Sidewalk Video

Sidewalk, intervention (2007) With the Urban Homesteading Project

The Urban Homesteading Project created a temporary residence on the sidewalk in Brooklyn for 24 hours, starting at dawn on Saturday, November 23rd.

After scavenging in the garbage for two hours on the previous day, we filled a U-haul with enough reusable "refuse" to furnish half a city block. In the pre-dawn hours on Saturday we unloaded the truck onto the sidewalk on Union Avenue.

We invited community members to contribute unwanted household items and to live in our homestead for however long they could endure the cold. Over fifty friends, neighbors and passersby joined us for movie-watching, cooking, napping and lively discussions about street life, public space and the utilization of available resources.

Starting at dawn on Sunday, November 4th, items brought to the temporary living space were made available to all for the taking.

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.


Selected exhibitions/screenings: Union Docs, UC Santa Cruz, IMA*terial, GOS, Brooklyn Artillery