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  1. I just stared at the screen, dumbfounded and speechless when this video finished. Maybe it is artsy and clever, but if I were homeless, I would be insulted. Okay, I am insulted for those people. Hardwood floors? granite counter tops?

    This is on the same level as a push/suggestion that grocery cart wheels be made sturdier so that the homeless could better ram the curbs and have their “home” and possessions withstand the rigors of homelessness.

    Maybe it is more like the video that was produced to teach the homeless what foods in the dumpster what to eat from the dumpster in order not to become ill. Yeah, all the homeless had a player to watch the video. Yeah. I am just sad.

    In my opinion, the “artist” trivializes the hardships of the homeless, those who must take refuge in places not considered inhabitable. So, this “all” that a homeless person must to do? Cut doors, install cranks, make windows, learn to install electrical and plumbing, get the tv, and find a little cash?

    Is this just meant to be ironic?

    As a real-life solution, it is unrealistic. As art it is garbage. Once I recovered from my stupor induced by this film, I was just sad. No, this is not a rant.

  2. Erik posted this and left town. Literally. So I’m left to speak for him.

    Frankly, I didn’t see this as insulting to the homeless at all, or even pertaining to the homeless. Dumpsters are dirty and smelly and dangerous–what with the constant inputs of trash from above and the threat of the fork lift–so I don’t think of them as a place where homeless people sleep (they harvest from them, but don’t live in them).

    I may be wrong, but this is where I’m coming from on this. And I think this is where Lloyd Kahn, the artist, and Erik are coming from too. If, say, someone tricked out a cardboard box with hardwood floors, I’d see the insult. Definitely. But here… eh, I just don’t see the insult.

    With this, what I see is a clever use of industrial space, and a challenge to the big house paradigm. Very like the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, but more edgy.

    If we all lived more compactly and used less resources day to day, if small scale inexpensive housing–like this–were widely available, most likely homelessness would not be such a problem.

    Of course, folks can agree to disagree…

  3. Okay, we will agree to disagree. If this were not so close to the reality that some homeless people DO sleep in dumpsters just like they sleep in cardboard boxes it would be easier to fathom. The reality is that the warmth and shelter from the rain makes the danger seem trivial. I suppose the people who take refuge in dumpsters and die when they are compacted think they can wake up in time and do plan a quick exit for their safety.

    Some homeless sleep in dumpsters because they are safer from attack from other people. Safety to sleep trumps lots of things.

    A person cannot stand up in the unit, so it seems this for art and not reality, anyway. As a permanent shelter for someone who can afford the craftsmanship, this is not reality. I noticed it had some sort of wall covering…sheet rock?

    If I were going to seriously help people or forge a new path in sustainable living, I would forego the granite counter top for some 2x4s to build a small stucture that is tall enough to stand in. Even recycled items would still be free and a home. A guy in TX makes homes from entirely recycled material.

    Small house sites have never had homes that a person cannot stand in. Well, there are the rigs pulled by a bike that are coffinlike and not tricked out with all the amenities and no pretense is made that is a doable, all-the-time option.

    I will agree to disagree even though it is not palatable in my opinion.

  4. I think Mrs. H is right. I appreciate Parsimony’s concern for the homeless, but that is not at all how I read this project. I took it as an exploration of home, geared not toward the homeless, but to those of us who live in houses that are plenty-darn-big. What is really essential in the concept of home, and how close can we get to the edge of “essential” while maintaining a sense of comfort and even beauty? This project provokes us into re-thinking our dependence on space and our choices about the stuff that fills it. Love it–thanks for posting.

  5. There are several of these artist projects exploring the nature of “home” in tiny spaces – click my name for a shopping cart example – and I think they are interesting and challenge us in the way art is supposed to.

    He’s an artist, not a guy trying to solve homelessness!

    Obviously granite counter tops in dumpsters is not the solution to the world’s ills or homelessness problems, or even a solution to be lived-in full time. But it’s a provocative piece of art – clearly!

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