Photographing Every Disappearing Manhattan Bodega 2 Favorite 


May 11 2015



"is a conceptual documentary project in which I photographed every Mom and Pop-style cornershop on the island of Manhattan as quickly as possible, as I walked each block in the city ( CLICK FOR A MAP of my route). I fear these veritable microcosms of NYC will be swallowed in the presently swelling wave of corporate homogeny. I feel compelled to catalog these sites before their owners are driven out of business to be replaced by impersonal chain stores attempting to duplicate and streamline services the bodega already meets by personally knowing its clientele."

Website statement given by GVBQ, who believes that “these stores are important because they are the city,” as stated in an interview about this Brooklyn-based artist from Omaha, Nebraska.

In the article written by Allison Meier, the artist's portrait represents the fact that social change is happening right under her feet, in her 'hood where "what came up regularly when meeting bodega owners was the issue of rising rent, and more than once she saw a new 7-Eleven move in and soon the local store would be gone." Her project is socially engaged, using a simple but distinctive tactic to generate public attention... however, there is nothing mentioned about plans for a physical display. Her gallery of over 1,900 images is showcased only online; using Tumblr and connected to Google Map. Her project falls into place, a part of a culture aligned with the media environment and advances in technology.

The internet has introduced new ways of communicating, using binary coding to translate the established language in order to connect with each other across time and space. A digital platform allows any (local) social actor to contribute to public opinion, shifting the dynamic of opportunities traditionally provided by the institutionalized gallery space. In light of recent protests against the museum as an industry whose labor is neither being accounted for nor wagered into the budget as staff expenses, it seems fair to assume the life of any artist fits into a community of influences and interests as a reflection on the world and bringing awareness through artistic action.

Reporting live at 2:31am, in your typical renovated apartment tucked in Bed-Stuy. I've included the article and artist website for any other critical thoughts about any number of topics: websites and design; youth and new media; digital economy; community for expressive arts and activism; strategy and tactical media.

You decide, what does this feel like... useful or not?

Posted by TrayJu on