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.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Perform"ing and "Observe"ing at Pallet City!

It was amazing to see one group of people following the "instructions" of Pallet City to a tee: without any direction from us, a young woman improvised a choreographed poem on our stage (labeled with the directive "perform"), while her two companions sat on the area labeled "observe"(meant to resemble theater seating facing the "stage"), watched, and applauded! They were nice enough to recreate the ritual a second time so we could watch the full performance, and take their picture. This then sparked conversation--about shared interests, career goals, and what brought this group out to the island from their home in New Jersey.

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