Saturday, May 29, 2010

And now a potted history of THE SOCK FENCE, Albany WA

West Australia
January 2010

FOR over three years owners and developers of the old Esplanade Hotel site on prime real estate patch, Middleton Beach, have promised to build a brand new luxurious complex.
So far?
The future?
The permission to build has lapsed and there are no plans before the City Council.
This means, nothing.
A small, but tireless group, referring to themselves as the Urban Sock Bombers, USB, have taken to the perimeter fence with glee.
And socks.
And what a difference it makes.
Already one bus loaded with bemused tourists has been seen to stop and set free its inhabitants, who then proceeded to clamour, click, click and click.
Head USB, who wished to remain nameless due to fear of an avalanche of sock-bomb site offers, said that it all began as a public art project.
"Our intention was to say, through the sock display, 'This site stinks'.
"It has now taken on a life of its own and it is my firm belief that it could become a tourist attraction and have an economic impact on the town."
As the sock wall grows, others have begun adding peripheral items to the wall. The USB chief asked that these folk create their walls on other fence panels.
"We want to maintain the integrity of the sock," he said. "If they want to put other items up on our side of the fence, they should bugger off, or put a sock on it."
It will come as no surprise to many observers of political movements that, even at this early stage of the urban guerrilla campaign, there are already ructions and splinter groups are forming.

Friday, May 28, 2010


This blog has at its core a fence festooned with socks in Albany, West Australia, a town without a 5-star hotel because a property developer razed one and left an empty site surrounded by an empty fence.
The local community has taken the fence as its own and "socked it to them".
Sock It! is not just about socks on a fence.
It is about public protest.
It is about public art.
About about a community taking control of something over which it has no control.
About a collective sense of fun.
About whatever it means to you as you hang your sock.
About changing perceptions of what remains following an act of greed and stupidity.