Not exclusive to a particular community, dislocation and relocation due to economic and environmental challenges are commonplace in New York City. Slow displacement from gentrification results in a competitive arena whereby people are forced into positions of offense or defense, seeking out or protecting precarious spaces around the city. On the contrary, quick displacement as the result of trauma from sudden upheaval or emergency often generates a communal response. For instance, stories surrounding devastation caused by recent Hurricane Sandy focus on unparalleled experiences of neighbors helping, housing, and sharing resources with one another.
Working with artists whose spaces are often in a state of flux, as well as people who have lost their homes or workspaces throughout New York City, I am dedicated to an art project that focuses on collaborations that emerge from space and resource sharing. A catalyst for alternative forms of living and working, the “Fellow-share” project enables collective experiences through collaborations based on non-monetary exchanges.
The first year of the “Fellow-share” project will begin by working with two specific communities: people within a range of businesses or municipal organizations are paired with artists. The artists’ work relates to the organizations they would “fellow-share” with. In exchange for space to work, artists are tasked with repurposing a percentage of the organization’s waste, diverting potential resources from the waste stream. This exchange could unfold in many ways. Artists may choose to use waste in artwork or find others who can utilize the waste, creating a networked supply-chain based on resource sharing. Sharing space and resources for the mutual experience of living and working interdependently is the crux of this project.
“Fellow-share” poses the questions: What could the effects be of artists integrating their studio spaces into a larger working community? What can the experiences be of individuals and community members who live and work in a city where integration is nurtured on this scale? How can the “Fellow-share” project become a catalyst for lasting relationships formed across-disciplines? In a world where sought-after resources including minerals, oil, and clean water are being depleted and polluted, waste carries social and environmental traumas with it, from extraction, to production, distribution, consumption, discard, and degradation. Can we find a way to repurpose materials in a direct, immediate way together?
The dialogic processes that build toward “Fellow-share” collaborations are creative and aesthetic experiences. From its moment of inception, the project will form networks of individuals, groups, and conversations that can be documented and persist as a blueprint. The “Fellow-share” project is a step towards a more long-term utopian social change, based on compassion, empathy, understanding, and mutual learning.
Please contact me if you are interested in participating.