Relief Map

Click on an image to view details.  

2012

Organza, unraveled textiles, paper, 35,551 vacant buildings and 2,489 vacant lots across New York’s five boroughs with the potential to house 199,981 people, as mapped by Grassroots organization Picture the Homeless in their report Banking on Vacancy: Homelessness and Real Estate Speculation with the work of 295 volunteers and 1,475 hours of walking through the city.

--

Grassroots organization Picture the Homeless (PTH) produced maps of New York’s five boroughs to show the quantity of vacant housing available throughout the city. Their final report, Banking on Vacancy: Homelessness and Real Estate Speculation, was the product of 295 volunteers and 1,475 hours of walking through the city. By making these otherwise invisible spaces visible, this collaboratively gathered data suggests the potential resources we have available to make housing a human right. In Relief Map I re-present this data as a hand-sewn model. Using slow stitching with threads from textiles that have been collectively unraveled, I make these vacant spaces visible and tangible.

0.01% of vacant potential homes

Click on an image to view details.  

2012

Medium: 191,401 vacant potential homes in the US

There are at least 18.5 million vacant housing units across the US while an estimated 3.5 million people are in need of housing. 

Homes are shelters and places of comfort. But in the housing crisis, banks have translated our homes to paper, treating them as numbers on account ledgers produced en-masse to generate profits and disposable at whim. Bolts of cloth exist as the potential for us to construct something new. These bolts of pattern were designed to be woven, but instead manifest as paper.