Best Underfoot Art - 2004
"Substrada" by Brian Goggin
Set into the sidewalk and nearly indistinguishable from utility covers, these nine pieces by Brian Goggin will be overlooked by all but the most perceptive shoe-gazers. You suddenly notice underfoot, amidst manhole covers and PG&E access caps, one that says "Hunt" (or "Job," "Feed," or "Grow"). The background doesn't look like the usual crosshatching either: It's a pattern made by the imprint of tin cans, wood, oranges, or -- are those rows of tamales? Do yourself a favor and ignore the gibberish that's been written about this project ("the 'underground' is often looked upon as an active analogy for the subconscious mind," "the concrete uniformity of the urban landscape is awakened through recontextualized imagery which resonates with the historically significant and mysteriously poetic," etc.). The fun is discovering it and getting your own hit off it. If you can't restrain yourself, go read the artist's whys and wherefores at the Bernal Heights Branch Library at 500 Cortland.