2017 marked the fourth year of Rooms To Let, Cleveland – where the Slavic Village Development neighborhood organization invites artists to transform vacant houses in the neighborhood with art and installation. Slavic Village had one of the highest concentration of foreclosures in the nation during the housing crisis, and this project strives to illuminate a community in the midst of recovery. Dozens of artists and makers created artwork and performance pieces in vacant lots and vacant homes which are slated for demolition.
I was inspired by the book Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert which argues that we have now entered into a new extinction period, the Anthropocene, named such as human activity is the catalyst for the impending extinctions. Estimates project between 20-50% of all current living things becoming extinct by 2050.
I also drew from the recently updated Doomsday Clock, which was moved forward in 2015 by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. The clock now rests at three minutes to midnight, the “latest” it’s been since 1984, during the Cold War. Midnight signals the end of continued human existence. Their reasons for moving the clock forward were both climate change and the continuing increase in nuclear arms proliferation.
This installation featured 30 functional clocks in various shapes and sizes that I modified with artificial grass.
In addition to the audible ticking of 30 clocks in one room, there was an audio component of ticking playing throughout the event.
The clocks helped fill one room of the house, intermingling with work from artists Sharon Sevenzo and Christine Ripley.