MONTH2MONTH is a public art project in private residences organized by artists William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton and produced by More Art. Through a lottery initiated in winter of 2016, the public will be invited to participate in curated short-term stays in examples of 'luxury' and 'affordable' housing in NYC. The stays are underscored by a month-long series of public events that will provide a platform for discussions about how class, wealth, and social mobility affect people's ability to live in New York City. Events will be open to a limited public audience and will examine art’s uncomfortable relationship to real estate development and neighborhood change.
MONTH2MONTH will explore New York’s labyrinthine housing policies, that range from the inclusion of “affordable” housing units within new luxury developments and the rezoning plans that quickly transform neighborhoods to the quasi-legality of the “sharing economy” and the rise of “illegal hotels.” This exploration will at times take the form of information sharing, but also use unorthodox methods to push discussions into unfamiliar places. MONTH2MONTH literally opens up private spaces of luxury and affordable housing to discuss the conditions of relative stability and precarity facing New Yorkers. The residents, guests, and participants of MONTH2MONTH will gather together for formal and informal dinners, improvisational sitcoms, karaoke sessions, and other performative events that turn the subject of private housing itself into a social space for sharing experiences and gaining agency as current and future residents of New York City.
The project ultimately asks how class aspiration and income inequality shape the concept of affordability, especially as recent “affordable housing” plans have become tied to luxury development. In collaboration with other artists and activists, Powhida and Dalton have organized the interdisciplinary series of events around the pressing issues of gentrification, social mobility, inequality, displacement and the often invisible service economies. Events will span from the serious, “(Dis)placed in NYC: An Interactive Experience” with artist-activist Betty Yu, to the satirical, “Bubbles and Bubbles,” a night of champagne tasting with finance writer Felix Salmon, in an effort to address the wide range of social contexts housing plays in New York City. Other events will include “Dinner with Doormen,” a catered dinner with the city’s gatekeepers, “Start an Investment Portfolio with $50,” with artist-writer Sharon Butler, and many more including an open call for participants to propose events during the project.
Participants may include but are certainly not limited to: housing rights advocates, politicians, financial journalists, developers, doormen, artists, critics, activists, local New York residents, and other stakeholders in the future of housing. The artists and More Art would like to hear from you if you are interested in participating.