PUBLIC AND SITE-SPECIFIC PROJECTS

MAIN

   

FLATTENED LOS ANGELES, ongoing

 

This is an ongoing project involving a customized elongated penny machine for neighborhoods in Los Angeles that no longer exist. For the first version of this project, I customized the machine to create three different souvenir pennies depicting scenes from the now lost Bunker Hill neighborhood. In 2012 I was able to place the penny machine at Angel’s Flight in downtown Los Angeles for six months. By placing the machines in a public environment, my goal was to reach an unsuspecting public that will be encouraged to question and consider their built environment and the Los Angeles that has been lost.

Flattened Los Angeles provides a means of addressing the layers of neighborhoods and former residents in the city that have been largely forgotten (or, if you will, squashed out of existence).The project allows a lost aspect of the city to once again take on a physical form and makes the viewer aware of something that can no longer be seen but can still be experienced through a tourist souvenir. In her collection of essays, On Photography, Susan Sontag discussed travel as a search for the photogenic and a means of collecting the world through images, as photographing becomes a substitution for memory. This project will reflect a tourism that is largely about loss—there is nothing left to photograph.

   
 
 
   

METRO PHOTOGRAPHIC LIGHTBOX: BORN ON A TRAIN, 2014- 2017

 

Photographs from my series Born on a Train, in which I created installations in the sleeper car of a cross-country train, have been on display in various Metro Stations on the Red Line as part of Metro's Photographic Lightbox Program. From 2014-2017, the images will rotate between the following stations: 7th St/Metro Center Station; Hollywood/Highland Station; Union Station; Universal City/Studio City Station; Vermont/Beverly Station and Wilshire/Normandie Station.

Photo courtesy of METRO
 
 
Photo Courtesy of Metro
 
 
   

JAMECOS TRADING POST, JAMAICA, QUEENS, 2007

 

This project was created for the summer 2007 Jamiaca Flux exhibition, a citywide exhibition of site-specific projects organized by the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning in Queens, New York. The curators of the project selected my proposal to create the Jamecos Trading Post, an interactive structure designed to draw upon Jamaica’s history and its importance in the 19th Century as major site for the fur trade. The name Jamaica actually comes from a Native American word, Jamecos, meaning “a beaver place.” Native American tribes came from as far away as the Great Lakes to trade beaver pelts on what is now Jamaica Avenue. The trading post was installed in Rufus King Park on Jamaica Avenue. Residents of the community were invited to bring household objects to my trading post and trade for other items. All objects brought into the trading post were given a tag on which an anecdote about the object was written. In this way, residents were essentially able to trade stories with one another. A goal of the piece was to create a sense of community and increased interaction amongst residents. The stories attached to the various objects ranged from the matter-of-fact to narratives tinged with loss or regret. For example, one person contributed a CD with a tag that read “On Valentine’s Day 2005, I made a copy of this mix tape for a girl I had a crush on. We talked that day and I had many chances to give it to her. I never did. Here is a copy of it.” Creating the Jamecos Trading Post presented a number of new challenges. While I have created sculptural pieces in the past, I had never created a piece that had to withstand being outside in a public place for several months. In the catalogue book created for the exhibition, curator Heng Gil Han writes that works created for public space often fail, but that my project, the Jamecos Trading Post, was one that truly succeeded in engaging the public. He goes on to say that he was surprised by how many people in the community brought items to trade, as it reflected a large number of people “who want to share their intimate personal stories with completely unknown strangers.”

 
 
   

PROFESSIONAL CONFESSIONAL, 2003

 

This piece was created during my participation in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Residency in the Woolworth Building. Referring to the divide between the usage of the building and its aesthetic form as a cathedral (as well as referencing recent corporate scandals- the Security Exchange Commission had offices in the Woolworth Building at the time), the performative installation consisted of a collapsible, portable confessional for the receiving of workplace related indiscretions and confessions.  The outside of the confessional resembled an actual confessional, while the interior was modeled after a bank teller’s window. Participants wrote their work related transgressions on a dollar bill, and were given clean, blank dollars in exchange. All confessors received a certificate of redemption. Soul cleansing redemption packages were available and provided for life-time immunity against all work related crimes. After the dollars were collected, the merger of commerce and faith was continued. I released the dollars into circulation at the “Dollar Dreams” dollar store on Fulton Street. The items I purchased with the various confessions were joined together in a book project

Installation in Woolworth Buildling

 
 

Broadway

 
 

Wall Street

 
 

Woolworth Building

 
 
   
 
   
 
   
This is a sample of the confessions written on dollars that were collected in the Woolworth Building and around Lower Manhattan.

I habitually pad my hours

 
 

I told my boss not to hire someone even tho she was very qualified

 
 

I have been planning my vacation during work

 
 

I talk about my co-workers behind their backs

 
 

I lied to my boss that I am not looking for a job

 
 

I went through my boss's personal files

 
 

My boss doesn't know I never finished my degree

 
 

I took 4 hours for lunch at a bar

 
 

I stole 50 dollars from the petty cash box

 
   
   

In 2004, I was invited to exhibit the Professional Confessional as part of a group exhibition at Jessica Murray Projects in Williamsburg. For the exhibition, I resurrected the confessional and installed it on various streets in Williamsburg, collecting confessions from local residents.

Bedford Avenue

 
 
   
 
   
 
   
A selection of confessions collected in Williamsburg.

I didn't do anything today

 
 

I do not have enough time for the people I love.

 
 

I didn't trust myself or my wife but someone else.

 
 

I owe this dollar to my sister.

 
 

I like to steal things.

 
 

Money makes me feel better when I have it.

 
 

Not loving enough

 
 

Breaking Kevin's heart