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Signs of the Times: Conversation-starting art comes to Auckland’s Cornwall Park

Parks. Green (at least hopefully) grass, tall trees, fresh(ish) air, (relative) peace.

Signs. Words and pictures on them. Sometimes moving images. Of varying sizes.

Also, dogs. Furry. Occasionally loud. Like to sniff things. 11/10 would pet again.

Alright, so these three things may seem rather different from each other – at least on the surface. But all three are part of “Signs of the Times – Cornwall Park,” a five-piece installation by artists Scott Kelly and Ben Polkinghorne in Auckland’s Cornwall Park. It’s part of an initiative to show art in unexpected places, allowing the public to experience the park in new ways.

According to the artists, the aim of the project is to encourage people to think about the impact of social media and consumerism, and how our decision-making is increasingly being influenced as we live in various filter bubbles. To do this, five physical signs were installed, which suggest other locations within Cornwall Park people might like, somewhat like the “customers who bought X also bought Y” recommendations that clog our feeds online.

The project is a follow up to Kelly and Polkinghorne’s original “Signs of the Times” series, released in August 2017. The original project went viral, with the pair interviewed on the BBC, had their work shared by Arianna Huffington and photographs shown at the prestigious Maison & Object in Paris this past January.

Customers who liked “Signs of the Times” also liked… art with a message and interesting urban design. 12/10 would check out again.

Review overview