For Bridge 3, I created “Failed Bourgeois Playground.” The piece was inspired by the research question: What is the effect of the gentrification in East Williamsburg for small authentic businesses? This inquiry arose after weeks of familiarizing myself with the neighborhood, its history, census statistics, and after having visited it three times. “Failed Bourgeois Playground” is the reaction, visual reflection, and interpretation of two primary and four secondary sources I found to understand my thesis better.
For this piece, I was inspired by Joseph Cornell’s Cabinets of Curiosity which leave space for reflection, curiosity, and interpretation to the audience. He represented in his boxes what unfolded from his inspiration from Juan Gris’ work. In “Failed Bourgeois Playground,” I represented what I found interesting from my sources by including an element of each in the piece. The visual representations I made are metaphorical and abstract.
My first source argued that gentrification was creating “bourgeois playgrounds” for the affluent. The second informed me with statistics of the number of houses built since 1990 in Brooklyn District 1. My secondary sources argued that food was becoming less accessible for the longstanding residents, that this is creating a barrier for them, that it is necessary to have old/authentic restaurants in a city, and that old businesses are ceding some of their principles to continue in business.
I included a visual representation of the luxurious playground with an environment of imaginary precious rocks, small spheres with silver decorations as a response to the number of structures built since the 90s. There are also dark spots in the sculpture, which represents the lack of accessibility of food. I also created a barrier about the difficulty to live in this costly environment for the not as affluent residents. Also, I showed the importance of having authentic residents with the decision making of using a recycled piece of a lamp as my base. Finally, I included strings that connected the “bourgeois playground” and the “authentic/old” world to state that there has to be an agreement by both parties to grow healthily and stably.
New York City Department of Planning. “Housing Profile 2012-2016 American Community Survey.” NYC Population FactFinder, popfactfinder.planning.nyc.gov/profile/994/housing
Ortega, Amanda. “Hofstra Papers in Anthropology.” Living/Learning Communities | Hofstra | New York. Accessed July 26, 2018. https://www.hofstra.edu/academics/colleges/hclas/anthro/hpia/hpia-ortega.html
Anderson, Jamie. “Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s Provide a Healthy Boost to Nearby Homes – Zillow Research.” Premier Agent Resource Center. October 11, 2017. Accessed July 26, 2018. https://www.zillow.com/research/whole-foods-trader-joes-home-value-11696/.
Boo, James. “A Brooklyn Chef Comes to Terms with Her Gentrifying Neighborhood.” Edible Brooklyn. September 25, 2017. Accessed July 26, 2018. https://www.ediblebrooklyn.com/2017/bk-maite/
Cohen, Nevin. “Feeding or Starving Gentrification: The Role of Food Policy.” CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, 27 Mar. 2018, www.cunyurbanfoodpolicy.org/news/2018/3/27/feeding-or-starving-gentrification-the-role-of-food-policy
Viverito, Melissa Mark. “Feeding or Starving Gentrification: The Role of Food Policy.” CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute. December 2017. Accessed July 26, 2018. http://www.cunyurbanfoodpolicy.org/news/2018/3/27/feeding-or-starving-gentrification-the-role-of-food-policy.