we live here now
We Live Here Now was a public performance that took place in the abandoned windows of Downtown Spartanburg from October 24th to October 28th, 2007. Rachel Harkai, a fellow resident at Hub-Bub, joined me in living in the windows for five days to draw attention to the importance of a vibrant downtown area. Below is our statement.
For full documentation of the project, please see the October 23rd- October 28th posts on my blog and Rachel's blog. For the articles written about the project in the Spartanburg Herald Journal, click here, here, and here. And for a YouTube video documenting our first project in "The Box," click here.
WE LIVE HERE NOW.
The vitality of a city’s downtown area is essential to the cultural, economic and social growth of the greater community. As new transplants to Spartanburg, we are unsettled by downtown’s empty storefronts-- evidence of how some local businesses have struggled to bring community members out of the suburbs and into the center of town.
We believe that art has not only the potential, but the responsibility to address these issues in innovative ways – through the stimulation of creative thinking, the promotion of progressive solutions, and the reactivation of abandoned and neglected spaces.
We will be living in the storefront windows of 100 East Main for five days and four nights. For these five days our activities will be determined by the capabilities of this space. We will be sleeping here. We will be working here. We will not be able to cook any food here, as there is no kitchen. As there is no shower, any semblance of bathing will be limited to creative use of the bathroom sink on this building’s first floor.
We are restricting our movement to downtown – the area of Main Street between Spring Street and Converse Street. Our plan is to treat Spartanburg’s city center as a true urban area by utilizing what resources are presently available to us while also exploring the ways in which this downtown space is deficient.
With events like Music on Main, Jazz on the Square, and the opening of the Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg is already making efforts to rejuvenate downtown through various forms of art. We wish to contribute to these efforts by highlighting the presence of a young, creatively-minded population living in and around downtown.
We plan to respond to our immediate environment through performance, installation, poetry, and visual art – whichever forms of creative reaction spontaneously arise. Implicit in this experience is our investigation of how art-making can be a simultaneously isolating and integrating activity, a tension explored through presumed interactions with and withdrawals from our viewers.
By inserting ourselves into these previously-abandoned storefront windows, we hope to remind the community that downtown Spartanburg was once a center of residential life, cultural activity and social interaction. We believe that through progressive community activism and sustained effort, our downtown area can achieve this status once again.
• We will reside in the storefront windows of 100 East Main Street from 8 A.M. on Wednesday, October 24th until 8 P.M. on Sunday, October 28th.
• All daily activities will be conducted in these three windows with the exception of three one-hour meal-breaks each day. (Bathroom breaks will be taken as needed.)
• During these breaks, we are restricted to the area of Main Street between Spring Street and Converse Street.
• Any time we are absent from the storefront, our whereabouts will be posted in the window. Come find us.
• We are allowed to accept invited visitors into our living space at any time.
• We are allowed out onto the designated stoop area for fresh air.
• Anyone is allowed to leave notes/pictures/other ephemera in the drop-box at any time. We will check the drop-box periodically.
• We are only permitted to draw our curtains while we sleep, if desired.