Relief Map

2012

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 (2011) with the work of 295 volunteers and 1,475 hours of walking through the city; unraveled textiles, hand-stitched with on silk organza,  paper

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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.

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