ID Shirt by Allan Wexler  UP249

ID Shirt (1971) is a riff on McLuhan’s 1968 concept of the global village. The questionnaire, filled out with a permanent marker is intended to spark connections when worn in public. In a city of eight million people, the shirt holds the power to reveal coincidence. Two strangers passing on the street, one wearing the ID Shirt and both born in a remote town in Alaska could have a delightful encounter initiated by the shirt.

In the late 1960s, t-shirts with commercial advertising and protester messages had only recently come on the market. Wexler felt that his body should not be available for corporate images but could be a good place to advertise himself.

“When Ellen and I moved to New York in 1972, graffiti was suddenly everywhere and the ID Shirt became another way to visually establish personal identity” Wexler said.