The Occupy protests embody the frustration that millions of Americans have been feeling for years. The movement has inspired us, two San Francisco based designers, to venture into an experiment called Occupy George.
We took statistics about the great wealth disparity in America and stamped them on top of individual dollar bills, and then we distributed, spent, and even exchanged the bills with fellow occupiers at the protests. We just wanted to get them into as many hands as possible, because the facts alone speak for themselves.
This success of this project would not have been possible without the Internet. What started out in a one-bedroom apartment quickly spread, reaching millions of people not just at home but overseas. We received a lot of emails from people who supported our project, including many who were looking to acquire the stamps themselves. Unfortunately, we don't sell them. Suddenly, two guys who wouldn't categorize themselves as radical activists had somehow thrown themselves into the middle of a dialogue about the future of this country.
That being said, the reality of our fast-moving, A.D.D-ridden culture is that the media devours stories and spits them out a few days later, moving on and rarely looking back. Occupy George may very well be "old news." And yet, we hold optimism for the movement and future efforts that support it.
This is where you come in.
Part of what makes the Occupy movement so powerful is that it operates like an open source network. Its non-hierarchical approach empowers everyone and forces collaboration. It's not a place to be precious about ideas or to take ownership of any one thing. In the case of Occupy George, all of our assets are freely available online. And we encourage future creative efforts supporting this movement to do the same. So whether you're an artist, creative, writer, musician, hacker, culture jammer, or never-say-die-er: it's time to work together to help overturn a rotten system and bring about change that can work for the masses and not just for a spoiled few.
If the Occupy George project has taught us one thing, it's that anyone can be a catalyst for change. We're just two semi-delusional dudes that followed through on a nutty idea, and we eagerly await the next wave of influential projects, artworks, and movements that will ignite this country and the world at large.