Sunday, April 7, 2019

Installation: Souvenirs of the Bay Area Housing Crisis

Installation in news stand, Oakland, CA

I don't know how people are faring in your part of the world, but here in the San Francisco Bay Area we have an acute housing crisis, with locals being pushed out and homeless camps growing larger every day. Thus this little installation piece in an empty newsstand.

The first step was to create a living room suite. Regarding the dollhouse furniture, I've found you can learn to make anything if you Google it and believe you can.

Creating a little living room suite

The "rug" is from a fabric sample book, the lampshade is from a wallpaper sample book, the table is driftwood. The lamp base is a tiny urn and the table below is a circle of scrap wood atop an old spool of thread. The base supports for table, chair and couch are beads from a sandlewood necklace. The pillows are stuffed with sand so that they have weight and slump more naturally atop the furniture.




Battery-operated tea light inside of lamp

Driftwood table

I am aware that once installed, this piece will probably be picked apart in short order. I decided to go with the flow on the spontaneous destruction of the piece by the viewing public, and placed a label under every piece of furniture and even the rug, so that the take-away carries a little message.

I also made a  real estate promo sign for the top of the newsstand.

Promo sign for top of news stand

The Installation:

The newsstand I picked is one not yet obscured by graffiti on the front plastic panel, located in a heavily trafficked neighborhood on Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland, right in front of Peets and across the street from Arizmendi. This SF Weekly newsstand is stocked every Thursday, but is usually out of papers by Friday afternoon, leaving it temptingly empty and ready for action the rest of the week.

The newsstand in an ideal location

Installation complete

A view through the front window

With the door open


And when we are done installing? Why we just walk away.


  1. Oh my god. I have to do this. I'm in Seattle, and there's still oodles of Seattle Weekly news boxes around town, even though the publication is long gone. And we are modeling our housing insanity on yours, so it's perfect. Absolutely mindnumbing perfect.
    And yes, credit will be given. You're a genius.

    1. Gee, thanks! And yes by all means, spread the little installations.

  2. I'm there. Sibling in Seattle


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