“Lawndale Has Many Friends”

Brian Piana says his installation “Lawndale Has Many Friends” isn’t the only reason Lawndale Art Center’s MySpace friend count has increased, but it must have helped a little. “When I made the proposal they had 509 friends,” Piana says. “When I started actual production…on May 5, they had 571, and as of this morning they had 832.”

MySpace users will quickly recognize Piana’s large-scale recreation of the MySpace template, which has a corresponding MySpace profile online. Colored squares outlined in bright blue hang from the walls in an 8x10 pattern just like profile pictures do in the “Lawndale’s Friend Space” on the Web site. Each square represents a friend from Lawndale’s profile, and Piana says he will be adding new tiles to the mix and shuffling old ones around weekly as Lawndale makes (but hopefully doesn’t lose) friends.

Piana wasn’t a MySpace user before creating the installation but is already a “Top Friend” on Lawndale’s profile. “I think I’m second,” he says. Anyone familiar with the social networking site knows the importance of being a top friend. Piana is the first person we’ve ever heard of to go to such great lengths to gain top-friend status, except for the time we sent an I-thought-we-were-better-friends message to a certain someone, reminding them that friend No. 4 didn’t give them a ride to the airport at 5 a.m. (Maybe we’re too sensitive.)

Befriend Lawndale now at www.myspace.com/lawndaleartcenter and see if a color representing you winds up on the wall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Through January 5, 2008. 4912 Main Street. For information, call 713-528-5858 or visit www.lawndaleartcenter.org. Free.
Mondays-Saturdays. Starts: Nov. 16. Continues through Jan. 5, 2007

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