About Pallet City

Artists: Katherine Gressel and Jeremy Reed

Pallet City
was an interactive public art project made almost entirely from recycled shipping pallets. Pallet City juxtaposes different common uses of the pallet as an art/building material, and invites participation and feedback, simultaneously raising questions about practicality and aesthetics of pallet use. The city's fluid, linear forms and signage imply different actions that take place within the urban environment: sit (implied by a bench); park (a bike rack); dwell (a shelter); plant (a planter with small garden, which visitors can help water); perform (a stage where visitors can mount and document spontaneous performances); observe (seats accompanying the theater); exhibit (a gallery space with 2-3 different exhibits that the artists will curate during the summer, and a shelf where visitors can curate their own exhibits); play (a playful rolling wave), and learn (an ‘information kiosk’ at one end). Pallet City thus describes the city in terms of active, democratic use rather than passive viewing or restricted areas. The project was meant to spark public dialogue on the notion of city itself and the creation of democratic, sustainable cities. Pallet City was designed for the FIGMENT Terrace season-long sculpture garden on Governors Island in summer 2010.

Pallet City was open to the public at all times Governors Island was open to the public, Friday-Sunday, June 5-October 3, 2010. Please visit the official Governors Island page for directions to the island.

This blog documents the development of the project, and the public's experiences with it.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Constructing Pallet City: Buidling on Governors Island, June 6-11

Once the pallets were prepped we had only a week to put the entire project together on the island--and unlike in the Navy Yard, where we had 24-hour access, all building on Governors Island had to be done between the hours of 8am-6pm, when the island was open. We also had to coordinate with the island and FIGMENT to get a huge U-haul truck onto an early morning ferry in advance, to deliver our pallets and a huge collection of power tools, wood stain, extension cords, etc.

Our major construction day was Sunday, June 6, where we fortunately had a great turnout of volunteers. We broke them into teams, each team working on a different section of Pallet City. In addition to building each structure, we had to stain all the wood to make the color more consistent, create and put up signs labeling each section of the "city," and many other details...but fortunately our volunteers were completely up to the task!

Some of our core construction team members: Mohammad Rajab, Jim Reed, Katherine Gressel, Jeremy Reed, Joseph Reed
The project site pre-pallets

Laying out and constructing each section--in some cases, we had to cut the pallets down to a different size.
Putting the stage together
Putting gallery and tower walls together
Constructing the play structure

Our team, at the end of day 1!

Putting up the gallery space
Joey's brilliant invention: combination roller-brush!

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