Deborah Stratman’s art work PARK, 2000 centred around the vacant plots of land in downtown Chicago that were used for parking. These plots of land whilst laying vacant are used for these temporary parking spaces bringing in a huge revenue whilst the owners play a waiting game to sell or build commercial properties on this prime real estate. Stratman documented the small parking booths situated on these sites meant for the attendants. Her concern with how these small structures marked these plots and gave a sense of protection and surveillance over your prized vehicle. The vacant lots accompanied by these photographs by Stratman on these empty booths question the authority and control of these sites. Stratman also created a mock booth with small perspex windows, wood and steel structure which was positioned on various vacant plots of land around downtown Chicago. The work migrated around until it itself was stolen in November of 2000. This was in some ways fitting to have an object/building of authority and observation it itself stolen. The images that were taken form a record whilst there within this PARK booth there was a booklet dispenser here is what Stratman say’s regarding the Booklet and its role in this project:
The PARK booklet addresses how even the smallest buildings implicate and inform the land they sit on via the mute but pervasive architectural policing of space. The booklet includes photographic documents of existing parking booth structures around Chicago’s downtown business district, booth assembly instructions and a walking tour map of booth locations around the city. The PARK booklet was freely dispensed inside of the migrating parking attendant booth, which traveled to and usurped various lots.
At root of the PARK project is an economic and aesthetic interest in the survival of tiny architecture amidst the highrise structures of downtown Chicago, and their implicit multiplied rent capacity. I was also interested in the daily transient occupation of these lots by automobiles – the vehicles which dictate the design of most all contemporary anthropic landscapes.
This was taken from Stratman’s website.
Polish architect is planning this small pod house to be built between two close by houses. The living space spans three levels and is all of 3 feet 11 inches across.. The house is to be used by an Israeli writer Etgar Keret whilst working in Warsaw, Poland. Raises ideas of liveable spaces and how small inter spaces can be utilised. Here is a article about small living abodes…
Following the success of REQUIEM FOR THE SUN: THE ART OF MONO-HA Blum and Poe are now exhibiting a select few art works as part of Frieze Masters in London this coming October. If I manage to head south in this time I will hopefully get to see some of these artists…. Here is the press release from the original exhibition REQUIEM FOR THE SUN: THE ART OF MONO-HA
Further afield than Edinburgh and Scotland I keep looking into THE CENTER FOR LAND USE INTERPRETATION.
Their indepth study of US sites is incredible. Their documentation of how the land is utilised and allocated blows open your preception of the country and its diversity. Areas that can go unnoticed are given centre stage and value through the work done at CLUI. It would be an incredible place to develop research in the future and explore…..
I am in the process of seeking places to collaborate or develop residencies and in turn I am trying to find sites or non-sites that I could work with. Spaces which are excluded are certainly areas of interest for whatever reason. The idea of areas being there but not, removal from our view and off limits to our visitation. Artists projects such as Office of Experiments which is a collaboration between Neal White with Steve Rowell, has been documenting these sites around the UK on their website Overt Research Projects (ORP). The documentation on this site really makes me think about the sites I chose.
Another artist, Brooke Singer also looks at sites that are also subject to restrictions, her project ‘Sites Unseen’ which followed on from her Superfund365. In this project Singer visited a toxic site a day which was in the Superfund program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In ‘Sites Unseen’ Singer has chosen to photograph certain sites from the Superfund365 project and document their normality and realness. These photos are quite haunting as they do not necessarily look dissimilar to other places that are non-toxic. It is hard as a member of the public to realise the difference between a toxic and non-toxic site.
Whilst searching for non-art environments I became aware of the Artist Placement Group.. Interesting to see the depth of this group of artists and the influence they had and still do on todays art world.
As I arrive at the 4th year of my degree here in Edinburgh I have decided to create a new blog to document my current thoughts. Over the past few years my ideas have developed and expanded whilst in some ways refined. My older blog entries can be found here: Old Blog
However from now on I will be using this blog to archive current interests and questions. Here’s to the new..