Urban culture: Is your post-it (life) hand-crafted | Would you ride a metro without pants?

Do you ever think about fears at times? Many of us don’t want to routines and labels (some do, labels also fasten belongingness). A lot of us don’t want to be reduced to labels or set behaviour notions. Just the need to be an individual before being put in fixed category. I don’t want to be like “those people”. Because I am different. Not industrially mass produced, but handcrafted, over time, like post-its.

“I want to be a dad. But I don’t want to be like other dads only talking about their children. I want to have a life. And a baby. I have neighbours- those women stay at home and have children. I think they need to go out more, and do other things.”

And, so that’s when at the end of my little meeting with Andreas Kopp, I found that connect to start this post eigentlich from the end. 
In the beginning (and on Facebook) I found out that Andreas is an artist with post-its. And I wondered what that could mean. I am not a big post-it user. I use postcards more. And having said that, one look around and I see almost all laptops in office with post-its. And not name stamps. In shared-office urban space times. But I digress. I saw post-it art the first time in Andreas’s work.

What inspires you? Public art doesn’t just belong in museums. I make installations, and events that people can interact with. I changed a shop window. It’s no longer about people keeping pencils stocked up in nice ways that no one wants to buy. I want people to interact with things. I want to bring crazy art to the city centres. I get inspired from technology, from Flipboard. It’s tough to have a great idea after reading 3 things. I read ten and collaborate with people and come up with great ideas. Technology makes interactions possible.  These days I see so many videos that people share on YouTube and I see how interesting it is for kids to grow up, or for parents, who can always show their kids how to do things. You’ll always find a video on YouTube. I didn’t grow up like that (in Munich).

What about the daily job? I was always good at ‘creating’ something. I may take up a full time job again to support my art. Or maybe I am able to create something on my own. And brands are interested. They want to do different things, not just with agencies but with creatives. I’m lucky to be working with some who allow me to work independently not telling me which colours and which things to use.
Why would you step out without pants in the U-Bahn? Because it’s a fun thing. You get out of your comfort zone, have more courage. Insert stereotype about German people not really being funny. Young people are crazy everywhere! You need to identify ‘what’s cool’ for people. Andreas organised the no-pants subway ride in Munich in January. This is when you get a route, go to the U-bahn without your pants in the January winter. The normalcy of it is not lost on me. 150 people showed up for the no-pants subway ride this year. Girls and older people too. It’s a world-wide event every year. For the Oktoberfest I’m making a Pinkel Piano. Basically Bier drinking men pee into a sophisticated machine which is a Piano. Unfortunately this is not for girls, but perhaps I can design something later for them too. It’s so gross and outrageous that it’s funny.
Somewhere between the beginning and the end: I’ve been to India. I was near Mumbai. 2-3 hours from there. I rattle off Pune, Nasik. In the middle: Oh I remember now, to Nagpur. I went to attend a friend’s wedding. His father has a factory. People who work in factories are not so rich, oder? But he has a factory. The food was amazing. I also went to Bihar. I connected with a professor from IIM and he goes to small villages and finds innovations that people make with limited resources that they have. That’s inspiring. Mental note: Crazy guy. Besides, maybe I should go to Bihar and Nagpur once too.
I do not know if I’d be brave like Andreas. But I know I have dreams about not wanting to be “those people” as well/ Maybe that’s the narrative of our pop inspired urban-culture. Going back to hand-crafted. Being customised and personal. Social technology is enabling us in different ways to kickstart lives and alter our narrative. We don’t have an out any more.