100 Dallas Creatives: No. 27 Political Cyber Banksy Wylie H Dallas
Gotham City, Texas calling Wylie H
Justin Terveen & Photoshop
Mixmaster presents "100 Creatives," in which we feature cultural entrepreneurs of Dallas in random order.
One of the first people I added to this list of 100 Dallas Creatives was Wylie H Dallas. And then I took him off for a little while because finding 100 cultural entrepreneurs and creatives and artists is actually easier than it might seem. And what Wylie H Dallas is doing, while relevant to my journalistic life, is insider baseball.
He or she (or they) is an anonymous Facebook user and avid Internet commenter dedicated to pushing information into the world, revealing hypocrisies and bias, and uncovering misinformation. Whoever is on the other side of the computer created an identity and has stuck with it for years. And that person has access to information that sometimes makes it seem like they're a government employee, or maybe even a journalist with extra time on their hands (ha!). They've taken a creative approach to this idea of being a civic watchdog, and they've done it playfully and artfully, but with sincere investment in the city. They point out things journalists miss, or city council members glaze over.
Since joining the Observer staff at the beginning of this year, I've had conversations with many fellow staffers about the real identity of Wylie H Dallas. And it's awesome - and perhaps odd - to think that D Magazine hired this Internet personality to write for the magazine sight unseen. After all, what if they turn out to be a politician? A criminal? A zombie? So, after more than 70 artists and creatives, he made the list after all for doing something no one else is - social media performance art and activism. He's our political cyber Banksy.
OK, long shot: Who are you? Who are any of us, really?
Can you tell us the impetus for creating Wylie H. Dallas? Sure. The idea behind Wylie H. is to encourage the free discussion of ideas about what makes a city (meaning its citizens) great. The built public environment plays such an important role in the human existence, yet in Dallas it has been viewed as an afterthought (when it is thought about at all). My social media activities attempt to create a digital public square or promenade, allowing a wide cross-section of city residents to virtually interact with each other, overcoming the city's numerous, divisive physical barriers that serve to inhibit such spontaneous, creative encounters.
I'm sure you've heard of the artist Banksy. Around the office I've been calling you, Dallas' political Banksy, mostly because of the way you've been successfully able to keep your identity secret. If you were going to offer someone a few tips, say Leslie Brenner, on maintaining a secret identity what would they be? Hide in plain sight. Avoid the temptation to show off by revealing insights that would only be known to a select few.
Describe your perfect Dallas day, preferably without a trip to City Hall in it. After arising before dawn, I go to the gym, then head to a local diner and review the last 24 hours' worth of Dallas news stories over a breakfast of black coffee, toast, and eggs. Generally speaking, I'm looking to post/comment on items that are of relevance to local residents, but steer clear of sports and crime. I then dive into a day of work, breaking periodically to check for local news updates. At night, back to the gym for a quick workout before enjoying dinner and an artistic performance with a good friend.
Do you wear a mask in public? As André Berthiaume says: "We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin."
What do you think is the greatest flaw of Dallas, as a city? An aversion to honest intellectual discourse.
Who's your favorite Dallas journalist? Jim Schutze, he's real OG.
Have you ever seen the movie Fight Club? If so, are you allowed to talk about it? This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.
No, really, who are you? "You live in confusion and the illusion of things. There is a reality. You are that reality. When you know that, you know that you are nothing, and in being nothing, are everything. That is all."-- Kalu Rinpoche
100 Creatives: 100. Theater Mastermind Matt Posey 99. Comedy Queen Amanda Austin 98. Deep Ellum Enterpriser Brandon Castillo 97. Humanitarian Artist Willie Baronet 96. Funny Man Paul Varghese 95. Painting Provocateur Art Peña 94. Magic Man Trigg Watson 93. Enigmatic Musician George Quartz 92. Artistic Luminary Joshua King 91. Inventive Director Rene Moreno 90. Color Mavens Marianne Newsom and Sunny Sliger 89. Literary Lion Thea Temple 88. Movie Maestro Eric Steele 87. Storytelling Dynamo Nicole Stewart 86. Collaborative Artist Ryder Richards 85. Party Planning Print maker Raymond Butler 84. Avant-gardist Publisher Javier Valadez 83. Movie Nerd James Wallace 82. Artistic Tastemakers Elissa & Erin Stafford 81. Pioneering Arts Advocates Mark Lowry & Michael Warner 80. Imaginative Director Jeremy Bartel 79. Behind-the-Scenes Teacher Rachel Hull 78. Kaleidoscopic Artist Taylor "Effin" Cleveland 77. Filmmaker & Environmentalist Michael Cain 76. Music Activist Salim Nourallah 75. Underground Entrepreneur Daniel Yanez 74. Original Talent Celia Eberle 73. Comic Artist Aaron Aryanpur 72. Classical Thespian Raphael Parry 71. Dance Captain Valerie Shelton Tabor 70. Underground Culture Mainstay Karen X. Minzer 69. Effervescent Gallerist Brandy Michele Adams 68. Birthday Party Enthusiast Paige Chenault 67. Community Architect Monica Diodati 66. Intrepid Publisher Will Evans 65. Writerly Wit Noa Gavin 64. Maverick Artist Roberto Munguia 63. Fresh Perspective Kelsey Leigh Ervi 62. Virtuosic Violinist Nathan Olson 61. Open Classical's Dynamic Duo Mark Landson & Patricia Yakesch 60. Rising Talent Michelle Rawlings 59. Adventurous Filmmaker Toby Halbrooks 58. Man of Mystery Edward Ruiz 57. Inquisitive Sculptor Val Curry 56. Offbeat Intellect Thomas Riccio 55. Doers and Makers Shannon Driscoll & Kayli House Cusick 54. Performance Pioneer Katherine Owens 53. Experimental Filmmaker and Video Artist Mike Morris 52. Flowering Fashioner Lucy Dang 51. Insightful Artist Stephen Lapthisophon 50. Dallas Arts District 49. Farmer's Market Localvore Sarah Perry 48. Technological Painter John Pomara 47. Progressive Playmakers Christopher Carlos & Tina Parker 46. Purposive Chef Chad Houser 45. Absorbing Artist Jeff Gibbons 44. Artistic Integrator Erica Felicella 43. Multi-talented Director Tre Garrett 42. Anachronistic Musician Matt Tolentino 41. Emerging Veteran Actor Van Quattro 40. Festival Orchestrator Anna Sophia van Zweden 39. Literary Framer Karen Weiner 38. Man Behind the Music Gavin Mulloy 37. The Godfather of Dallas Art Frank Campagna 36. Rising Star Adam A. Anderson 35. Artist Organizer Heyd Fontenot 34. Music Innovator Stefan Gonzalez 33. Triple Threat Giovanni Valderas 32. Cultural Connector Lauren Cross 31. Critical Artist Thor Johnson 30. Delicate Touch Margaret Meehan 29. Fashion Forward Charles Smith II 28. Dedicated Artist Carolyn Sortor
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Dallas and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.