shorter than a tweet, harder than a haiku
TriMet wants your poetry to line the new Max line. Only catch: it can’t be longer than 50 characters. By Camille Grigsby-Rocca
As work on the new MAX Orange Line connecting Milwaukie with downtown Portland begins, TriMet has issued an open invitation for submissions of short, creative lines of text to be used in Orange Lining, a two-part public art installation planned to accompany the lengthy construction process. Calling upon Portland’s “ethic of civic engagement and creativity,” the project aims to jazz up a long-term construction project and leave a permanent reminder of time’s past under the feet of future transit riders.
Phase One of the project, Art Starts Now, will take place at construction zones along the future 7.3-mile MAX line. By printing selected lines on the orange silt fencing used during construction, TriMet hopes to keep the pedestrians and motorists who will pass the site—and sit through the resulting traffic— entertained and intrigued during the projected 3-year process. (In other words, they’re hoping the power of words will win out over the power of traffic-induced psychotic episodes). Phase Two of the Orange Lining project, Impressed Concrete, will stamp memorable selections from Art Starts Now into the sidewalks along the new route.
Project artist Buster Simpson and collaborator Peg Butler invite the public to submit original, poetic lines of text to be considered for use in Orange Lining, due by midnight on April 29. They must be 50 characters or less, including spaces, and should not include punctuation or symbols—and you thought Twitter was tough!
To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve been provided with a special preview of lines still under review by the TriMet Public Art Advisory Committee (note: these have yet to be approved):
UNDER A ZIPPER OF BRIDGES OUR GREEN CITY THRUMS
EVERYONE IS A LITTLE MORE FAMOUS ON THE TRAIN
SHE KNEW SHE WOULD GET THERE IN TIME
Lines may be submitted through the project website and via email or mail:
Orange Lining, P.O. Box 4693, Portland OR, 97208