All posts by John Fekner In the 70s, John Fekner was ‘anonymously known’ for over three hundred environmental/conceptual works consisting of dates, words, and symbols spray painted throughout the five boroughs of New York. The “Warning Signs” project focused on pointing out hazardous conditions that dominated New York City and its environs in the 1970s. In the spring of 1977, Fekner created word-signs using hand cut cardboard stencils and spray paint. He began a relentless crusade concerned with social and environmental issues. Starting in the industrial streets of Queens and the East River bridges, and later on to the South Bronx in 1980, his messages were seen in areas that were desperately in need of construction, demolition or reconstruction. By labeling structures and emphasizing problems, the objective was to call attention to the accumulated squalor by urging city officials, agencies and local communities to be more responsible and take action.

On the Road, 1979 (Concrete Concerto)

John Fekner On The Road 1979 (Concrete Concerto)

John Fekner On The Road 1979 (Concrete Concerto)

2010, 3 minutes.

 This original 1979 8mm silent film was found amongst my old audiotapes and videocassettes. As the film box had survived a flood, I had no idea if anything would be recovered when I had the film transferred to a digital format. All the visual effects are inherent to the water damaged and degraded thirty-year-old silent film stock. There are no effects or edits to the original three-minute standard film. Fred Baca and I drove around Queens and documented the stencils on a few days of shooting in Woodside, Maspeth, Sunnyside and Long Island City. Only the audio track was added, a shortened edit of Concrete Concerto (CC) Oil Drum Mix by the John Fekner City Squad originally released as the B-side of Concrete People, a 12” four song ep record released in 1986.

Concrete People (1986)

Concrete People, 1986, 04:20, John Fekner and his band, City Squad.

In this collaborative City Squad project, John Fekner (vocals, keyboards, percussion, lyrics) wrote the song with musicians Dennis Lattmann (piano, synths) and Al Belfiore (Linn LM-1 drum sequence). Additional musicians included Sasha Sumner (sax), Sandy Mann (vocals) & Sandra Seymour (voice), Anthony Leicht (voice) Julie Federico (voice) and Dennis J. Lattmann (little boy’s voice) and Jim Recchione on harmonica.

Produced by- John Fekner

Directed by- John Fekner & Fred Baca

Edited by- Fred Baca

Chyron by- Mark Braverman

Animation Artists- Andrew Ruhren, John Fekner, Diane Hughes, Kathy Yasenchak, Nader Bakir, John Camara, Melissa Savage

Contributing Artists- Andrew Ruhren, John Fekner, Nader Bakir, Joann Dellaposta, Rachell Lamell, Ann Marie Roza, Lorraine Vigliarolo, Melissa Leigh, Jim Rechione, J.D Luke, John Camara, Ronald Koehnke, David Kornrumpf, Fred Baca, Tim Cantwell,   Melissa Savage

Special Thanks To- Dr. Seth Magot & students at Southampton College LIU, Material For The Arts, NYC, Anders Tornberg Lund, Sweden, The Kitchen, NYC, Monkey Hill Recording Studios

Computer graphics created on the Mindset/Lumena 

Trail Markers (2007)

John Fekner Trail Markers,  2006, 03:52

John Fekner’s Trail Markers is a tribute to the Native American tribes who lived in harmony with the land on Long Island and other areas of New York and New Jersey. The video was shot at various locations in Queens, NY and includes original footage from Environmental Stencils 77-79, a collaborative work with Fred Baca. Fekner considers Trail Markers, a video diptych, as it also features The Sight Of The Child. Two Native Americans narrate the first section. A child from a bleak future narrates the second section.

In this collaborative City Squad project, street artist John Fekner (vocals, keyboards, percusssion, lyrics) wrote the song with musicians Dennis Lattmann (piano, synths) and Al Belfiore (Linn LM-1 drum sequence).