As an interdisciplinary visual artist working with varied media ranging from fabric installation, to painting on sandpaper, to community dialogue and engagement, my studio cannot always be contained inside the workspace I rent. Responding to the rapidly-changing cityscape surrounding me in Long Island City, Queens, NYC, (which has the highest rate of new construction in the entire U.S.A.) can require the street, or the exterior of the building. A self-proclaimed Fake Architect, I make buildings from cheesecloth, violate imagined building codes, and investigate the concept of architecture – often thought of as permanent – to explore vulnerability on individual and community levels. Often I collaborate with other artists, activists, and the public. In addition to making 2 and 3-D work, I seek ways to creatively explore social issues, such as the impact of profit-driven real estate on community residents, small businesses, and artists being displaced by hyper-development (and its ever-rising prices). Participatory interaction can engage people: for example, with ORD [The Oracle of Real-estate Development], I invite passersby to ask any question related to property values, rents, displacement, gentrification, finding a place to live, etc., and select a random “answer” from phrases I’ve pulled from relevant research. Developing this participatory work is an ongoing collaboration with the public, and means going beyond my designated workspace into the studio of the streets.
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