1xRun Thru Interview
NYC Drones Campaign #3 by ESSAM
1xRun: This third piece was also part of your NYPD Drones project correct? Tell us how it played into the other pieces and the project as a whole…
Essam: It’s debut was timed with the general assembly of the United Nations, which may have something to do with my current predicament. The project was originally intended to just consist of the two iPod inspired drone PSA’s but as I came closer to pulling the trigger on the project I decided that the conversation should be a bit broader. I designed this to not only include the same administrators of tyranny as the others but I wanted to illustrate that these policies almost always originate with the highest echelons of government and we as a whole march solidly in step with these decisions. Few people have questioned the “Ring of Steel” much less draw comparison to historic examples of similarly invasive programs and the effects they have had.
There was a petition started shortly after I was arrested to have the charges dropped, you can sign it and let your opinion be heard at ForceChange.com.
1xRUN: Tell us a bit about these original pieces, what materials were used, where were they placed?
Essam: I designed the piece in August of 2012 and it hit the streets in September. The originals were printed in the same manner commercial advertising is printed for phone booths in NYC. UV cured inkjet on styrene, a very durable plastic. And they all went up in phone booth ad space around the city.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece compared to some of the others?
Essam: I was inspired by the imagery from George Orwell’s, 1984, which I read in high school as most Americans do, and as most young Americans never imagined that world could exist, outside maybe under the rule of Hitler or Mussolini. Well… years later I feel like I live in that world. I wonder if it’s still required reading…
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Essam: I hope people buy it because they too feel this unsettling shift in society. I also think it serves as a reminder that we all have a duty to stay informed and participate in our society.
1xRun: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
1xRun: As much as you can legally, bring us up to speed on everything that’s been happening with your legal situation resulting from the NYPD Drones campaign?
Essam: The wheels of justice turn slowly… not much has changed, the case has been adjourned 3 or 4 times now with no really definitive end in sight. I was, however, able to pay my legal fees, with the help of both 1xRun and Animal New York and for that I am very grateful.
1xRun: What other things have you been up to the past 2-3 months?
Essam: I’ve been working hard trying to make my next project come to fruition. It’s been a challenge but I’m making headway. Sorry I cant say more, but you’ll know it when you see it.
1xRun: Any big plans you have coming up for the rest of the summer?
Essam: I’m working on a show that will go up later in the year, as you may know I’m a photographer as well and will be combining the medium of photography with my street art tactics for this exhibition. I’ll announce the date and gallery later on.