\ parking lots of Providence

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introduced birdsong

introduced birdsong

Today we conclude our Historic parking lots of Providence project, highlighting thirty of downtown Providence’s surface level parking lots that – contrary to assumptions that they are spaces of transition, neglect, or failed development projects – have in fact been designated as parking lots, and have remained unchanged and in use as such, since at least the 1950s.

 

introduced birdsong [detail]

 

Our intervention into the autumnal city streets today – which we are calling Historic parking lots of Providence / introduced birdsong – completes a line of work that we initiated here back in August with the proposition that the selected lots might be collectively nominated for listing, their impact and character being considered against the National Register’s eligibility criteria of ‘age’, ‘integrity’, and ‘significance’.

 

introduced birdsong [detail]

 

Actively considering the selected lots collectively, as a single site, as a single element of the city’s use and structure, we have introduced identical small movement-sensitive audio devices, each containing the recorded song of a single bird – in this case a Lincoln’s sparrow – into all thirty lots simultaneously, for one working day.

 

introduced birdsong [detail]

 

With this act, the work finds a initial form, that we hope might at least enable direct and daily personal encounters, at a city scale, while allowing us to subtly shift the aural ambient of this city centre in actuality. And its realisation has – as we had also hoped – already provoked questions, conversations, encounters with bemused police officers, and amusement for some of the area’s parking lot attendants…

 

Photos: David Higgins

 

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chorus

chorus

As the low evening sunlight floods the studio, we are opening its doors, for the first public prototyping of some of our introduced birdsong boxes. Installed, in this case, simply as a single fifteen metre choral row along one wall of our temporary home here in Salina – waiting to be met and triggered…

 

introduced birdsong

 

Image: Mike Brookes

 

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still thinking about parking lots

still thinking about parking lots

parking lot #1

 

Fountain Street and Mathewson Street, pen and watercolour on paper, 100cm x 175cm, Mike Brookes 2013 – from the parking lots of Providence series.

 

parking lot #1

 

Further details from the parking lots of Providence series can be found in the archive [ here ].

 

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thinking about parking lots

thinking about parking lots

For the first time in quite a while, I find myself drawing as I think. I have never really sketched works, unless I need to describe them to someone else. I think them through, then make them. As usual, these drawings are really just another case of making more than one thing at once – or, at least, shaping more than one form. But they are a sign of how at home I feel in the open warehouse sized studio we have been provided with for our stay here…

 

parking lot #1

 

Broadway and Atwells Avenue, pen and watercolour on paper, 100cm x 75cm, Mike Brookes 2013 – from the parking lots of Providence series.

 

parking lot #1