For Living as Form, organized by Creative Time, Bik Van der Pol made a work in 3 parts: a site-specific public textpiece on the empty parking lots adjacent to the Essex Street Market to be incorporated in Google Earth, daily walking tours in collaboration with NY citizens open to visitors, and a publication.
The phrase of the textpiece, As Above, So Below, points towards the contentious (re)valuation of space in the neighborhood, including vertical development and the issue of air rights, which apply to owning the space above plots of land and buildings.
The text, read as abstractions from the ground, will be completely legible from above. While looking into the void, one may realize that this empty space - now a parking lot - also allows us a glimpse of the future, to what will be. A look at the empty sky that at some point will crystallize and capitalize.
In collaboration with Google Earth the textpiece will be stored in Google's archive to immediately become part of history while this empty site will be developing in time.
The empty space is filled up by the voices and imagination of NY citizens, who are invited to give
Google Earth Image
Elements of composition [As above, so below]
public walking tours —based on their personal knowledge and experience with the city and its urban developments. The publication contains the research gathered for this project through interviews with scholars, urban planners, activists, and organizers. This publication can be obtained in the exhibition Living as Form in the historic Essex Street Market at the South side of Delancey Street, and will also be published online.
The tours will consider not only what is visible at street-level but also those elements of the built environment that have been erased or are yet to exist in three dimensions. The tours are determined by the concept of the void, and potentially move both horizontally and vertically around the empty space, from the parking lot to an aerial view of the project and surrounding Lower East Side.
The tours start inside the Essex Street Market, where the projectspace functions as informationhub and starting point for the tours.