The guggle Initiative
v. -gled, -gling,
1. to flow in a broken, irregular, noisy current: water gurgling from a bottle.
2. to make a sound as of water doing this; babble.
3. to utter or express with a gurgling sound.
4. the act or noise of gurgling.
[1555–65; compare Dutch, Middle Low German gorgelen, German gurgeln to gargle; akin to Latin gurguliō throat]
Though it carries a quite different meaning in urban slang, as used here and invented by some of my brightest and most creative students at Linfield College, guggle is a free-form, fun and often collaborative guerilla art initiative dedicated to challenging the usual mercantile and celebrity-based aspect of the art world, including individual artistic identity and the usual channels of distribution of art, all for the creative good of the community through the sometimes anonymous dissemination of art, through outrageous acts of creative excess and creative zeal including the saintly denial of authorship. (Of course I am not above sharing all of this...)
My involvement is independent though sometimes collaborative. As it is for all involved, affiliation is informal. For me currently, guggling involves leaving small pieces of my work (here watercolors) in public places; given without signature or cost. I also sometimes give pieces unexpectedly to near strangers who have shown me some form of kindness—or just for the hell of it to someone I don't know in the slightest.
I recently guggled in Barcelona, Spain (2014-15). Here are a few of the images. Some of the individuals I saw daily, like the woman selling porras, the guy asking for coins on the corner, the Arab grocer who always slipped a few extra chilies in my bag...think of this as an artistic "paying it forward" or "acts of random kindness". People are mostly taken aback in surprise with a touch of bewilderment. I have also guggled by mounting the work of others in the streets of NYC and plan to add to this series in the coming weeks and months.