A San Francisco conceptual artist wanted to comment on the vast amount of empty real estate sitting unused in the city right now — while lots of people, including artists and the homeless, could be using it. So, she made a replica of a Spirit Halloween Store banner and used it on Monday to cover up Google’s SF office sign on the Embarcadero.
Artist Danielle Baskin, who’s becoming known for satirizing tech culture with her “viral art,” says the idea for the Spirit Halloween piece came about after she got evicted from a studio space she had on Market Street.
As she tells SFGate, “I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about unused real estate in San Francisco. So many people wish they had a wood shop, or space to make things. And there’s just so many empty weird lobbies with chairs that no one sits in, and offices where the employees don’t even come to work because they’re welcome to work from home anytime.”
From an earlier sign-making business, Baskin has a large-format printer which she used to make the same sort of flimsy banner that Spirit stores usually use when they temporarily occupy vacant retail space for the pre-Halloween season. And the piece included some performance art involving a group of friends all pretending to be Spirit store staffers, waiting for the public to try to come shop for costumes.
She noted how the performance aspect, with her fake Spirit Halloween staffers, didn’t really play out so well given what a ghost town the whole downtown area is these days….