Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lincoln Line: The New Media Express

Philadelphia artist and entrepreneur Scott Bickmore shows that the message is the media, and kick-starts a bold new venture to highlight it.

30th Street Station, Philadelphia. Image Wikipedia

By guest blogger Jamie Sanders.

PHILADELPHIA. Starting at 30th Street Station, Lincoln-Line, a band, a fashion line, and empowerment vehicle, will board a cross-country Amtrak train with a cross-disciplinary project and message designed to change America's attitude toward clothes and way of life.

Lincoln-Line began as a "busking act," or street performance, where creator Scott Bickmore hit the streets of Philadelphia to play John Lennon songs dressed as Abraham Lincoln. "I wanted to appeal to the tourists and the historical nature of the city, and also give it a contemporary spin--you know, make it fun," he said, speaking in a sit-down with Designer In Exile. "I thought about doing Ben Frank at first, but there were already two guys doing him in the city. Plus, Lincoln has the ultimate busking hat!"

Scott "Lincoln" Bickmore. (video)
It caught on, and Lincoln-Line (written as "ll Lincoln-Line ll", to emphasize the train track motif), quickly evolved into something more. People started asking Mr. Bickmore to play birthday parties, venues, and even gallery openings. "People just took to it for some reason, on this gut level," he said. "So I kept feeding it. I kept introducing new angles to the concept to see if people would respond."

They seem to have responded. Now Lincoln-Line is positioning itself for an ongoing cross-country tour by train, where members, models, and any willing collaborators can, as he states, "re-purpose music, materials, and history into a diy way of life - making your own clothes, and making your own fun, then showing other people how to do it too." Their moveable fest, if you will, is also a ringing endorsement for trains, public transportation, and environmentalism.

Documenting their experiences in the Lincoln-Log, the band's blog, Lincoln-Line shares their experiences and offers step-by-step How To's on, for instance, turning a tube-top into a Lincoln-Loin, the label's line of men's underwear.

"Pink House" block party, Phila. Image Amber Johnston.

VWVOFFKA Gallery performance, playing with 'Tad/Bowie.

To fund their cross-country tour, Lincoln-Line is using the popular new fundraising and networking site, Kickstarter. Offering quirky rewards like the Tyvek Custom-Button Pet Collar and the Crazy-Beard Cravat, the band hopes to achieve their goal of $1900 to pay for things like Amtrak US Rail passes for band members, food, lodging, and a little extra money for other performers and street artists to "pay it forward," he describes, a term that implies alternative giving.

Custom Tyvek Button Collar.
Lincoln-Line Label

Lincoln-Line is the latest venture of Mr. Bickmore and SSEWARD LLC, an eclectic, multi-media, value driven company he founded in 2008. More recently, he put on his Lincoln-Line top hat and addressed the crowd at Occupy Philly. Delivering a speech he called, "Operating with Autonomy: Be Your Own 1%", he offered a message of personal empowerment to an audience searching for change, and was later interviewed on the spot with the local NBC Philadelphia affiliate.

Corporate Values

Calling himself the "Tony Robbins of art," he claims his products are essentially tools to facilitate personal empowerment and life-improvement. "These pieces are like instruction manuals," he said. "I want them to function and help people. I want people to buy them, sure, but really so they can make their own, so they can find the resourcefulness that I'm finding."

For more info on the Lincoln-Line, visit the project's Kickstarter website. Mr.Bickmore will be doing a how-to workshop for Lincoln-Loin at Philly's VWVOFFKA gallery this month for Kensington residents.

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  1. I haven't heard much about this band until now. Do they have any CD's or downloads? Also, what cities are planned for the tour?

  2. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for your question. We have a bunch of media up right now on our Kickstarter:


    We're also recording at Stay Tuned Studios with producer Quincy Bright. Here's a clip you can check out:


    This first tour we're stopping in DC, Chicago, and LA over the course of week, though we'll probably end playing a few more places and stretching it out a bit if we're able to get enough financing.

    Here's fun video of ll Lincoln-Line ll playing the El bar:


    Have a great day and let me know when you want to Un ll Rail ::::)


  3. I just saw this band play...if you can call it that. They didn't seem to care that they were there to entertain an audience. During the one song they dared perform, I constantly wondered "are they serious?". I don't understand how they can try to inspire this DIY movement when they are caught up in their own self indulgence. They inspire me to be nothing like them.

  4. I welcome opinions about content on this blog, and I'm an anti-censorship activist. But if you're simply writing this to be mean spirited, then that's a whole different matter. The fact that you post this anonimously make me suspect. That said, I believe in the ethos of Mr. Bickmore and his industrious endeavors. Perhaps not everything he's done has worked to perfection, but he's a good thinker, maker, and a facilitator. We need people like that in this world.