No Mugging

Providence, RI

No Mugging is a collaborative public art project that uses humor and signage to critique comportment in public space. It is the work of Jennifer Dalton Vincent, Nupur Mathur, and Gefeng Wang.  

 

Working within the established visual language of municipal sign systems, No Mugging consisted of 12 street signs installed Downtown Providence that were near replicas of "No Parking" signs. These deĢtourned and slightly mischievous signs read No Mugging: Here to Corner, No Mugging: This Side of the Street, No Mugging: Beyond This Point, and No Mugging: Between Signs.

 

Providence's Channel 12 EyeWitness News and ABC 6 News featured stories about these illegally and anonymously installed signs. The Providence Journal published images of the signs in their newspaper and on their Facebook feed.  This coverage precipitated a series of comments on various social media sites as well as an internal e-mail debate amongst RISD Digital + Media graduate students. 

 

The interpretations of and reactions to No Mugging activated a broad set of discourses that overtook the project's original intent. These discussions focused on the social value of art and the role of the artist as enfranchised community member.