AUTOBIOGRAPHY
AUTOBIOGRAPHY
SPUITEN OF HAKKEN, NL
SPUITEN OF HAKKEN, NL
PODZEMKA, RU
PODZEMKA, RU
RADUGA, RU
RADUGA, RU
SUPERNATURAL, NL
SUPERNATURAL, NL
GASCOLAND, NL
GASCOLAND, NL
BIG SHOE, JP
BIG SHOE, JP
TO KNOW THE LAND, NL
TO KNOW THE LAND, NL
VAN ZWART NAAR GROEN, NL
VAN ZWART NAAR GROEN, NL
GOUDMIJN, NL
GOUDMIJN, NL
FINAL FANTASY #1, NL
FINAL FANTASY #1, NL
THE FLIPSIDE, NL
THE FLIPSIDE, NL
MINING, NL
MINING, NL
VIJF VOOR TWEE, NL
VIJF VOOR TWEE, NL
WINDOW WASHING, NL
WINDOW WASHING, NL
FOLLOW OUR JOG, USA
FOLLOW OUR JOG, USA
DRAWING FARNSWORTH, USA
DRAWING FARNSWORTH, USA
MOWING, USA
MOWING, USA
STEAM, USA
STEAM, USA
GREATER DETROIT, USA
GREATER DETROIT, USA
URBAN GARDEN MYTH, USA
URBAN GARDEN MYTH, USA
CORNUCOPIA, USA
CORNUCOPIA, USA
GIVING BACK TO ROME, USA
GIVING BACK TO ROME, USA
30 METERS, NL
30 METERS, NL
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[Detroit 2010]

DRAWING ON FARNSWORTH [part 1]

The Pink Pony Express is fascinated by the ongoing re-habitation of Detroit neighborhoods, and the factors that contribute to the development and sticking power of new communities. Property in East Detroit is pretty much valueless. Investing in real estate here is as sound as the houses themselves. Not many people are interested in erecting new houses on this land, because most people do not want to live here.

Throughout the city, small, independent communities are flourishing. We started calling them ‘pockets’. Farnsworth Street is a primary, and perhaps the most popular, example of a pocket community.
All the houses on this street are re-claimed, instead of newly built. Here, social structures contribute directly to physical development.
The Farnsworth Street community started twenty years ago, and has grown enormously within the last two years. Patterns of social-interaction have been essential for regenerating and establishing a thriving street. We were curious if Farnsworth Street could be used as a model to study how small-scale social interaction contributes to re-building a city.

To discover how a neighborhood like this one built itself we hosted a mapping session (disguised as a BBQ). We asked everybody, individually, to draw their connections to each other on a street map. We used color-coded markers to identify different types of information describing the origin and length of their acquaintances. Additional questions detailed their personal background, and whether or not they are homeowners or property investors.

We layed the personal maps on top of each other to create a three-dimensional group map, which we used to visualize the connections, in the street.


Bbq invitations.
Bbq invitations.
The chicken we drove 45 minutes to buy.
The chicken we drove 45 minutes to buy.
Jessica drawing the master street map.
Jessica drawing the master street map.
We hosted the Bbq in the front yard, instead of the back.
We hosted the Bbq in the front yard, instead of the back.
Blake drawing his connections.
Blake drawing his connections.
Compiled maps shot back in the studio.
Compiled maps shot back in the studio.

DRAWING ON FARNSWORTH [part 2]

After purchasing yarn we began placing our three-dimensional map above the street. Our action was welcomed by residents, and people from surrounding blocks. We tied 20.000 feet of string (6 colors) to the houses, each color of string representing a specific connection that exists between neighbors.

We used trees as 'routers' and 'hubs' to direct longer lines. Mapping the connections between neighbors successfully tapped into both the history, and patterns outlining social interaction, on Farnsworth Street. Residents engaged in conversation by tracing their personal routes along the street, and spontaneously started explaining the installation to passers-by.

After five days we cut the map down. It was our first step toward exploring social-residential structures, and neighborhood regeneration in shrinking cities. A lot of ideas spread about what to do with the leftover string, including making a giant ball, knitting a sheath for a new ethernet hub or composting it.

20,000 feet (36 kilometers) of string.
20,000 feet (36 kilometers) of string.



Paul Weertz's house. Paul plays an important role in the neighborhood.
Paul Weertz's house. Paul plays an important role in the neighborhood.

breakdown
breakdown