Sunday, September 27, 2009

Promenading Silly Invisible Dogs On Smith And Court Streets
















We all know the story of the emperor's new clothes, but have you heard the one about the emperor's new dog?

Everywhere around the neighborhood on Sunday afternoon, people were walking 'invisible dogs'.
After I passed by the first three people, I asked the fourth what was going on. "I am just walking my new puppy" the young lady told me.
Yes, right! I thought.

I did not get a better answer from the next few people I asked. It obviously was some kind of social experiment or performance art.
It was not until I ran into two young men, that I finally got the answer. They had gotten the leashes from the Art Shop at 51 Bergen Street, where they were being handed out, and where they had to be returned by 4 PM.

As we were all three standing in front of the Starbucks on Smith Street, observing the passers-by, who were promenading their "dogs." We had to smile at the surreal scene. One of the two young men had to agree with me that is was all pretty silly and pointless. And he didn't mind saying so. See video below.







Invisible Dogs from Katia Kelly on Vimeo.






For Home Page, click Pardon Me For Asking

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

The young man in your video clip was so articulate about this silliness in view of what is going on in our country and in the world. I think a good art piece for these fake dog-walkers is to create some piece that shows them putting their heads in the sand (as in just avoiding reality). It depresses me about my neighborhood to see such vapid activity.

frencheese said...

It was funny but as for you, we got the same answer to our questions. The purpose was unclear; did they film some street scenes?
Anyway, thanks for telling us about the origin of this surrealist happening.

Anonymous said...

there are many problems that we have to deal with it and a lot of people are trying to handle it every day. But it doesnt hurt to add some laughter and smiles to make things slighty better. People like the guy in that video need to learn to relax and its ok to stop and enjoy life's simple moments when the rest of the world is in the state it is in.

Mike said...

I knew as soon as I saw this that it was an improv everywhere stunt. These are the same people that did the no pants subway ride and the frozen times square missions a few years ago. http://improveverywhere.com/2009/09/27/thank-you-invisible-dogs/

Anonymous said...

I hope the guy in the video spent each waking hour of his day working to solve the economic crisis and US foreign policy issues. If not, he probably shouldn't complain about people having carefree fun for two hours on a Sunday afternoon!

Anonymous said...

i agree with that young fellow people need to wake up.. i hated how people were acting like some damn weirdos this afternoon.. i dont mind people having fun and enjoying themselves but seriously wake the f*ck up

Anonymous said...

Live and let live. But if these very same "dog"walkers would do something productive with their time and clever skills, the world might be a better place.

Priced Out of CG said...

I'm sure the people walking leashes would have been walking anyway. They may even spend some time trying to solve the world's problems. I hope not everything we do needs a deep purpose. That would mean I'd have to stop watching Ghost Whisperer.

I'm all for a little goofball behavior, especially if it's as litter-free, quiet, and harmless as this. It's much more pleasant than preaching on the subway, throwing "art" into the air (to magically become unattended litter), or tagging up a park or business.

That said, I probably wouldn't have picked up a leash had I been passing. But I would have encouraged my son to pet one of the dogs.

Anonymous said...

Hardly a green event.

Litter free? I don't think so. The organizers are now sitting on 2,000 plus plastic dog leashes that will eventually end up in a landfill.

Encouraging people to take the subway without pants, as the same organizers did a few months ago, was clever and did not add to our garbage problem. This on the other hand, reminded me that ours is the biggest throw-away culture on the planet.

Anonymous said...

I got out and did this with my son. What a pleasant two hour walk in Brooklyn. People that got "upset" by this might want to consider chilling out. The kids really enjoyed it, too - I guess you think they shouldn't have. Maybe the 4 year-olds petting fake dogs, should have been crying at home instead because Kennedy's dead and dictators have bombs...nut! I'm sorry your life is so intense. Stop and smell the roses...ANd the invisible dogpoop. Also, to the person who thinks these dog leashes are going to be in a landfill. Those dusty leashes have been sitting in a warehouse for 40 years. We took them out and gave them life. They're not going into a landfill anytime soon. You'll be compost before they are. chill out, hipsters and knuckleheads. Life can be fun.

Charlie said...

Hey guys, the leashes were made in a belt factory on Bergen St. The factory has since been shut down. It is now being preserved as a historical site for artistic use. The leashes are part of the exhibit and were donated by the site, not purchased. They were returned after the event and will be part of the exhibit. So stop your ignorant complaining about pollution as it is obvious you didn't bother to read about the event.

Anonymous said...

i hate yuppies..get a life

Anonymous said...

The only thing less productive than walking an invisible dog...is blogging about it. Relax people. If you want to save the world, turn off your computer and do something.

Anonymous said...

this event really showed that people are really lost and have nothing better to do it shows that they either dont know, or dont care about whats really happening in this world like seriously do something productive in your lives, all that time you spent walking a leesh we couldve been doing something to make a real change in this country.
NO NEW WORLD ORDER

W said...

I was passing by two young women walking invisible dogs as a gentleman of a certain age, who was walking an Australian Sheep Dog with one blue eye and one brown eye, asked the women what kind of dogs they had. One said, "French Bulldog" and the other said, "Mine's a Lab." After looking at the man for a moment, the second young woman asked, "What kind of dog is that?" Without hesitation, the man said, "What dog."

Seth Elgart said...

Wow. The amount of anger about this is incredibly surprising. I was one of the "dog" walkers, and it was a lot of fun. Did it solve the world's problems? No. But so what?

Let me answer some of the points raised. First off, none of the 2000+ participants knew in advance what the event was, only that something was going to happen. It's not like we all simultaneously lost our minds and decided to walk invisible dogs all at once.

Second, the event took place at the factory that made the leashes. It's now an art place, but that's where they made them I think in the '70s, and the leashes were originals, not newly made. Also, they were not going to be thrown away, and were returned when you were done walking you're "dog."

Third, no, world peace was not caused by this event, but much wonder and joy may have been created (total win on that alone). Also, I'm sure that the local businesses appreciated 2000 extra people on the neighborhood that day. I personally had breakfast at a coffee shop and later a bagel and orange juice at another place. The neighborhood surely benefitted from this event.

Basically, it was two hours of fun, all done in a harmless manner.

Anonymous said...

I feel really sorry for you and everyone else who had to tut-tut about how "silly and pointless" this is. I guess your lives are all very serious and meaningful at every moment!

wow, your poor kids. Hope all their play has a POINT, or you'll scold them, too.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say I hate yuppies, and when I see this, I wish we did not have them in our nabe. I hate anything that reeks of a "scene" - I saw Soho go down the tubes when these kind of people started moving in. Dumb. Am I being judgmental? Yes. But I have been here 25 years. I preferred Smith St. when it was desolate. When I could walk 10 minutes in any direction from my home, and see such a wide variety of citizenry, hear Spanish, Italian, too. And the streets, for being more desolate, quieter, were safer then. I would walk home alone at night and never feel fear. Now I feel fear when it gets dark. Yuppies attract crime. That's probably a statistical fact.

Just For Laugh said...

LOL my friend got one where you press a button and it barks. Wish we could do something like this in UK