I don’t want to give up my first research topic because it’s so interesting to me and I think it will be my thesis. However i am also really interested in socially engaged art and since I am currently working on the project on homelessness with a team at NYU’s DFA group, I figured I’d also write about ideas and inspirations for that project as well in case Marina has some more input for our team.
After today's class I was inspired to think about ideas for the homeless project I am working on with a team that I told you about. I thought we could create a pop up inspired by Nancy Nowacek's pop up store for M. It's so inviting and makes these difficult conversations and issues feel no longer insurmountable. I was also inspired by Ideas City drawing table public work where participants were asked to engage by drawing or writing their own ideas for creating spaces for migrant workers to rest and to reimagine healthcare. In that same style, we could ask people to think and draw what they imagine a good space for homeless would look like or what ideas they have on securing the affordable housing. This would result in thinking deeper about the issue and that's already enough.
The reason why i love Michael Rakowitz' paraSITE and the Homeless Vehicle project so much is that it shows the care and thought one person put into the project and it's touching and inspiring for other to think "i should also care this much, others don't ignore it and neither will i". Then maybe people donate more or just think about these people with more compassion. Changing perception of the homeless seems to be the first step. After that, people will naturally push and be pushed to change policy and the issue of public housing and lack of adequate social services will become too big to ignore. This is what Anthony Dunne talks about in his talk “What if…” He believes that we must first design for different ways of seeing. Changing the public perception seems to be the fist step.
I also think that the way Joseph Gringely exhibits the conversations he had with people is effective and this could be a good approach for our team to exhibit the bits and pieces of stories we gathered from the homeless women over the past year. However I worry that this approach would fetishize these conversations. They work fit conversations with strangers in a bar but it may be too artistic for the homeless project.
I think we might stay away from art and just have an action- inspiring exhibit. We may hand out soylemt or granola bars to people and ask them to give them to homeless people and to say something nice to them, have a respectful conversation.