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16 June 2004


We kicked off our campaign in a leisurely fashion with a picnic at Boston Common, near the swan boats. Here we are sipping tea and discussing our campaign platforms: MobiliTea, CommuniTea, SecuriTea, and of course, Tea!

17 June 2004

2004 was an historic year, the first time the British Consulate was invited to join the memorial ceremony for the first battle of the American Revolution. After attending the memorial for the The Battle at Bunker Hill, (depicted to the right in a late 20th century painting) The Tea Party campaign stopped in Boston Common for a swan boat tour, which we are particularly fond of because of its pedal power and petroleum-less nature.


23 June 2004

The Teaparty candidates headed to Coolidge Corner in Brookline to interview T passengers about the new “See something, say something” campaign on the subway and bus system in Boston. In a few days, Boston will become the first city to do bag searches on the subway.

an article from May 22, 2004 regarding ID checks on the T


Boston Globe article regarding random T checks from July 23 T Riders Union

30 June 2004

We joined the National Lawyers Guild for a protest in front of Park Street Station this morning. We handed out heaps of Securitea and talked to a number of people that felt safer knowing the T would be conducting these searches.

July 4th- Independence Day!

We hit the Esplanade where hundreds of people had gathered since dawn. Despite warnings of possible terrorism, Bostonians and others came from around the U.S. to witness the fireworks display and hear the Boston Pops orchestra. Most folks we met were eager to snatch up some SecuriTea.

7 July 2004

Today we had a design workshop with Roxbury's kids camp, Arts-in-Progress. Many fantanstic ideas were concocted for alternative fuel sources, including bubble gum, money and koala spit. Much thanks to Arts-in-Progress and the budding artists and engineers for helping us to expand our MobiliTea platform.

 

 

11 July 2004

We headed to Lexington, MA for a tour of important revolutionary sites with Star and Bob Zieve. At the Tavern, we fit right in (almost) with the re-enactors. We were really impressed with how these guys have everything they need right on their bodies: several sizes of knives, a sand-formed leather water bottle, and gun powder.

Learning about these first face-offs of the revolutionary war (between Lexington and Concord, MA) we were struck by how few people were killed. The death of 12 British "Regulars" at a crossroads between Lexington and Concord was considered a bloodbath. The intention of the British in this historic march was to walk from Boston Common (their base of operations) to Concord to destroy an ammunitions collection. It's probably about 12 miles. The descriptions of the battles were amazing: along the March a few shots would be fired, a few people injured, a few killed, and then the British would continue on their way.

The other fascinating bit of information was offered up as we sipped coffee and ate bagels in downtown Lexington. A man approached us and told us he would let us in on a little known revolutionary fact: Paul Revere's name was actually Paul Revoire (pronounced like au revoir). His theory was that historians don't let this get around because Revoire doesn't sound American enough. We all agreed the "Midnight Ride of Paul Revoire" did not sound as good. Star suggested "Le Noir Nuit de Revoire."

 

12 July 2004

Tonight we had a tea party with people in the building – the former Berwick Cake (whoopie pie) Factory. The purpose of the party was to discuss arts related gentrification. There were about 8 people in attendance.

As visitors to Boston and Roxbury, we aren't here long enough to observe changes in the neighborhood, but this issue of gentrification is one that artists are often faces with due to funding sources, seeking inexpensive living and studio spaces, or places to show our work. All of these situations put artists at the forefront of gentrification in many cities.

At the tea party the artists and entreprenuers who came to the gathering shared examples of gentrification that we have observed or participated in and also discussed ways in which it was happening in Boston and Roxbury in particular. We talked about the role that we as artists have in perpetuating this process. We also discussed ideas that could possibly stop or slow gentrification.

13 July 2004

This morning we went to our second demonstration regarding the upcoming searches on the T. Yesterday the MBTA distributed fliers announcing that "From now on: All MBTA customers will be subject to security inspections of any carry-on item. Your commute may be briefly delayed. Please allow a little extra time for a potential security inspection of your handbags, briefcases and/or other carry-on items and for other security measures. Your patience is appreciated."

19 July 2004

We met with Clint Conley who is a producer for the local Channel 5 news show The Chronicle. He is also the bassist for the band Mission of Burma. He was doing a piece about local artists who have done political art work. It seems that in the election year a lot of attention is being given to art and politics.

We met Clint at Copley Plaza where the security forces (police and others in a brown "security" uniforms) were harassing local homeless people who were sitting on benches in the park or laying on the grass. Some of them (the police) were wearing blue latex gloves which seemed totally unneccessary. Clint asked us questions from the side of the camera. Our responses will be spliced in with questions from reporters or anchor people. Clint himself never appears on camera, unless they need an extra.

Then Clint and John, the camera guy, wanted us to hand out our SecuriTea tea bags out in front of the Copley T stop so they could get some footage of us in action. They got a long shot with the camera by standing far away, but we had wireless mics so they still had the sound. We talked to several people and Clint would dash up after each conversation to get permission to use the footage. We had some really interesting conversations, but many people did not consent to allow Clint to use the footage.


Finally, we got into a long conversation with a woman who felt the bag searches were a good idea as a preventative measure. Towards the end of the conversation (which lasted about 20 minutes) she noticed our mics and was really unhappy that we hadn't asked her permission to record. We apologized and agreed it wasn't right. When we looked up the TV guys were already packed up. Clint came over and talked to her and she told him that she felt it was unethical to record without asking. She also pointed out that it was hypocritical of us to participate in this kind of surveillance.

We agree. We apologized to the woman, but we want to apologize again. When we record for ourselves, our gear and documentation process is always purposefully transparent. We got caught up in the moment with somebody' else's project and neglected to honor our own methodologies.

Clint Conley and Mission of Burma

21 July 2004

In addition to the Tea Party on the Esplanade on Friday we will be doing a workshop at the Boston Social Forum this Saturday. The schedule of events is up on their website now. Here is the info for our event:

Saturday 24 July 6:30-7 pm
University of MA, Boston
Wheatley Bldg, Rm 123, 2nd floor

Supercharge your CARma: Designing Imaginary Petroleum-Free Vehicles for the Future
We need your help! The future of eco-mobility depends on you. Drop in and contribute a drawing of your utopian vision for transportation. Join us as we harness the human imagination to conjure a fantastic petroleum-free future! KARmagick manifesters will be on hand to lead you through an explosion of the mind.

23 July 2004

Today we had our final Tea Party on the Esplanade. We served all kinds of tea, did tea leaf readings, and kicked off our campaign with a Kar-manifestation session where together we envisioned a world not dependant on oil.

Then we handed out flags for participants to plant around the city where they determined suspicious behavior to be occurring. Half of the flags depicted a masked raccoon sniffing an orange and the other half of the flags said "Orange you glad you didn't ______?"

Our mascot of the day was a beautiful inflatable horse named after Paul Revere's horse: Brown Beauty, ours: Blue Beauty.

This tea party marked the end of our time in Boston. We are happy to report that we did receive our party's nomination and you are welcome to write us in on your ballot in November!