidgregg


“Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.”


Philosophy 5: Sometimes the most powerful weapon against propaganda is absurdity.


On his piece for Smashing Pumpkins, Zeitgeist. He doesn’t do commercial art very often, but when he does, he tries to sneak his agenda into it. The work has two meanings, violations of what the Statue of Liberty symbolizes, and global warming.

– Stupidgregg


He doesn’t need to do much commercial work at this time, but when he did do commercial work he would incorporate his own agenda. Case in point: the album cover of the Smashing Pumpkins album “Zeitgeist.”


Showing the piece “Moon Over Biloxi” which illustrates the effects of the BP spill.


“You can be a capitalist and an altruist at the same time.”


Philosphy #4: Art can’t be either evocative or provocative. It has to be both.


“Art has to have an emotional and intellectual appeal.”

Fairey thinks that facts and statistics are important, but they’re not  helpful if there’s no emotional connection.

– Stupidgregg


Nature and science need to be symbiotic. Pushing for technology that accomplishes this is important.


“Enjoy Small Priveleges, Ignore Large Transgressions” (below) calls awarness to the people who benefit the most from the public being distracted. Politicians know that they don’t have to address real issues because American voters are apathetic.

– Stupidgregg


That hits home a bit too much. I think I may have to step out before I feel compelled to do something good for the world.


“Enjoy Small Priveldges Ignore Large Transgressions” —- totally totally poignant.


I also didn’t realize his shirt was a Judas Prius shirt.


I didn’t know he had a kid.


“That’s a cowardly way to live” talking about people getting totally dog-eat-dog with eachother.


“Once you have your kid, all of a suden your empathy for other people’s kids goes way up” Having a kid really influenced his perspective on multiple social and political ecosystems.

– Stupidgregg


It’s a sensitive balance of not being a dick (complete paraphrase). He was talking about how when things are convenient for us, it’s all good, though when it’s not, it’s dog eat dog.


Oh, lol… Fairey just pointed out that his shirt says, Judas PRIUS. I’m an idiot.

– Stupidgregg


Fairey says politicians no longer pursue the greatest good for the largest number of people, they go after the least informed voters.  He’s talking about his “Reagan and Friends” series. Fairey thinks that a the corporate influence over democracy really took hold under the Reagan administration. sigh, trickle down economics… people still believe that crap.

 – Stupidgregg


“Reagan and Friends” another interesting piece of art. Talk about a polarizing figure right?


eh, redundancy is okay SG.


Philosophy #3: Get to the root – and dig it up.


It looks like Jeremy has Fairey’s point s covered. Ill stop the redundancy.

Fairey said that he has been criticized for being too mysterious and too heavy-handed and childish. “Everyone has an opinion and that’s awesome.. As soon as you get out of here you can get on the internet and tell everyone.”

– Stupidgregg


“If you’ve been living life in a trance, sometimes you need something more heavy handed.”


“I do not want my taxes to pay for the New World Odor.” This is piece of art that was created regarding the war in Iraq. He layers in multiple ideas in his work.


Gas station pic – limited source of fossil fuels.


“We’re in the twilight of this dependence on fossil feuls.”

– Stupidgregg


It’s an obvious piece about pollution.


I totally Googled Shepard Fairey images, and pulled the “These sunsets are to die for” image, which he’s talking about now. Pic above.


“The conept of common assets is kind of abstract unless you make pictures of the things.” I wouldn’t have thought that, but Fairey said it, so I think that now. He’s much smarter than me. Even though he used to think he was “from the bottom of the gene pool”

– Stupidgregg


He’s talking about how those who mess up the environment should pay to restore it (paraphrased big time).


Common Assets: The idea that things like air and water shouldn’t be owned by a corporation because everyone’s livlihood depends on them.


I’ve never seen this print, Evolve/Devolve (above). “Sometimes I think that the idea that we had an energy resource that was renewable but… let’s evolve again.”

– Stupidgregg


“Evolve devolve” <—- holy shit this pic is awesome. Standby for upload.


He strives to combine the visceral with the intellectual.


The most amazing thing for him was when he saw some of his work for in his hometown of South Carolina. He’s continuing with his philosophy. Point 2, Make the Invisible Visible (well I THINK that’s what he said).

– Stupidgregg


Philosophy 2: Make the invisible visible


Nice, asked and got permission to use his “Clean Energy for America” artwork from Shepard.


Fairey is stressing his “inside/outside” appraoch to art and social influence. He feels that a lot of American symbols have been hijacked by the political right.

– Stupidgregg


“I don’t want to say that my concern for the environment wasn’t as deep and genuine as it is now” (speaking about the 90’s) “but my concern for the environment isn’t as deep and genuine as it now.”


Gregg, what was that about Mike D?


Looks like he’s done some logo artwork for some renewable energy campaigns.


Speaking of his work for Adam’s recent book, “Sometimes you need something that’s very direct to cut through all the bullshit.”

– Stupidgregg


“I think that Walmart is one of the most evil corporations on the planet… but their dedication to reducing their carbon footprint shows that anything is possible. Cuz these are some evil people.”

– Stupidgregg


Shout out to the book “Act Now Apologize Later.”



 Updated : 14:16

Fairey credited Adam Werbach, the youngest Sierra Club President (in history) and SXSW Eco 2013 guest,with inspiring much of his environmentally-themed artwork.

– Stupidgregg



He’s talking about getting resensitized to things, now launching into his Andre the Giant “Obey” campaign start.


He uses a few strategies, 1. start from the outside and work toward the inside.

– Stupidgregg


Philosophy 1: Start on the outside and work toward the inside.


He’s showing the photo that inspired his “Endless Power” gaspump print.

– Stupidgregg


He just spoke about the Obama poster being a way for him to infiltrate the system.


This forum is not what he’s used to, but he believes the world is a bit out of its own comfort zone.


Fairey said he’s been arrested 16 times. Ya’ know, if it you can’t get arrested for it, it’s probably not worth doing.

– Stupidgregg


He’s been arrested 16 times <— pretty rad.


Totally not relevant, but he’s wearing a Judas Priest t-shirt.


Fairey is rocking a Judas Priest shirt. s’pretty awesome.

– Stupidgregg


And Shepard has taken the stage.


“The viral Obey campaign” I wonder if people called art “viral” in the 1800s.

 – Stupidgregg

Edit: His introduction included the phrase I quoted above. People often use that term for Fairey’s work, and while I understand it, I think it’s kind of silly.


Here we go… wheeeeeee

– Stupidgregg


And the lights have dimmed.


 Updated : 14:06

Some people criticize Fairey for working with large companies like Saks Fifth Avenue. Fairey has said that money from those commercial gigs have financially fueled many of his other ventures, including his work in the non–profit space. – stupidgregg


 Updated : 14:00

Fairey’s show E Pluribus Venom opened in the summer of 2007. It challenged some American symbols and concepts, and blind nationalism, among other things. – stupidgregg


 Updated : 14:01

Haha, ONE person. No one is reading this. – stupidgregg


 Updated : 14:01

Btw, for the 1 person out there that may be viewing this, Gregg and I are both live blogging this mofo. So if things don’t make sense, consider either author… – jnickel


 Updated : 13:59

Some of Fairey’s work was inspired by the John Carpenter movie They Live, which starred wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper. That flick is freakin’ hilarious, but it seems like it was ahead of its time. – stupidgregg


 Updated : 14:03

The Obey website is pretty rad. I like Shepard’s post about Suicidal Tendencies…reminds me of my skating days in NE. – jnickel


 Updated : 13:59

Fairey created the famous Andre the Giant Has a Posse sticker in 1989. He called his first museum exhibition Supply and Demand – stupidgregg


 Updated : 14:02

21 minutes left, as the crow flies in New Zealand on a lonely winter’s night in Christchurch. – jnickel


 Updated : 14:00

Well thank you, Jeremy. – stupidgregg


Does this thing timestamp stuff without a title?


 Updated : 14:03  Looks like it works Gregg

Well well well, wonder what Blaise is doing. – jnickel


  Is this thing on?

I tend to break websites.


  1 hour and 46 minutes to go

Hello! At the time of writing these words there is now 1 hour and 46 minutes to go until Shepard takes the stage to deliver his keynote. This is a good test to see if this live blog stuff will actually work.

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