12. Cody + Julian’s Peoples Communication Commission

Image of outdoor sign installation at Rufus King Park. Photo by Karen Santiago.
Outdoor sign installation at Rufus King Park. Photo by Karen Santiago.

Made by dynamic artist duo Cody + Julian (Cody Ann Herrmann and Julian Louis Phillips), the Peoples Communication Commission works to challenge the power relationship of advertising in public spaces. It will focus on the ways in which protest signs, guerrilla advertising, and even their own unique aesthetic have been co-opted. Given its placement in Downtown Jamaica — one of the city’s growing centers for transportation, business, art and culture — Cody + Julian’s project asks the question: Where is the voice of the people? To prompt discussion on this topic, the Peoples Communication Commission features a series of media and art installations that repurpose advertising tactics to empower the general public to speak up against those in power. Moreover, Cody + Julian invite public participation at their research gallery for the Peoples Communication Commission at the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning. An installation of white-colored signs has sprouted up at Rufus King Park on the corner of Jamaica Avenue and 153rd Street.

The Peoples Communication Commission was made as part of Jamaica Flux: Workspaces and Windows 2021, a program organized by the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning. The program features 14 New York-based artists and groups whose work is installed in site-specific locations across Southeast Queens. In fall 2020, Jamaica Flux’s artists began developing public, socially engaging projects which reflected on the anxieties of our present moment. Each participating artist’s research module will be on display at the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning through August 7. The resulting public artworks situated along Jamaica Avenue will be on view through August 21.