Our ongoing investigation of the intersection of art, labor, economics, and the production of unexpected social experiences has led us to initiate this new project we call MARKET. The project creates space for direct conversations and reflections on the many diverse ways in which we make our world, and the kinds of social, economic, and cultural relationships we want to foster in our daily exchanges with others.
MARKET provides indoor market stalls for a range of people and practices that are not often included in traditional marketplace settings. Table space is provided to people and groups that have demonstrated a commitment to the Lower East Side. Participants are included regardless of the economic intention or viability of their practice (the usual criteria for participation in a market). We have asked groups and individuals to participate that do not have a public office or cannot afford rental property, neighborhood spaces that do rent real estate but could use a boost in visibility or a change of audience, individuals that operate outside of typical capitalist economies, local experts, organizations that have heavily documented culture from the neighborhood, seasonal vendors and single-person enterprises, and others who add to the eclectic and dynamic energy of the area.
MARKET borrows the infrastructure provided by Creative Time’s rental of the Essex Street Market for the exhibition Living As Form. Each participant in MARKET is given one of six six-foot long stands to use for an entire eight-hour day, throughout the duration of the exhibition. Each participant will be able to use MARKET for one or more days, according to availability. Our design of the brightly colored stands is modeled after lemonade stands, produce stalls, and flea market style table-top presentations. Each vendor’s table is the same size and provided free of charge. Any money made by those who sell things is kept entirely by the individual, group or business.
The Old Essex Street Market buildings were built in the 1930s under the administration of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. While one of the market buildings on Essex Street remains active as an actual marketplace, the Old Market building that is hosting Living as Form is managed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). NYCEDC rents the raw building space for film shoots, events, and other temporary functions.
MARKET temporarily restores the Old Essex Street Market building at the southeast corner of Delancey and Essex Streets to its original function as a marketplace and publicly shared space. MARKET is free to use and non-competitive and particularly diverse in its offerings.
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