Forest, mobile installation (2010) with The Urban Homesteading Project
Forest is a mobile installation in which Christmas trees, salvaged from the garbage in the post-holiday season, were arranged to mimic natural forests in industrial zones located along the Newtown Creek in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Long Island City, Queens.
The juxtaposition of discarded and subsequently resurrected trees against a backdrop of heavy industry and a polluted and barren waterway was an attempt to simultaneously address material waste and ecological devastation, while exploring the possibilities of rearranging the human impact on a place through the use of repurposed garbage.
At the end of the installation, the Christmas trees were recycled into mulch in a local park.
The Urban Homesteading Project (Laura Chipley, Francisca Caporali and Pilar Ortiz) builds temporary dwelligs and living solutions in public space out of discarded, donated and exchanged materials, as a means to create positive social interactions within a community.
By making representative living situations and inviting community members to participate in these fictional spaces, we transform the apparent physical configuration of a space and its social and symbolic dimensions.
Through collectively observing the movement of the street, the manifestations of change in a neighborhood and the flow of people, we unfold the multiple layers of a place. Each homestead is an investigation of community, available resources and models of sociability in the contemporary city.