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.