Levittown, NY , 2004

Artists' Space


Makram el Kadi, Ziad Jamaleddine, Naji Moujaes

Within American suburbia, city planning and zoning practices have left traditional living spaces isolated and surrounded by corporate zones for shopping, working, and recreation. Paradoxically, the proliferation of such amenities is based on their ability to simulate / ‘xerox’ the same domestic environment they try to substitute.

Squatville investigates the zones of contact between the domestic and the corporate. by using a subtractive approach to encroach upon the various corporate models that simulate different functions of domesticity. The domestic becomes franchised into the corporate; next to a hotel, the house subtracts its bedrooms, next to a restaurant, its kitchen. Its degree-zero is its self-demise, a total parasite living on its surroundings. This is the condition of the homeless jetsetters, or in culture jamming terms of ‘squatters’.

Home becomes an intersection of collectivities, where individuals can maneuver the tools provided by the corporate world. It exists in suspension from the ‘ideal’ condition it originated from. To reclaim privacy, the upper level reinterprets suburbia as mezzanine. The elevator button swaps between the conditions of urbanity and sub urbanity (in this case super urbanity), between publicity and privacy. 

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