Earlier in August, I helped my buddy Karl Eicher with documenting his thesis project. Below is his thesis::
Illegal Acts of Architecture
Vandalism is usually considered a ruthless destruction of property, including spoiling anything beautiful or venerable. Like most forms of defacement or property damage, it usually involves the destruction (removal) or covering up of existing matter, creating what some refer to as an “eyesore.” In some cases, however, the eyesores are the legally created constructs, or the willful neglect of existing property. These are far crasser than anything graffiti or other street works could possibly claim to be. There are other forms of unlawful works of architecture as well, including the squatting and illegal housing that makes up nearly 1/3 of the world’s population. But these things, along with most things in our environment, go unnoticed. This thesis attempts to break people out of this form of complacency, or what Guy Debord refers to as the ‘spectacle.’ This is done through the radical reorientation of the environment that allows people to be reintroduced to their surroundings. This hyper-awareness, created through illegal acts of architecture, will reestablish the authenticity of daily life and critical thought. What makes an “Illegal Act of Architecture” is that it is illegal through its implementation within the city. It is set up without permission or even the acknowledgement of the city. It is a gift to the city, gifted through the sabotage of its immediate surroundings. It lacks permits, and can be seen as a form of vandalism, but does little to no harm and doesn’t diminish its surroundings. These works illegal works of architecture give more to the environment than it takes away.
The part that I documented and edited was his third installation of the Illegal Acts. These were a set of 12 medicine cabinets installed throughout downtown. Medical cabinets are objects typically used in personal/private space within a home. Here they were put into the most public spaces in town. Inside the cabinets a mirror and a toy that corresponded (ironically most of the time) to its surroundings.