Is it hiding inside that hideous tent monstrosity on Memorial Glade? Will it birth from the those wooden poles in front of Dwinelle, like Athena from the head of Zeus? Or are these all mere decoys to distract us from the real location of the legendary art installation? After weeks on the edge of our seats, gripped with suspense and puzzlement about what the Campaign for Berkeley public art installation would look like, and–more importantly–where it would be located, the wait is over, and, frankly, we can’t say we’re falling out of our chairs with awe and wonderment.

We know you’ve seen those posters that have been plastered all over campus–the ones with the portaits of Berkeley Students printed over with often painfully trite reasons for loving Berkeley, like “Being at Cal is like living in a dream,” or “Here, differences are celebrated!” Well, those banners were just the beginning. The 426 black-and-white portaits, taken by San Francisco photographer Christopher Irion, appear on a 72-foot-long double-sided billboard unveiled today on Dwinelle Plaza.

The installation is called the “Thanks to Berkeley…” Photobooth Project, and today, its unveiling drew a jubilant crowd of onlookers, a speech by Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, a performance by the Cal Dance Team (Berkeley’s equivalent of cheerleaders), the Straw Hat Band, and the Rally Committee. We even witnessed some students as they recognized their own faces, and attempted to hide them from their admiring friends. (Awkward … ) The exhibit is just another part of the larger Campaign for Berkeley, whose goal is to raise $3 billion by 2013, and it’s on its way, having already racked up $1.3 billion since it began back on July 1, 2005.

Anyway, in case you don’t see enough Berkeley students on the UC Berkeley campus, and you’d like to see more of their faces blown up to epic proportions, the Photobooth Project has some upcoming events:

Homecoming: October 3-5, 2008

10 a.m.–2 p.m. on UC Berkeley’s Dwinelle Plaza in front of the PhotoBooth exhibit

Discover Cal: October 21, 2008

6–8:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency in Newport Beach, California

P.S. To those of you who voted for “Community mural they talked about last year” or “More creepy propagandist student experience banners” in this week’s poll: Congratulations. You’ll receive your prize, um, soon?

Image Source: Jill Cowan
The Campaign for Berkeley [Web site]
Christopher Irion Photography [Web site]

Berk student said:
Sep 22, 2008 at 11:20 am

Hey, in today’s print issue, it says you guys found “a cartoon that expresses, more perfects than we ever could, our feelings about that friggin’ mural”

I’m looking all over the place for it here, but can’t find it.
Post please?