Pigs May Fly: how Julie Andrews helped me fall in love with irrational public actions and objects

Pigs May Fly is an experimental text that playfully engages the complex attitudes and reception of art in the public sphere, particularly urban-based relational practice. A genre-busting interdisciplinary text, Pigs May Fly employs the structure and experience of musical theater and film in affectionate critique of the appropriate, rational agendas in public art.

The politics of public art are rooted in appropriateness of production to site and audience. By design such appropriateness assumes a set of criteria and conditions of location, demographics, and comprehension. Although public art projects are met by both known and unknown viewers/participants/conditions, current practice is frequently, if counter-intuitively, driven by a sense of political correctness or goodness. In this case, good intentions can substitute for rich meaning and messy affect.

The act of reading engages the visual and aural. We see and hear as we pace out rhythms in the text. Designed to perform it’s meaning, Pigs May Fly takes advantage of the inherent musicality of reading in its use of popular musical scores from 4 productions associated with actress/singer Julie Andrews. Readers sing along to the mash-up of theater and film iterations of My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, and Mary Poppins. Additionally, home-grown YouTube performances of the songs are embedded to encourage togetherness through singing-along. Pigs May Fly celebrates and prompts the idiosyncratic and irrational affect in reading, singing, and public art.

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