Wish Tree for Zuccotti Park
Make a wish.
Ask the tree to send your wishes
to all the trees in the world.
For Truth, Justice and Peace.
y.o. ’11

 


Event Details from Occupy Wall Street

from Occupy With Art, 12 Jan 2012

A short press conference will be held at Zuccotti park in Lower Manhattan on Saturday, January 14, 2011 at 1PM. Members of the OWS Arts & Culture & Occupy With Art groups will be distributing copies of an artwork that Ms. Ono created specially for OWS, and will be available to answer questions about to the project.

Ono’s participatory project Wish Tree originated in 1996. It has since been re-imagined in various locations around the world, where people have been invited to write their personal wishes for peace and tie them to a tree branch.

In accordance with the raid of Zuccotti Park, and its subsequent closure, and the ubiquitous nature of the Occupy movement, Ono has broadened the project. So now instead of literally placing wishes in the trees, she has made a postcard edition of 10,000 with written instructions to be distributed nationally by Occupy Wall Street groups.

As a movement sparked by imagination, Wish Tree for Zuccotti Park encourages a continued re-imagination of OWS and the world we live in.

Make a wish to any tree, in any occupation.


Yoko Ono: Wish Tree for Zucccotti Park. Photo © 2012 Yaelle Amir

Yoko Ono: Wish Tree for Zucccotti Park. Photo © 2012 Yaelle Amir

 

Yoko Ono Delivers “Peace Postcards” to Occupy Wall Street Protesters

by Bonnie Alter, Treehugger

“All we are saying is give peace a chance” was a familiar chant from the ’60′s and it’s back, along with its promoter, Yoko Ono. Yoko created her conceptual artwork, Wish Tree, in 1981 and this month it was introduced in support of Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York — although Yoko was there in spirit only. She was in warm sunny India, rather than freezing Zuccotti Park.

The way it works is that people tie pieces of paper with their wishes for peace onto a tree.

However, it wasn’t so easy at Zuccotti Park where tying things to trees is not allowed. So instead, Yoko made 10,000 postcards.

The idea is that the art is in giving it as a gift. And the exchange between people is part of the conceptual art. So the cards were handed out to everyone at Occupy Wall Street.

Yoko Ono: Wish Tree for Zucccotti Park. Photo © 2012 Yaelle Amir

Yoko Ono: Wish Tree for Zucccotti Park. Photo © 2012 Yaelle Amir

As an organizer from Occupy With Art explained: “Ono’s piece is a more true gesture in that it is self-confident enough to be just a short handwritten text. What can be simpler than a personal note? The fact they are meant to be given away ensures a discussion will take place about is origin, hopefully 10,000 times.”

They read: “Make a wish. Write it down on a piece of paper. Fold it and tie it around a branch of a wish tree. Ask your friend to do the same. Keep wishing until the branches are covered with wishes.”

As one activist said, upon receiving it: “I love it. I’ve been a peacemonger since the 1960s. Trees are very peaceful. They don’t harm anyone — unless they fall down. I like the message, it’s spreading peace through peaceful actions. That’s how Occupy Wall Street started.”

The Imagine Peace Tower

You have to give her credit; at 78 years old she is still going strong. The Wish Tree has been in museums and cultural centres around the world and they currently total over 1.4 million. They will be housed at the site of the Imagine Peace Tower.

She imagined and created it as a memorial to John Lennon. Located on an island near Reykjavík, Iceland, it consists of a tall “tower of light”, projected from a white stone monument that has the words “Imagine Peace” carved into it in 24 languages. All of the wishes will be buried in capsules around the building.

Yoko explains the project: “As a child in Japan, I used to go to a temple and write out a wish on a piece of thin paper and tie it around the branch of a tree. Trees in temple courtyards were always filled with people’s wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar.”


Yoko Ono and Occupy Wall Street Collaborate On a Wish Tree Project

by Liza Eliano, Hyperallergenic

Occupy Wall Street’s Arts and Culture group has so far been able to align itself with prominent artists and organizations around New York, and now Yoko Ono, a major inspiration for OWS you could say, will join the ranks.

Yesterday, Occupy With Art, formerly Occupenial, released a statement about their upcoming collaboration with Ono based on her famous Wish Tree project initiated in 1981 and re-imagined in locations around the world.

The project was initially meant to be displayed on a tree in Zuccotti Park, but since the raid on OWS in November, protesters have not been allowed to set up tents, signs or any other installations at the site, causing Arts and Culture to have to rethink the project. From the press release:

In accordance with the raid of Zuccotti Park, and its subsequent closure, and the ubiquitous nature of the Occupy movement, Ono has broadened the project. So now instead of literally placing wishes in the trees, she has made a postcard edition of 10,000 with written instructions to be distributed nationally by Occupy Wall Street groups.

Chris Cobb, a member of Occupy With Art and an organizer of the Ono project, told Hyperallergic that he thinks of the project as a “social sculpture” or “almost a poem,” that is more about starting conversations rather than an end product, much like Occupy Wall Street itself. Cobb noted:

Part of what makes this project good is that it challenges the perceived notions of art just by being a gesture. It’s not for sale and the cards are not originals, but multiples. We’ve managed to find a work that is in the same vibe as the movement.

Cobb also mentioned that Ono has been supportive of OWS from the beginning and expressed interest in getting involved. After Arts and Culture hung their works in the window of Printed Matter in early November, a member of Ono’s studio got in touch with the group to arrange the collaboration.

Occupy with Art is meeting tonight to hash out the details of distributing the cards, and a short press conference will be held at Zuccotti Park with members of Arts and Culture and Occupy With Art this Saturday, January 14 at 1pm.


Yoko Ono (Not Present) Promotes Peace at Zuccotti, Occupiers Proceed to Drop ‘Dead’

by Sam Levin, The Village Voice Blogs, 14 Jan 2012

​Yes, it’s very, very cold today. But that did not stop Yoko Ono from launching a new art project in support of Occupy Wall Street. Well, actually the avant-garde artist is India right now. But it’s the thought that counts!

On this particularly chilly afternoon, Runnin’ Scared caught up with the resilient, bundled-up Occupiers who were spreading the word about the latest incarnation of Ono’s ongoing “Wish Tree” project, crafted specifically for Zuccotti Park.

Ono made her first “Wish Tree” in 1981 after John Lennon died. The project is pretty conceptual — folks tying pieces of paper with wishes to trees — but given the limitations at the park, this version of the project is really conceptual.

Apparently tying things to trees and putting stuff in trees at Zuccotti is just not allowed. Let’s give you a snapshot of today’s “mic-check’ spreading the word about “Wish Tree for Zuccotti Park,” since their words probably can explain it better than Runnin’ Scared can (In standard OWS mic-check fashion, Chris Cobb, an OWS member who was involved in the project, shouted this, pausing every five or so words to give the dozens in the crowd a chance repeat it back): “[Yoko Ono's] idea had to be altered when they raided the park. Originally, she has a project called Wish Tree, where people would place wishes in trees on little pieces of paper. But we can’t do that here. So instead she decided to make postcards. She made an edition of 10,000, and we have some of them here. The idea is that the art is in giving it as a gift. And the exchange between people is part of the conceptual art. So we have 10,000, and we’d like to give them out to everybody at OWS.”

The postcards, in Ono’s handwriting, read: “Wish Tree for Zuccotti Park. / Make a wish. / Ask the tre to send your wishes / to all the trees in the world. / For Truth, Justice and Peace.”

So it’s kinda like poetry.

“She said she wanted to make into an artwork that’s given away,” Cobb, who is part of the arts group at OWS, explained to Runnin’ Scared. “The thing the card would do is provoke discussion. That’s what OWS is all about…It’s hard to say what people are going to do with them.” People will hopefully make connections with each other through passing out the cards, he said.

Jon Hendricks, 72, who has written about the Fluxus art movement, was the liaison between Ono and the OWS members behind the project, and showed up to Zuccotti today to support. “It’s about peace and justice…Hopefully a small gesture can spread the word,” he said, adding, “It’s conceptual.”

Mariette Papic, 39, of Bushwick, who grabbed a postcard, told Runnin’ Scared she thought it was a pretty neat project, though, added that’d she’d like to see Ono offer some in-person support. “I really appreciate Yoko Ono’s continued quest for peace and creativity. I hope it continues to encourage people into dialogue.” Still, she said, “I hope Yoko Ono pays us a visit…This park is [her] park, too…The bigger impact will come when she comes.”

Marsha Spencer, 56, and the lovable OWS knitter and grandmother of five, was all smiles when she took a pile of cards: “I love it. I’ve been a peacemonger since the 1960s. Trees are very peaceful. They don’t harm anyone — unless they fall down.”

“I like the message, it’s spreading peace through peaceful actions. That’s how Occupy Wall Street started,” she said. A very light snow fell and a few musicians played, you guessed it, “Imagine.”

In a quick change in tone, in an unrelated OWS Saturday activity, another group of protesters, staged a “die-in” about 15 minutes after Ono’s project was presented. Yeah, it’s like a sit-in, but with death. Dozens of protestors lied on the ground of the now barricade-less park to protest restrictions stopping them from sleeping in the park.

“On the count of five, I invite you all to die on the spot,” shouted the man in charge.
And then folks, you know, died (though some died with cameras in their hand to capture the moment). Art, peace, and death — too much for us to handle in one hour, really.

Phots by @SamTLevin

Go to Runnin’ Scared for all our latest news coverage.


Yoko Ono’s Conceptual Project At Occupy Wall Street

by Huffington Post

We recently heard that Yoko Ono, the artist and famous widow of John Lennon, will collaborate with Occupy With Art in order to distribute 10,000 postcards among Occupy Wall Street protesters nationwide on Saturday, January 14th. If you’re in New York, head down to Zuccotti Park by 1 PM that day in order to get written instructions from Ms. Ono about the project. This act is a resurrection of her “Wish Tree Project,” which the artist began as a type of healing process after the murder of her husband. Occupy With Art’s website reports that “Wishes can also be sent directly to Ono’s website and will be kept private. Ono assembles the wishes into another artwork, Imagine Peace Tower, based in Iceland.” You can find more information about Imagine Peace Tower here. You can also see an image of the Wish Tree for Zuccotti Park message at Flavorwire.

In 2007, Ono took her Wish Tree to D.C., where she conducted a ceremony in front of the Jefferson Memorial. People wrote their wishes on scraps of paper and tied them to nearby cherry trees. A Washington Post writer peeked at some of the hopes tied to the tree branches, reporting that one person wrote, “I wish for equality for all and an end to tyranny and poverty,” while another had a simpler message: “I wish everyday was swimming.”


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