Wednesday, October 3, 2007

When I say 'I live at the mall,' I really mean it

I consider artists part of the innovation economy here in New England, pushing all of us to think and see in different ways...

...Which is why I love this story: "Artists get probation for building secret mall apartment." From the AP story:

    Michael Townsend, 36, said he and seven other artists built the apartment in a 750-square-foot loft in the parking garage [of the Providence Place Mall] four years ago and lived there for up to three weeks at a time while documenting mall life.

    The apartment included a sectional sofa and love seat, coffee and breakfast tables, chairs, lamps, rugs, paintings, a hutch filled with china, a waffle iron, TV and Sony Playstation 2 -- although a burglar broke in and stole the Playstation last spring, Townsend said. The artists built a cinderblock wall and nondescript utility door to keep the loft hidden from the outside world.

Providence Journal columnist Bob Kerr quips, "The retail mecca had an artist-in-residence program and didn’t even know it."

You can see video and photos of the project here.

(Of course, some mall operator, somewhere, is now imagining the opportunity: if people love the mall so much, why not build time shares there that they can buy into?)

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